We Need a Little Christmas

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"We Need a Little Christmas" is a popular Christmas song originating from Jerry Herman's Broadway musical, Mame, and first performed by Angela Lansbury in that 1966 production.[1]

In the musical, the song is performed after Mame has lost her fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929, and decides that she, her young nephew Patrick, and her two household servants "need a little Christmas now" to cheer them up.[2] The original lyrics include the line, "But, Auntie Mame, it's one week past Thanksgiving Day now!" Since the time the song was written the phenomenon of Christmas creep has resulted in the normal holiday season beginning much earlier than it once did, which has led to more recent recordings changing the line to, "But, Auntie Mame, it's one week from Thanksgiving Day now!"

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song is performed by the cast of The Muppet Show as they drive to Ma Bear's farmhouse for Christmas in opening number of A Muppet Family Christmas.
  • In the 1979 Christmas episode of the ATV-produced (UK) Crossroads, the character of Meg Mortimer (played by Noele Gordon) somewhat breaks convention for a soap opera by performing the song to camera, in the company of the principal cast members.
  • The song is regularly performed in the final sequence of Carols in the Domain in Sydney, Australia.


Percy Faith Orchestra version
Charts (2005) Peak
Hot Adult Contemporary Recurrents 25
Kimberley Locke version
Charts (2008) Peak
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 19
Glee Cast version
Charts (2010) Peak
Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks 15


  1. ^ Crump, William D. (15 September 2001). The Christmas Encyclopedia, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 436. ISBN 978-1-4766-0573-9. 
  2. ^ Collins, Ace (2010). Stories Behind the Greatest Hits of Christmas. Zondervan. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-310-32795-0.