I’ve been auditioning YouTube singers for the ‘HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS’ song – with surprising results.

Ella (Fitzgerald): too bouncy.

Bing: too low a key for him?

Tony Bennett: OMG, tuning issues! NEXT.

Frank: oddly unaffecting – or have I already had enough of this?

Judy Garland: uh, there’ll be a clip from that soppy old St Louis film, leave that for now, because…

Jamie Cullum’s done a version, and…  it’s worth a call back.

Kelly Clarkson: annoying scooping of the notes – NEXT.

Michael Bublé: sorry mate, glibisimo.

Christina Aguilera: just… NO.

A succession of others: auditioning skills now so honed that I cut them short before their first intake of breath. Quite apart from the singing issues, I’m starting to feel that nobody understands the lyrics.

Oh no, look – Rod Stewart’s had a go… but he keeps it simple and it’s rather lovely.

Relient K – who the heck they? – but I find myself listening to the end and repeating it, the song being irresistible in a kind of Beach Boys / Surf’s Up kind of way. But still looking for that ultimate version.

Time to see what Judy can do…  …  … … oh… (sniff)…  Voice like pure honey. Singing every word like she means it – as well she might, in 1944. Played it again. This time I’m SOBBING. If you think you can handle it, here it is – in the live radio version:

If you now need cheering up, get a copy or download of The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter at a good bookshop or online e.g. here: