Written for 1944’s Meet Me In St. Louis, Judy Garland was to sing the song to cheer up a child and reassure her that the future might – only might – be better. It was deemed too depressing and jollied up slightly, but the overall message of the song is still that of looking towards a future brighter than present circumstances and taking solace in togetherness.
Leave it to a vocalist as versatile as Tori Amos to bring out the innate sadness of the song without resorting to maudlin gimmickry.
Fun fact: this is one of the few Tori Amos songs where she doesn’t mention her vajay-jay. Unless I’ve missed something…