My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. I grew up listening to Christmas albums on the stereo at this time of year with George Beverly Shea, Tennessee Earnie Ford, Patsy Cline, Doris Day, Frank Sinatra even Elvis. Everyone who is a top singer puts out a Christmas album. Even Jews like Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond. And they've all sung this song. Whether sung or insturmental this is by far one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
Some artists take the time to lend their version dignity, as this is a song that should not be rushed. Others phone in there their take on it. Barbara Mandrell and Celine Dion have excellent performances of it and Carrie Underwoods on her T.V. special the other night was well done. No matter who sings this song it just sends shivers up my spine and a tear to my eye. It has that strong of an effect on me.
Last night we watched the Trans-Siberian Orchestra special on PBS. Not sure how many years this has aired, but Michael Crawford's rendition of this song just blew me away. He has the purest tenor voice that can reach to the raftors and sustain it for near eternity with only a hint of vibrato. Truly he puts Josh Groban and even Pavaroti to shame on this song. It's amazing for a song to be so beautiful and meaningful no matter if sung by woman, man, soprano, alto (Karen Carpenter), tenor or deepest bass.
Still when the song comes to mind I hear George Beverly Shea. What you grow up with kind of sticks with you.