“O Holy Night” done right

When it comes to “O Holy Night,” I have some rather definite opinions about what I like and what I don’t.

Here’s what I don’t like: when singers throw in all kinds of trills and frills and extra la-la-las.  (I’m sure there are technical singing terms for these things.)  I just find it … distracting, I guess, as if it’s more about the singer than the song.  Unfortunately, most renditions I’ve heard fit into this category.  I guess, on one level, I can understand the temptation.  It’s a real bear of a song to sing, and if you can pull it off, you probably want to work it to the max.  Still, most versions of it are so full of extra vocal flourishes that they just make me cringe.

Thankfully, into the void steps Josh Groban.  Have you heard his rendition?  It’s perfect: pure, clean, straight up, highlighting the beauty of the melody and the lyrics.  His voice is amazing, but he lets it take a back seat to the song.  I appreciate it when an artist has the confidence to do that.

I’ve heard “O Holy Night” scads of times during my life, but I’ve never really listened to the lyrics of the second verse until Josh came along.   They are truly beautiful.

Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease.

To that I say: AMEN.

And thank you, Josh, for helping me remember it.

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