Friday, December 24, 2010

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN Day 24: O Holy Night (Sufjan Stevens)

SONG: O Holy Night
ARTIST: Sufjan Stevens
ALBUM: Songs For Christmas, Vol. 3
AVAILABILITY: CD/MP3 (5-pack of EPs)

"O Holy Night" has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I was excited when I heard that Sufjan Stevens did a version of it. But when I first heard it, I wasn't quite sure what to think. In fact, I was even a little offended. It seemed almost sacrilegiously low-effort and bizarre. But eventually it won me over with its down-to-Earth charm, and now I think it's one of the best arrangements there is. It actually represents the subject matter perfectly. Because people were anticipating the birth of a messiah for centuries; and when they were told that it finally happened, and it was just some poor people in a stable, and he wasn't even planning to overthrow the government or anything, they also couldn't help but wonder: "Is this it?" But it couldn't have happened any other way. And that's the feeling that this version of the song captures, for me. When all of the instruments finally come in for the final chorus, it gives me chills.

So yeah, I just proved that if you don't like Sufjan's version of this song you don't know the true meaning of Christmas. I win!

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