Welcome to the first artist who is here for her mad skillz rather than for a specific song: you can’t have a list of the best women singer-songwriters without Tracy Chapman on it, duh. And this version of O Holy Night is a perfect showcase for her beautiful voice. Are you calm? If you’re calm, this will suit your mood perfectly. If you’re not calm, listen to this and you will be.
Another nineteenth-century carol today, this time from France, although I’ve heard so many easy-listening renderings of it that if you’d asked me a week ago I would probably have guessed it was a mid-twentieth century American number. This recording is taken from the same performance, on Christmas Eve 2009, as yesterday’s version of We Three Kings, for which I make no apology because it is, once again, perfection. If you heard an actual choir of real angels, it would sound like this.
(Well, OK, actually there is a very slight wobble on the top note towards the end, but since the singers are humans and not angels, and since the sopranos are mostly very little boys, I forgive them completely.)