Advent song for December 4: O Holy Night

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.

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Advent Carol for December 13: O Holy Night

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.)