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My Favorite Christmas Song December 17, 2008

Posted by markgeil in Music.
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My favorite Christmas song is a carol composed in 1847. Some sources say it was the first piece of music broadcast on the radio. The melody is a bit unusual, in 6/8 time but an almost languid pace that allows the instruments to steadily swell to a triumphant finish. Vocalists can wail on the song, which may be why it’s been recorded by the likes of Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Harry Connick Jr., Whitney Houston, Michael Crawford, oh, let’s just stop there. It’s been recorded a few too many times for my tastes, and despite its prevalence I’ve yet to identify the definitive version.

The reason I like the song so much is that more than any other Christmas carol, it describes the appropriate response to the birth of Christ. There is joy at Christmas, and happiness, and warmth. My favorite song even speaks of this “thrill of hope” that I feel every season, in anticipation of the dawning Christmas Day. At some point though, we must recognize the perfection of the Christ, the grace that He brings in his extraordinary birth, and our place in it all, and we must fall on our knees.

That’s the line that does it for me every time, in my favorite Christmas song, “O Holy Night”.

This Christmas, remember:

Fall on your knees

O Hear the angel voices

O night, divine, it is the night, when Christ was born!

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