O Holy Night

"O Holy Night" ("Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877), an accomplished amateur. Cappeau was asked to write a Christmas poem by a parish priest. I have included two ensemble versions of it below. Let me know which one you liked best. For fun you can play them in unison.

Celtic Woman

Il Divo

Which rendition moved you the most?


  1. [Low, moaning sigh.]

    Well, I cried more for the girls, but I could not understand the guys in the second half and they lost me. I think it's a guy's song, though. It's a song for a King, I think, and I like it sung deep and hard.

    Anyway - thanks for the cry. I needed it and praise the One Who is worthy.

  2. I think I like the Celtic Women version... I like the angelic nature of it. Though I see codepoke's point about it being a "song for the King" and it being appropriate to sing it deep and hard.

    I guess that speaks to the genius of the music... it moves us either way.

  3. you can hear the strain in a tenor's voice... the power of falling to one's knees in the presence of the Lord... this song is work for a guy!

    And that's what makes the Il Divo version so impactful. Or maybe it's because that's how I remember it when I was a kid. Or, maybe it's because I'm a guy. Thank you though, both were a blessing.

  4. My wife and I listened again this morning.. I recommend it.. a great way to start your day.. I may listen every day.. and for some reason I liked Il Divo better this time.

  5. I liked Il Divo. It's more full--both the male voices and the background choir.

    For both of them, it makes me a little sad to see the song sung in such pomp and circumstance. On the one hand, it IS a celebratory remembrance. On the other, I don't know--the expensive lights and clothes and all feels very far removed from the humble circumstances of the birth. Yes, there were heavenly angels in all their splendor, but appearing to ordinary people, singing to shepherds.

    So, maybe I'm saying the version I would like best is the one where a beautifully dressed group of amazing singers goes under the bridge and uses their gifts to touch some homeless people.....

    When I set aside my pickiness, pessimism and criticalness (and I can--I just have to get those things out of my system to be able to do so), it's the Il Divo that stirred me the most.

  6. Well, I gotta say that I much preferred the Celtic Woman version...the purity of the voices with very little to no vibrato matches my sense of the beauty of the song which reflects the quiet beauty of the holy night.

    I know we often hear big versions of the song (especially with its high note), but the Il Divo version was just too bombastic for me (that's for me...totally fine if others enjoy it!). Plus the first guy who sings? He's singing pretty flat. Now I tend to sing flat, too, but I'm not a world renowned professional performer!

    One last thing. Did anyone else notice that at about 2:30 in, when the camera is zooming in on Il Divo, the backdrop lighting looks just like one of the guys from ZZTOP looking over the proceedings. Really. Check it out.


  7. Both reditions are good, but I think I prefer Josh Groban's version. It's not the best recording on yutube, but it doesn't seem quite as overproduced as the other two to my ears either.



I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply.
You can click here to see my comment policy.