This has long been a favorite carol of mine. I’d no longer say it’s my very favorite, but as a singer, I’m drawn to the power of the vocal line.
Even without English (the song was originally French, so I’m going to assume that’s what Bocelli was singing), you can get a sense of the power of the song, can’t you? And the English words match well, giving it the power to send a chill down your spine if done well. And it can be done so, so well.
The chorus is taken from Luke 2:13-4:
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest”
Or, in Latin, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo!”.
It makes a good song for a soloist, be it male, like David Archuleta:
Or female, like Christina Aguilera:
Or even an acapella group like the Pentatonix:
Finally, a christmas carol designed to show off the vocal range of the singer! It’s surprisingly unpopular considering it’s a showboat song that adapts well to multiple genres, but I did find a Glee version:
(Is it just not cool to stick to the melody line written in the song without adding in extra syncopation just for the sake of changing the rhythm?)
I keep hearing about this Josh Groban guy, but I confess to not knowing much about him. One of the things he’s famous for, apparently, is Christmas carols, so here’s his version:
Which is actually pretty nice, but a little underwhelming for the song, I think.