by Leisl Leighton
Asking me what my favourite Christmas carol or song is, is like asking me which is my favourite child, or favourite pet. But, given you’ve asked, I’ve tried to narrow it down.
I used to be in a madrigals group called the Christmas Belles (yes, I know, don’t groan at me! I didn’t name it.) We sang in shopping centres, retirement homes, hospitals, nursing homes, special functions etc and it was nothing but four female voices acapella. I loved doing this. I was a descant and the songs I loved to sing most were the ones with really tricky harmonies (like “The Virgin Slumber Song”) or the ones with soaring descants (like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Come All Ye Faithful”.)
But I think the one I enjoyed singing the most was one that always brought so many smiles to the faces of the elderly at the retirement villages/nursing homes and the children in the hospitals, and that was “O Holy Night”. I love the simplicity of the verse and then the soaring build of the chorus. Great to sing, wonderful to listen to when done with parts. It has to be one of my favourites. I really love this acapella version: