These soulful classics will bring you Christmas cheer, and maybe even a little peace and goodwill, too.
Tis the season for many joys, including Christmas music. Some of us wait for this all year: the small window of time (about one month) when it’s totally acceptable to sing festive hymns at church, Christmas carols in the car, and “All I want for Christmas is you” in the shower.
But how do you decide which songs should top your Spotify list at this precious time of year? There’s also a lot to listen to and love out there. So the editors at For Her decided to help kickstart your reveling with a list of our favorites: the 11 most incredible, soulful holiday performances of seasonal hymns and songs.
1. “Angels We Have Heard On High”
2. “Silent Night”
Who doesn’t find this song powerful and soothing? Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood, and Reba McEntire bring out the full texture of the hymn in this emotional performance.
3. “He Is Born”
Give it up for these USC Thornton Chamber Singers! Their uplifting rendition of “He Is Born” showcases voices that are light, airy, and even angelic. What better tone for the birth of Baby Jesus? The flute, oboe, and piano accompaniments complete the 2014 Winter Gala performance.
4. “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
This dramatic, polished performance reminds us of the wonders of the human voice. Here the all-female Irish musical ensemble delivers “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” with their signature Celtic flourish on a Dublin stage.
5. “O Holy Night”
David Phelps proves that male vocalists can deliver on these Christmas classics, too. His performance is incredibly moving. You don’t have to watch closely to notice the emotion in his face. He’s feeling this song and we are feeling it, too.
6. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”
We’re back to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but this time, we’ve got them without all of their other accompaniments. The grandiose affect is thrilling.
7. “What Child Is This?”
American musician dancer Lindsey Stirling is a performer who certainly marches to the beat of her own … well, violin. Her spirited performance of “What Child Is This?” features her signature talents on string and on foot. We love that she’s twirling through a wintry wonderland in this video, too. It’s the perfect Christmas-y touch to get you in the seasonal mood.
8. “Behold! A Virgin Shall Conceive”
Here’s something for those with Old World tastes. Listen to “Behold! A Virgin Shall Conceive” directed by Francesco Gamón Olmo and performed by a host of Spanish talents in Madrid. Soprano Pilar Moral is mesmerizing.
9. “O Come All Ye Faithful”
Here’s another example of Mariah Carey and her voice that wows. But apart from gaping at Carey’s raw talent, we love that this video features a duet with her mother, Patricia Carey.
10. “Joy to the World”
Here’s another nod to pop for those of you who love to sing along. This one comes with American roots rock band Train. The video’s international images are a rousing tribute to all the many people who inhabit our world.
11. “Away in a Manger”
Mainstream media may have temporarily forgotten the wonder of Susan Boyle’s voice, but we’re glad she’s back in the spotlight for her new album, A Wonderful World.