O Holy Night: A Song That Brings Forth Many Precious Memories [25 Days of Holiday Songs]

Hey everyone! Thank you so much for the positive responses to the “25 Days of Holiday Songs”! If this your first time joining me on the challenge, you can read the posts from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 by clicking on each day.

I also want to announce that I have created a playlist on Spotify. It features songs mentioned during the challenge as well as some recommendations. You can check it out here or below:

Moving on to today’s post, guest writer Amy Barnes picked a classical Christmas hymn. But, the memories behind this Christmas song is so deep and bittersweet. It will touch the hearts of whoever reads it. 

Click to read Amy’s heartwarming memories and her Christmas song pick!

O Holy Night. Three words. I only hear those words sung in the deep, cigarette-scarred voice of my maternal grandmother. It was her favorite holiday song even above Good King Wenceslas. She always lent her deep alto and hummed it in store aisles.

As a family, we sang holiday songs around the piano like a modern-day Little Women family. O Holy Night was her song. While I get chills from the Mariah Carey version, I can still my grandmother’s voice thirty years after her passing.  

I wish I had asked why that particular song was her favorite. Was it depression-era frugality and constant fear there wouldn’t be enough leading her to belt out “and the soul felt its worth?” I looked up the song’s origins even as I guessed she didn’t know the song’s history. Hymns and holiday songs were moments to express joy and peace and worship. She wouldn’t have known about the French songwriter and that the song was banned by the church. She might not have known of the truce between French and German fighters when another tenor broke out into a battlefield rendition. The song was simply a holiday gift.

Knowing the song’s history couldn’t bring me closer to her or the holiday as her simple piano-accompanied version. When her voice dropped the song below the melody line, there was a depth and gravity to the words.

We sang the song at her funeral on a bitter, Midwest afternoon. The lines that stood out at those moments became “a thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks a new and joyous morn”. As the cold winds blew around us, I could hear her voice echoing across the prairie once more. O Holy Night. And it was.


Here are some other popular versions of the classical hymn. Which one is your favorite?

This Post Has 28 Comments

  1. I love how theres so many different versions of christmas songs! A version for everyone to enjoy! Great post! 🙂 x

  2. Nice collection of “O Holy Night”s. I didn’t realize there were that many by popular artists.

  3. Songs indeed help us to bring old back memories not only that , the type of songs that we listen are the one that tell what timeline or decade we belong

  4. This song has always brought up a lot of emotions for me also – it is such a beautiful song. I love your blog post theme – I will definitely check out your other days, and look forward to following the rest of your Christmas song posts!

  5. It’s definitely one of my favorite Christmas hymns. And there are so many different amazing artists who do it. I will have to check out the Michael Crawford one. I didn’t know he had done a version.

  6. “O Holy Night. Three words. I only hear those words sung in the deep, cigarette-scarred voice of my maternal grandmother. It was her favorite holiday song”’what a great memory to have. As a child I remember thinking this time of year is the best of them all. As an adult that changes but the memories never do.

  7. I still can’t believe it’s almost Christmas here come the jingles.

  8. I love these songs! I’ve always been big on Christmas music. These are some nice versions.

  9. These totally have me in the Christmas spirit! Nothing better than Christmas music!

  10. Mariah Carey sings good Xmas song, no doubt about it. Thanks for sharing your story with us about your grandmother. I guess you sure have some connection when you listen to her favorite so

  11. Wonderful song and equally wonderful memory you shared of your grandmother!

    1. Would you like to write about it and I can feature it on my blog?

  12. OMG! What a great recap! This is the most wonderful time of the year!

  13. Oh I love this! I am all about the christmas songs! So festive and gets me right in the spirit!

  14. I love O Holy Night! It’s such a classic and beautiful song. The perfect background music for a Christmas party. 🙂

  15. I loveeee Christmas music! It helps make it feel like the holidays specially when the weather in LA is super warm and it’s not cold and cozy like other areas.
    XO Andie
    http://andiesparkles.com

  16. What a fantastic playlist! I just love Angels we have heard on High by Josh Groban and Brian Mcknight.

  17. I love all these songs. Jingle bell rock is one of my favorites

  18. This is one amazing song and continues to give me goosebumps every time I hear it. The best version is when I sing with the choir live. Other than that each one of these can be great at different times.

  19. Great if you celebrate what this song is about. Many who are into this while enjoy the music suggested here.

  20. I just love Christmas. It brings out so much fun memories, flashbacks and the nostalgic feeling of merriment and gift giving with family. Great playlist!

  21. These are great list of Songs for Christmas Season. I love most of the songs in the list.

  22. Whenever i think of Christmas OH Holy Night is one of the song that pop up in my mind. I have heard a few different rendition of this song and it is all sounds good.

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