Christmas Top Fives: “Angels We Have Heard On High”

Christmas Top Fives is a series where I take one beloved carol and run down my personal top five versions of it. Read earlier installments here. Today, I’m covering one of my all-time favorites! I will provide links to four favorite renditions, then embed my absolute favorite here (for ease of loading on slow browsers).

VeggieTales (featuring Palmy): What’s that you say? I already reviewed the album this song comes from last week, even spotlighting this particular track on it? Well, obviously it’s time to spotlight it again! “Gloooo…. woah-oh-oh-oh-oh….woah-oh-oh-oh-ohria” to you too!

Michael W. Smith: Remember when Michael W. Smith was still making exciting, inventive pop music? No, think further back. Think way back to his first Christmas album, released in 1989. Okay, so maybe the vocals could be more polished, but as a producer… I mean this is back when the guy was throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. And it’s totally epic.

The Piano Guys: When the Piano Guys cover something, you know it’s going to be unique, and it’s going to be awesome. This one is no exception. Even though you know the video is just them demonstrating how it was made and not a real live performance, it’s still mesmerizing.

Gabe Scott (instrumental): This gorgeous hammered dulcimer rendition (with a string quartet in the background), is an instrumental interlude on Bebo Norman’s Christmas album From the Realms of Glory. Gabe Scott does the honors, and his lush, lovely take on the carol would put a tear in Rich Mullins’s eye. I just wish it were three times longer.

Billy Gilman: I’m not here to discuss the rest of Billy’s career, but can we agree that this is possibly the best, purest version of “Angels We Have Heard On High” out there?



The Twelve Essential Tracks of Christmas, Day 6: Mark Lowry and the GVB’s “Mary Did You Know?”

Some songs are born great. Some achieve greatness. Some have greatness obnoxiously and incorrectly declared upon them.

This is one of those songs that was born great. And this is still the best version.

Mark Lowry and the Gaither Vocal Band’s “Mary Did You Know”

Christmas Top Fives: “The Little Drummer Boy”

Some people seem to dislike this particular carol with the passion of a thousand Christmas light bulbs, but I’ve always loved it. (No comment on how much of that attachment is due to sentimental childhood memories of that Rankin Bass special!) No matter how many times I hear it, somehow it always strikes me fresh. Of course, it helps if it’s performed well. Read on to find out who we are featuring today… Continue reading “Christmas Top Fives: “The Little Drummer Boy””

Christmas Top Fives: “Go Tell It On the Mountain”

This will kick off a new Christmas series here at the blog. I choose a Christmas carol and share my personal top five renditions of it. The fun part is where you come in and tell me why your favorite version is better than all of them! I’d love to hear a version of a carol I’ve never heard before. Hopefully I’ll introduce someone else to a new version of one of their favorites as well.

So, let’s start with one of my all-time faves, “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” of which there really aren’t any BAD versions out there, but some do stand taller than the rest. Today’s featured artists are… Continue reading “Christmas Top Fives: “Go Tell It On the Mountain””