Silent Night is a simple song. It tells a simple story. It features a simple tune. It offers simple harmonies.
That is why so many modern versions of Silent Night drive me crazy. It is just so often very over done (Look up Beyonce on YouTube — it’s an ear-bleeder).
That is why I like this more subdued traditional take just released by Home Free:
What I like about Home Free is that they take sacred songs seriously.
There is nothing remotely secular about Silent Night.
We love secular Christmas music and feature a lot of it but sacred Christmas music really does not belong in the hands of those who do not respect it.
Frank Sinatra very famously detested Christmas music. But an artist of his time just could not avoid Christmas music. Today there is an entire generation of music fans who never knew Frank Sinatra when he was alive and even they can tell the difference between his Christmas music and nearly everything else.
Of Sinatra’s best loved songs of Christmas none of the sacred classics really make the list of anyone’s favorites — just the secular stuff like Jingle Bells.
You can tell when an artist is just mailing it in. Silent Night is not a song, simple as it is, to just fake.
Now, if we’re really being traditional this song should be performed with guitars, as it was originally. The history of Silent Night, after all, is like the song — simple.
Hailing from early 19th century Germany Silent Night was first played in a church on a snowy Christmas Eve that had nothing but guitars to accompany it (there’s a legend about mice that ate the bellows of the pipe organ in the church behind this story).
But can’t you picture it? Snow. Christmas Eve. Germany. Silent Night. Guitars.
We’re sure the first performance of this song left many in that little church pondering the Christmas story in a serious way.
We believe modern performers can sing Silent Night. We just don’t believe all of them should.