Some years ago, I found an mp3 file on my computer that I didn’t recognise — its filename was just a series of letters and numbers. I was going to simply delete it but something told me that I should probably listen to it first. That proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
It turned out to be a rendition of Adolphe Adam’s ‘O Holy Night’ (‘Cantique de Noël’), but not just any old rendition. This one is remarkable. It’s remarkable for being the worst rendition of anything that anybody, anywhere, anywhen has ever performed.
I can’t remember where this file came from — I probably found it on a site like X-Entertainment or The Sneeze — but what I do know is since I rediscovered it in my downloads folder on that wonderful day, I’ve listened to it every Christmas without fail.
I genuinely think this is my favourite Christmas song — I’m not even being facetious, I can’t think of any song that makes me smile as much as I do when I listen to this. There’s a moment — around two minutes in — when you truly cannot see how it could get worse… and then it does. The amazing thing is that by the time you’re thinking that, you’ve already thought the exact same thing two or three times.
‘This could not get any w— oh, it did.’
‘This could not get any w— wow, that’s…’
By two minutes and fifteen seconds you’ll understand why this is the greatest Christmas song ever recorded. I only wish I knew who the singer is and what — dear God, WHAT — convinced him that he could hit that note at two-minutes fifty-eight.