The Greatest Christmas Album Ever

We all carry around in our heads the perfect combination of our favourite musicians, imagining the perfect “jam session that never was.” Except, for me, it was.

Here is a portion of the description of the album that resulted, from the All Music Guide:

Originally a CBC/NPR radio broadcast from Christmas ‘93, this summit session featuring some of the most unique female performers and voices in the world … is an atmospheric treasure. While individual performances shine, the ensemble work is particularly stellar.

The album is Count Your Blessings, and the voices are Holly Cole, Rebecca Jenkins, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Jane Siberry, and Victoria Williams.

I dare you to listen to Rebecca Jenkins sing the opening lines of the title track, Count Your Blessings [420K MP3], without a tear coming to your eye. If it does not, I fear you are stone-hearted.

The piano at the opening of Silent Night [640K MP3] by Tim Ray, infuses enough invention into the song that all of your elementary school experiences of it may be purged. And it only gets better from there: these are five voices that are meant to be heard together, and this track is the ultimate expression of that. I’m not a big one for the religiously tinged songs, but 5:25 of this Silent Night and I’m in the creche with the myrrh ready to sign on.

Christmas season or not, if you are in need of a genuine music upliftment, you owe it to your soul to have this album in your collection.


Johnny's picture
Johnny on December 23, 2004 - 13:54 Permalink

Alas, no tears. I’ve made an appointment with the cardiologist to see if, in fact, my heart is made of stone.

Art Wong's picture
Art Wong on May 16, 2005 - 21:44 Permalink

I heard the album yesterday while looking for Mary Margaret O’Hara’s material. I am not a Christmas music listener but was amazed at the harmony, blend and purity of voice. Wouldn’t think there was much time spent in preparation or rehearsals, however the results are magic.

No need to wait for Christmas to play this gem. I believe you are right about being greatest.


mikeypod's picture
mikeypod on December 21, 2005 - 01:16 Permalink

hey there!

I just discovered your blog while searching for this album.

I had this CD years ago, and loaned it to a friend and haven’t seen it for years. I was going through holiday music in my mind for a holiday episode of my podcast that I want to record tonight, and the song Count Your Blessings would be a perfect way to start the show. I am desperate. Is there any chance of you sending me the MP3 of the song? The clip you posted has caused me to thirst even more for its sweetness. I’ll be glad to give you a shout on my show as well!