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    My new pick for Worst Christmas Recording Ever

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    The other day I was driving to pick up my friend Lady Dawn so we could go to lunch when I heard my new choice for Worst Christmas Recording Ever. It was a version of “Silent Night,” sung by a vaguely country-ish female artist whose voice was just flat-out ugly. It wasn’t that she was off-key or anything; she simply had an unpleasant voice.

    To make it worse, she added some words. Between “Silent night” and the next line (“holy night”), she added, “It was a …,” which made me laugh out loud, which I do not believe was the intended effect. It reminded me too much of a blues singer who will ad-lib “I tell you!” or “Lemme tell you ’bout!” or “I’m singin’!” between lines.

    When I picked up Dawn, I described the song to her and did an impression of what the singer’s voice sounded like to me as reproduced here:

    [Sample]

    Dawn said, “Are you sure it wasn’t Stevie Nicks?” I said, “No, no, I’m pretty sure it was a country singer. She had backup singers that I assume were her sisters or something.”

    When I got home, I checked the radio station’s website and discovered that IT WAS STEVIE NICKS!! My impersonation of her was so adept that Dawn recognized it instantly.

    Here is the song. I encourage you to listen to the whole thing. Does her voice strike anyone else as grating and unlistenable? Does she sound to you, as she does to my mom, like a slowed-down chipmunk? Do the random fills (“Well, it was a!”) make anyone else laugh?

    [“Silent Night,” by Stevie Nicks; vocals by fingernails on a chalkboard]

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