Eva Cassidy’s ‘new’ Christmas song

Eva Cassidy fans from all over the world are surprised and delighted by the unexpected appearance of her performance of ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful.’ It was known that Eva had this Christmas song in her repertoire. In 1981 Eva Cassidy and her friends Ned Judy, Mark Merella, Larry Melton and David Lourim founded the band Easy Street. As the name implied, they mainly played quiet listening music. In 1981 the group performed twice at The Market Inn in their hometown Bowie on Christmas day and Boxing Day. Eva’s serious presentation (which usually got in her way) combined perfectly with the traditional Christmas songs they played: ‘Silent Night’, ‘O Come, All You Faithful’ and ‘Go, Tell It On The Mountains’. Eva loved Christmas music; she sang Christmas repertoire every year well before Christmas.

In the 1990s she performed light-hearted Christmas music with Chuck Brown, the extroverted Godfather or Go-Go. She recorded two Christmas songs with Brown: ‘The Christmas Song’ and ‘That Spirit Of Christmas’. They both appeared on The Spirit Of Christmas (1999). Eva Cassidy’s version of ‘It’s Not The Presents (Under My Tree, It’s Your Presence Next To Me)’ written by Billy Poore and Tex Rabinowitz was intended for Linda Ronstadt, who never recorded it. That’s why Eva Cassidy’s rendition has become the original one. (Another Rockin’ Christmas, 1995).

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy

Eva Cassidy’s ‘new’ version of ‘O Come, All You FaithFul’ is simple, but beautiful. The singer accompanies herself on her guitar, in the background you hear a second guitarist (probably Keith Grimes). Eva sings the first two verses (of eight). The source of the song is not entirely clear. The original text was written in Latin (Adeste fideles), old texts point to Cistercian monks. John Reading, Handel and Gluck are mentioned as possible composers. The first English translation was published by John Francis Wade in his collection Cantus Diversi in 1751. Nine years later, ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ was included in the canon Evening Offices of the Church. Nowadays it is a popular Christmas song that has been translated into many languages.

O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant

O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem

Come and behold him, born the King of Angels

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation

O sing, all ye citizens of Heaven above

Glory to God in the highest

O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord

Eva Cassidy and Christmas music seem to be made for each other. The last song that Eva sang was ‘Silent Night’: she harmonized it with Marcy Marxer, Grace Griffith and her mother Barbara. Eva called this home choir her Angel Brigade. It was a few weeks before Christmas 1996 when Eva didn’t have much time to live.

10 responses to “Eva Cassidy’s ‘new’ Christmas song”

  1. Busisiwe Yiliwe says:

    Wow! Beautiful rendition in a beautiful voice… Thank you Eva Cassidy

  2. Jodie says:

    A voice so angelic! Thank God she left a beautiful legacy, her music! She never dosappoints and always touches my heart!

  3. Fred Borg says:

    The angelic voice of Eva Cassidy. How appropriate this song to be found and published during Christmas season. As always Eva makes this beautiful Christmas standard her own. Thank You ECFC!!

  4. Chip says:

    think if Eva had a bit more time, she would have out Linda’d Ms Ronstadt

  5. Kent Dykes says:

    That’s was so beautiful, I just love her music.

  6. Lee Colless says:

    Oh my goodness, I thought I had every cd made of Eva. I NEEEED this to add to my collection. She’s amazing. I love her so much. I named my daughter Emilee’s middle Eva, after Eva Cassidy. 💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

  7. Another beautiful Eva song

  8. David says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

  9. Julie Kramer says:

    Eva is my favorite female singer, her voice lives on; such a blessing.

  10. James Roberts says:

    Gorgeous rendition of this beautiful carol…

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