Christian Lee Hutson covers “Silent Night”

It’s that time of year: the holiday songs are coming. Christian Lee Hutson, who published To leave earlier this year, could be one of the first musicians to tackle the task. Today, he released his own rendition of “Silent Night,” except it’s, as he says, for loners.

“Some of my favorite songs are Christmas songs, but they’re often about the birth of Jesus or old men riding donkeys to deliver gifts to a baby king,” Hutson said of the song. “Lyrically, they’re all pretty scary, and I imagine this baby holding humanity hostage. So, I wrote my own version of one of my favorites about spending Christmas in Ohio.

He opens the song with moving lines: “Silent night / Over the Rhine / Standing in the queue / Weather report on the radio / 65% chance it’s snowing / I wanna call but I don’t / I wanna call but I don’t,” he sings, capturing the particular grief and isolation that comes with the overwhelming, forced joy of the holiday season. This downtrodden version is appropriate, given that in Uproxx’s 2020 interview with the singer-songwriter, he summed up his music in four words: “Quiet, nostalgic, guilt, forgiveness.” He also named Elliott Smith as his biggest inspiration, explaining: “I learned to play the guitar by learning his songs.”

Listen to his version of “Silent Night” above.

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