This has been spreading like wildfire around my college recently, even though it turns out that it's been on the Internet since at least 2004. Have you heard the really bad version of "O Holy Night" yet?
(I'll link to it here until I can figure out the code to embed a little mp3 player thingy on this blog.)
If you haven't heard it, hit the link and be prepared to cringe. It's a beautifully-done backing track, but the singing is, umm, less than stellar (especially the part at the end at the end that goes really high).
A student brought this in to improv class on Thursday, and, like many first-time hearers, I laughed so hard that I cried. The same student also took it into theory class yesterday morning, and that prof not only played it for the class, but she also put it in the CD player at the beginning of scholarship auditions and tried to convince a few people that maybe it was a student who couldn't make the auditions and had submitted a CD instead. (Nobody really bought the story, but much cringing ensued.)
So when I came home yesterday, I had to do some research on the clip. Everyone was wondering the same thing: Was this real or a joke? After all, you need look no farther than Omazing Grace or Star Wars Trumpet Girl to realize that there are people out there with little talent that nonetheless perform, get recorded and end up on the Internet.
My search took me to the site of a Georgia-based worship leader named Fred McKinnon, who first posted the clip three years ago (and was sometimes mistakenly credited with being the singer himself!). About a month ago, he managed to discover the actual singer and got him to tell all. In a nutshell, the guy, "Steve M.", is a Nashville-based writer, producer and studio musician (but not a trained singer) who wrote the background track for a "real" singer, and after that singer made his recording, Steve and his engineer were messing around in the studio and made the spoof track, which must have leaked to the Internet after the record company was bought out and its assets were being archived by the new owners.
So there you have it. Have a good laugh with this one, and may your day be merrier and brighter than this track would suggest.
Maybe this guy should have just stuck to singing: A Salvation Army bell-ringer in Indiana was busted for shoplifting Christmas ornaments from Wal-Mart while on his break. He was singing "The First Noel" as he did so (but it has not been determined whether he was on- or off-key).