One of the loveliest songs ever was written for a movie in which Jaleel White plays a chicken. I swear, I’m not making this up.
I’m afraid I have sullied a great song by invoking Urkel. I have only just learned this through Wikipedia. I didn’t know the origins of the song. It’s played a lot at Christmastime. But it was actually written for the 1999 animated film The Quest For Camelot, which happens to feature Jaleel White, along with lots of famous actors. Cary Elwes. Don Rickles. Pierce Brosnan. Jane Seymour. The legendary Sir John Gielgud, for crying out loud. And Jaleel White, who played a chicken.
Oh, no, now I’m really bringing this song down.
So, a lot of artists have recorded this song over the last 15 years. It’s a great showcase for vocalists who want to do a power duet. The original version was performed by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, and I don’t have a compelling reason for passing them over in favor of Josh Groban and Charlotte Church, other than that I think I had heard the song sung by Groban and Church first, back in 2001…when Charlotte Church was 15. Watch this and listen, and you’ve never heard a 15-year-old sound like this. (Ok, so she may have been 16 by the time this video was recorded; I don’t know).
Celine Dion and Josh Groban actually performed this back in 1998 during Grammy Award rehearsals when Groban was just 17, and that really launched his career.
Celine and Josh would later perform it together on many occasions and chart with it a decade later. Andrea Bocelli performed it on tour with former American Idol hopeful and current Smash star Katharine McPhee. Andrea Bocelli and Josh Groban have joined forces to perform it. Christina Aguilera performed it was her protege Chris Mann on The Voice a few months ago, and that actually charted. I saw it live, and it was amazing.
And so on, and so forth. Celine could have racked up her eighth song on the countdown, but she’ll just have to wait.
This rendition, by Groban and Church, didn’t chart, as several others did, but it’s as strong as any other. It’s a gorgeous song, and I don’t mind that this may be considered to be a Christmas song. One of the rules in my still unpublished FAQ is that I don’t rate Christmas songs. I don’t rate classical songs. But this has been released as a pop song by someone, so it’s eligible. Or, at least, that’s my justification. (Yes, I know White Christmas was, too. But that’s definitely a Christmas song).
To be fair, I’ve got to include those other worthy pairings:
Golden Globe-winning, Oscar-nominated, Grammy-nominated Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli:
Celine Dion and Josh Groban:
Andrea Bocelli and Katharine McPhee:
I was just going to provide the link to this one, but it’s surprisingly amazing.
Lara Fabian & Michael Bolton (he can sing classical, really):
It’s worth pointing out that this is yet another song co-written by hit-maker David Foster. It’s time to pause and note all of his countdown efforts thus far: