Earlier today, Miss Mussel posted one of her favourite Christmas gag tracks but a little poking around on the interwebs has come up trumps. The man doing the singing is a Nashville studio composer/arranger called Steve M. He gave an interview to The Burnside Writers Collective and explained everything.
The short version is, Steve’s friend bet him that he couldn’t sing a high Bb.
Steve proved him wrong.
I knew I had a long way to go before the high notes, so as I started, I decided to demonstrate everything I had ever heard bad singers do in my career. If I hit the same pitch twice, it would not be the exact same pitch. If I held a long note I would go sharp for a while then flat for a while, never holding a true pitch just as most amateur singers do. I over-emphasized words, I emphasized the wrong syllables and I breathed in awkward places.
The basic tone quality of my own voice did not have to be tampered with too much, I do sound like crap!
[My friend] was laughing, we were silly…[..]..and then we got to the high chorus.
…I knew I could not reach those notes. I can’t reach an F on a normal day. But we were letting off steam, celebrating the end of months of hard work and I got the “superman” syndrome and just decided on the spot to go for it!
To my surprise I actually had some kind of sound up there, but it was obviously not a pleasant sound. [My friend] started laughing uncontrollably which just gave me more encouragement. The highest note was coming, I was already on a D above [the] B flat which is absolutely beyond anything most men can sing but I realized I could not reach the G on “divine” so I switched to a falsetto.
The switch was not a smooth transition and as I came back down my voice was almost spent so I dropped down the octave preparing for the end, which is more subdued. I was really hurting to the point that at the end I gave up singing and recited, “You know it was Dee-vine that night.”
I had just enough voice to sing the last, “O night divine” to which I starting seeing just how flat I could go, and for one final added “bad singer” device, I took a big breath in the middle of a sustaining note on the worse possible syllable and came back in and held it to the end.
There you go folks. Happy Christmas.
The full interview is much, much longer. Go here to read it.