A cappella supergroup Pentatonix has been captivating audiences for years, thanks to their incredible voices and charismatic performances. After the group swept NBC's “The Sing-Off” in 2011, this Texas quintet consisting of vocalists Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Kevin Olusola, and Matt Sallee has been writing music and performing around the world. They've become especially renowned for their performance of holiday standards.
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is an English traditional Christmas carol that dates all the way back to the 16th century. The transitive use of the verb rest in the sense "to keep, cause to continue, to remain" is typical of 16th- to 17th-century language. The carol is referred to in Charles Dickens' 1843 A Christmas Carol: "... at the first sound of 'God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!', Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singer fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost."
From the Atlantic :
Amid cups of cocoa and romantic snowfalls and sparkly pine trees, it’s easy to forget that Christmas, like Christianity itself, is a little dark. The merriment is really existential relief: Humanity will, after all, be saved—from evil, and from ourselves.
In its best renditions, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” captures this haunting side of the holiday. The song brings tidings of comfort and joy wrapped in a minor melody, a reminder that Jesus has come “to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.” It’s a carol about the high spiritual stakes of Christmas—after all, if not for the birth of Jesus, Christians believe, humanity would be lost.
At least in America, though, radio listeners want a little more of that peppermint bubblegum in December. Many of the classic and most popular versions of “God Rest Ye” are musically and nostalgically pleasing, but they minimize the song’s ominous texture. Nat King Cole. Ella Fitzgerald. Even the Barenaked Ladies, who turned the song into an undeniable toe-tapper in 2004.
Pentatonix performed the song live on the Today Show in 2016 and it's a magical interpretation. Listen to it below.