For her second Christmas album, Merry Christmas II You, Mariah Carey wrote four new original songs, each reflecting a different side of the Christmas holidays and celebration.
The religious aspect of Christmas was covered on “One Child,” Mariah’s first collaboration with the famous score composer and producer Marc Shaiman. Mariah wrote the song from the point of view of a storyteller narrating the story of Jesus from conception to birth.
As if actually narrating a fairytale to an audience of children (Mariah was pregnant with her twins at the time), she begins by telling us how Mary received the news of Jesus’s conception by the Angel and how she and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem looking for a place for her to give birth. The music and her delicate breathy vocals create the magical atmosphere.
On the second verse she tells of the star guiding shepherds and men to the manger in adoration. By this time the music has become more serious and the vocals fuller in a crescendo leading to the glorious belting climax
Throughout the choir of kids recalls the one on “Jesus Born on this Day” keeping the song geared towards an audience of children and reeling it in the spirit of innocence that pervades it.
“One Child” is an epic moment on the album. The music is meticulously crafted to give shine to the story and making Christmas all about Jesus and the story of salvation for mankind. Among the bells and whistles and festiveness it is nice to remember what the true spirit of Christmas is, and Mariah was able to make it simple and real with this beautiful song.