Which Christmas carol do you hate

The most popular Christmas carols

Status: December 21, 2020 10:22 a.m.

From "Silent Night" to "O Tannenbaum": Christmas carols are part of the festival like Christmas trees and gifts. But by the second stanza at the latest, the family singing on Christmas Eve is mostly lost in general humming.

Here to refresh the texts of the most popular German-language Christmas carols as well as background information about their origins.

The best known: "Silent Night, Holy Night"

Probably the most beautiful and popular Christmas carol comes from Austria: "Silent Night". It is said to have been sung for the first time in a church service in Oberndorf near Salzburg on Christmas Eve in 1818.

Joseph Mohr had written the text as a poem two years earlier. In 1818 Mohr worked as an assistant priest in Oberndorf and asked the organist Franz Xaver Gruber to set the poem to music.

"Silent Night" was later translated into countless languages ​​and is now considered the most famous Christmas carol in the world.

"Silent Night, Holy Night" - lyrics and sheet music

Silent Night Holy Night.
Everything sleeps, lonely wakes
Only the faithful sacrosanct couple.
Gentle boy in curly hair,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent Night Holy Night.
Son of God, oh how laughs
Love from your divine mouth,
The hour of salvation strikes us,
Christ in your birth
Christ in your birth.

The sheet music for download


The oldest: "A rose has sprung up"

The melody for "Es ist ein Ros sprung" can already be found in a Catholic hymn book from 1599, together with two stanzas of text. The composer Michael Praetorius expanded the sheet music, the origin of which is unknown, into a choral setting ten years later.

The Protestant from Wolfenbüttel also changed the text of the second stanza into the form known to this day. There are numerous, partly denominational, variants of "Es ist ein Ros sprung".

"Es ist ein Ros sprung" - lyrics and sheet music

A rose has sprung out
tender from one root.
As the ancients sang to us,
the species came from Jesse
And brought a flower
in the middle of the cold winter,
probably for half the night.

The rose that I mean
of which Isaiah says:
It's Maria, the pure one,
who brought us the flower.
From God's eternal counsel
did she give birth to a child
probably for half the night.

The sheet music for download


The youngest: "Every year again"

In 1842, "Every year again" was for the first time in a children's song collection by the Tübingen composer Friedrich Silcher. There are several similar versions of the catchy melody. It should be clear that the Thuringian pastor and poet Wilhelm Hey had already written the text in 1837.

"Every year again" - lyrics and sheet music

Every year again
comes the Christ child
down to earth
where we humans are.

Return with his blessings
one in every house,
goes on all paths
in and out with us.

Stand by your side too
silent and unrecognized,
that it faithfully guide you
on the dear hand.

The sheet music for download


The rewritten: "O you happy"

An old melody with a new text, this is how "O you cheerful" was written in Weimar in 1816. Johannes Daniel Falk, a scholar and writer, had lost four of his seven children in a typhus outbreak. Thereupon he founded an orphanage, which is said to have been cheerful for the time.

VIDEO: O du Merry - The story of a Christmas carol (29 min)

Falk wrote a text that paid tribute to the three great Christian festivals: Christmas, Easter and Pentecost. He borrowed the melody from an Italian fisherman and Mary song. It was not until about ten years later that the second and third stanzas were also rewritten as the Christmas carol.

"O you happy" - lyrics and sheet music

O you happy, o you blessed,
merciful Christmas season.
World was lost
Christ was born
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christendom.

O you happy, o you blessed,
merciful Christmas season.
Christ has appeared
to atone
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christendom.

The sheet music for download


The worldly: "O Christmas tree"

No Jesus, no Maria, no crib: "O Tannenbaum" has become a Christmas classic, although the text only tells of the beauty of the conifers. It comes from the Leipzig teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz, who published the song in a "musical school book" in 1824. However, he borrowed the first stanza from a poem by the pedagogue Joachim August Zarnack. Anschütz also wrote other well-known children's songs such as "All my ducklings" and "Fox, you stole the goose".

"O Tannenbaum" - lyrics and sheet music

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree,
How loyal are your leaves.
You not only green in summer time,
no, even in winter when it snows.
O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree,
How loyal are your leaves.

O Christmas Tree O Christmas Tree,
I like you very much.
How often has it not at Christmas time
a tree of yours makes me delighted.
O Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree,
I like you very much.

The sheet music for download


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Hamburg Journal | 04.12.2019 | 6:00 p.m.