Tag Archives: Christmas music

Christmas Eve: Silent Night

Silent Night (Stille Nacht in German, Silens Nox in Latin) is perhaps the most beloved Christmas Carol. It was composed in 1818 by Franz Guber, an organist and schoolmaster, to lyrics by Father Joseph Mohr of the St. Nicholas parish in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 and since the organ was broken, the only musical accompaniment was the guitar. The popularity of the song spread and the version commonly used today comes from a translation in 1859. John Freeman Young, serving as an Episcopal priest at Trinity Church in New York City, translated and changed the tempo of the song. The original rendition by Gruber was more like a dance tune and sung faster. Young made into a slower lullaby style that is the most common version today. Because it has been so widely translated, it is the one Christmas carol that is known worldwide.

In Austria, Silent Night is not heard until Christmas Eve, usually around 9 p.m. Then it is played on the radio once an hour and of course during church services.  Enjoy this wonderful carol. Merry Christmas!

 

Christmas Music for your Saturday

Christmas Time In The City
Photo: Alex Grichenko(publicdomainpictures.net)

Not sure what the weather is like where you are, but it is chilly where I am today with temps in the 30’s and low 40’s. A perfect day for a nice hot cup of tea, coffee or cocoa. And listening to some good Christmas music. Happy Saturday everyone.

(Note-YouTube creators now restrict playing of music away from YouTube. By clicking on the link, it will take you to YouTube. Sadly you may have endure some ads. Sorry about that)

A Good Hour of good old classic Christmas songs

The Christmas Song (Nat King Cole)

As we draw closer to Christmas Day, songs that remind us of the various aspects of it fill the air. Some are sacred, some are fun, and some are just satirical or even worse in some cases. Not the case with Nat King Cole. It is a wonderful rendition of a timeless classic. Enjoy.

(Important note: Due to license restrictions, for some music and videos you must now click to view on YouTube. Sorry about that but that is the way it is. Sadly, you may have to see some advertising before it starts unless you have used extensions to block them from appearing even if you are allowed to click and view it here.)

Christmas Eve:Silent Night (Mannheim Steamroller)

Silent Night(Stille Nacht in German, Silens Nox in Latin) is perhaps the most beloved Christmas Carol. It was composed in 1818 by Franz Guber, an organist and schoolmaster, to lyrics by Father Joseph Mohr of the St. Nicholas parish in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. It was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 and since the organ was broken, the only musical accompaniment was the guitar. The popularity of the song spread and the version commonly used today comes from a translation in 1859. John Freeman Young, serving as an Episcopal priest at Trinity Church in New York City, translated and changed the tempo of the song. The original rendition by Gruber was more like a dance tune and sung faster. Young made into a slower lullaby style that is the most common version today. Because it has been so widely translated, it is the one Christmas carol that is known worldwide.

In Austria Silent Night is not heard until Christmas Eve, usually around 9 p.m. Then it is played on the radio once an hour and of course during church services.

There are many renditions of this simple tune from simple solo to full ensemble. Mannheim Steamroller made a version for their first Christmas album in 1984. And it still enthralls many who hear it for the first or perhaps the tenth time.

Christmas Music for Your Friday

As we count down the days till Christmas Day next Friday, here are some popular tunes of the holiday for you. Enjoy!

And the ending of that all time favorite It’s A Wonderful Life.

 


 

For your Friday:Judy Garland-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

As we open up this Christmas season, here is a classic for your Friday afternoon. Here is Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”  Enjoy and have a nice Friday.

 


Christmas Music:The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days of Christmas song poster Image: Xavier Romero-Frias(Wikimedia)

The Twelve Days of Christmas is a rare song in the pantheon of Christmas music. Most songs follow a certain pattern of a beginning, middle, and end but this song is cumulative meaning each verse builds on the previous one until the end is reached and then counts back down to the beginning to end the tune. It is unclear what the exact origins of the song are or what it was originally meant to mean. Some argue that it was a children’s memory game, which considering how the lyrics are laid out does make sense. It is also suggested French in origin.

The song was likely around for quite a while before it was printed in 1780 in a British children’s book called Mirth Without Mischief. It was presented as a memory game for children to play but had no music accompaniment. The song grew in popularity and became part of the English Christmas tradition for many kids. There are some variations that use ten rather than twelve but the most widely accepted version of the song uses twelve days. The twelve days are generally from Christmas to Epiphany (Twelfth Day) depending upon when you count it. Most count from Christmas Day but some the day after. Gifts varied in the different versions but the one most people are now familiar with was published in 1909 with composer Frederic Austin fitting the words to the melody heard today.

While most people consider the song and the gifts non-religious, there are some who argue the song was used to train children in Catholicism when it was banned in England (1588-1829). There is little evidence to support this claim and it is noted that none of the lyrics indicate anything different between Catholic and Protestant. Most Catholic religious dismiss the notion of it being a tool for Catholic catechism as well.

The song is also used as an economic barometer of sorts. Often it used, mostly for fun, to price the gifts to see how they cost in the past and now. Some are a bit tricky to calculate these days but can approximate though pricing ten lords a leaping is a head scratcher for most but the cost of 10 male ballet dancers will fit the bill.

There are many popular renditions out there but here is a recent one by country singer Sara Evans and her daughters. Enjoy!