Sunday, December 24, 2017

Let the Lyrics Tell the Story

"Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia, Christ the Savior is born!"

..second verse of Silent Night (Stille Nacht! Helige Nacht!) written by Fr. Joseph Mohr in 1816; music composed by Franz Gruber, 1818. First played on Christmas Eve, 1818, in St. Nicholas Church, Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. Translated into English in 1863 by John Freeman Young.


"Joy to the world! The Lord is come, Let earth receive her king!"
...Joy to the World, written as a lyrical adaptation of Psalm 98 by Isaac Watts in1719.


"O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie! Above the deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by. Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight."

...O Little Town of Bethlehem, written by Phillips Brooks in 1868 after having spent Christmas in Bethlehem in 1866.


"O Holy Night, the stars are brightly shining, it is the night of our dear Savior's birth...Truly he taught us to love one another, His law is love and his gospel is peace."

...O Holy Night (Cantique de Noel) was written by Placide Cappeau in 1847, music composed by Adolphe Adam. Translated from French to English in 1855 by John Dwight, O Holy Night was the first Christmas song ever played live on the radio when Reginald Fessenden, former lab technician for Thomas Edison, transmitted a broadcast from the Brant Rock radio tower in 1906.


"Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the plains, and the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strain. Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!" 

...Angels We Have Heard on High, translated from the original French carol in 1862 by Bishop James Chadwick, England.


May the words of the Christmas season be a blessing to all, sowing songs of hope, joy, light, peace, and love in hearts everywhere.

Merry Christmas!
(photo sources: pixabay, google images)


  1. Kenda, you've chosen to feature some of my very favorite Christmas carols - all with beautiful words that bring the season into focus so well. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family!

    1. These are my favorites, too--so much meaning and beauty in them. And history to them, struck me how so many were written in a fairly close time frame (except for the 18th century Joy to the World). We did have a wonderful Christmas with family. Hope you did as well :-) Wishing all the best!