Sideglances
by SARAH GREENE
Aug 03, 2013 | 732 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
HOW IT IS that the “dog days” of summer turn a Texan’s thoughts to cooler days ahead has been my subject in this space on a number of occasions. This time I am thinking of a Christmas carol I sung as a child, in German, without realizing what it was. I refer to O Tannenbaum.

The Tannenbaum is a fir tree (Die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum).

I learned that more Christmas trees today are spruce, Scotch pine, cedar or some other evergreen.

But the qualities of the evergreen have inspired the composition of several Tannenbaum songs in German over the years.

The best known version was penned in 1824 by a Leipzig organist named Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune. The first known “Tannenbaum” song lyrics date back to 1550. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1573-1639) goes in part:

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

wie treu sind deine Blätter!

Du grünst nicht nur

zur Sommerzeit,

Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!

Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit

Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!

Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

THE ENGLISH version below is a literal translation, not the traditional English lyrics for the song. There are at least 12 English versions of the carol.

O Christmas Tree

Version 1

Author unknown

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are your branches!

In beauty green will always grow

Through summer sun and winter snow.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,

How lovely are your branches!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,

You are the tree most loved!

How often you give us delight

In brightly shining Christmas light!

.. . . .

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,

Your beauty green will teach me

That hope and love will ever be

The way to joy and peace for me.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,

Your beauty green will teach me.

O Christmas Tree

English Version 2

Author unknown

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

How steadfast are your branches!

Your boughs are green in summer’s clime

And through the snows of wintertime.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

How steadfast are your branches!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

What happiness befalls me when oft

at joyous Christmas-time

Your form inspires my song and rhyme.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

What happiness befalls me.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet