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Monday, December 21, 2009

German Christmas Traditions: Christmas Carols

I remember when I was little and we sang the German Christmas Carols.

Most of the time, I really didn't know what I was saying.

Okay, so I didn't know what I was saying at all while singing them.
But that's beside the point.

When I think of Christmas these songs are some of the first that come to mind.

O Tannenbaum
Only Christmas song I only know in German and NOT in English.



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!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.

O du fröhliche
I don't know what it is about this song, but I feel calm and happy when I hear/sing it.



DEUTSCH
Johannes Daniel Falk, 1816

O du fröhliche, o du selige,
Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit!
Welt ging verloren,
Christ ist geboren,
Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!

O du fröhliche, o du selige,
Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit!
Christ ist erschienen,
Uns zu versöhnen,
Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!

O du fröhliche, o du selige,
Gnadenbringende Weihnachtszeit!
Himmlische Heere
Jauchzen dir Ehre,
Freue, freue dich, o Christenheit!

ENGLISH (lit. prose)

O you merry, o you blessed,
Merciful Christmastide!
The world was lost,
Christ was born,
Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom!

O you merry, o you blessed,
Merciful Christmastide!
Christ appeared,
To reconcile us,
Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom!

O you merry, o you blessed,
Merciful Christmastide!
Heavenly hosts,
Exult your honor,
Rejoice, rejoice o Christendom!

Kling Glöckchen
Again, this one just makes me happy, but more in a giddy way.



DEUTSCH

Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling!
Laßt mich ein, ihr Kinder!
Ist so kalt der Winter!
Öffnet mir die Türen!
Laßt mich nicht erfrieren!
Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling!

Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling!
Mädchen, hört, und Bübchen,
Macht mir auf das Stübchen!
Bring euch viele Gaben,
Sollt euch dran erlaben!
Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling!

Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling!
Hell erglühn die Kerzen,
Öffnet mir die Herzen,
Will drin wohnen fröhlich,
Frommes Kind, wie selig!
Kling, Glöckchen, klingelingeling!
Kling, Glöckchen, kling! ENGLISH

Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!
Let me in, you kids!
So cold is the winter!
Open the doors for me!
Don't let me freeze!
Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!

Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!
Girls, listen, and boys,
Open up the room for me!
I bring you many gifts,
You should enjoy them!
Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!

Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!
Brightly glow the candles,
Open your hearts to me,
I want to live there happily,
Devout child, how blessed!
Ring, little bell, ringalingaling!
Ring, little bell, ring!

Finally, my favorite of all...
Silent Night or Stille Nacht
It was written by Josef Mohr, an Austrian priest.
No matter how many times I hear it and no matter when, I always find myself struggling to fight back tears.
The words and the music combined have an effect on the soul that only they could.


I
hope you enjoy listening to these songs as much as I do.


What is your favorite Christmas Carol?

(Lyrics for the songs were found @ About.com)

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