O Christmas Tree! History of the traditional O Tannenbaum Christmas Carol

O Christmas Tree! – History of the traditional Carol.

Well it wouldn't be Christmas without carols and what better than one about a tree! The popular Christmas carol "O Tannenbaum" was written in Germany in the mid-1500s. The original folk song has been rewritten many times over the centuries.


Christmas Tree in a German Town Market Square Photo courtesy CulturalAwareness.com

The History of "O Tannenbaum"

A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Although most Christmas trees today are spruce (Fichten) rather than Tannen, the qualities of the

evergreen have inspired musicians to write several Tannenbaum songs in German over the years. Surprisingly the song was not related to Christmas originally. The first known Tannenbaum song lyrics date to 1550 and came from the region known as Silesia that crosses both Germany and Poland. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1579 to 1639) goes: “Ach Tannebaum Ach Tannebaum du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grünest uns den Winter, die lieben Sommerzeit.” Roughly translated, it means, "Oh pine tree, oh pine tree, you're a noble twig! You greet us in the winter, the dear summer time."

Deutsch "O Tannenbaum"

Text: Ernst Anschütz, 1824

Melodie: Volksweise (traditional)

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 Christmas Tree" Literal English translation of the traditional melody


O Christmas tree,

O Christmas tree,

How loyal are your leaves/needles.

You're green not only in the summertime,

No, also in winter when it snows.

O Christmas tree

O Christmas tree

How loyal are your leaves/needles.


Here is a full version of the song...

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us!

They are green when summer days are bright,

They are green when winter snow is white.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

Your branches green delight us!


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

You give us so much pleasure!

How oft at Christmas tide the sight,

O green fir tree, gives us delight!

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

You give us so much pleasure!


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Forever true your colour.

Your boughs so green in summertime

Stay bravely green in wintertime.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Forever true your colour.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

You fill my heart with music.

Reminding me on Christmas Day

To think of you and then be gay.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

You fill my heart with music.


The traditional German version "O Tannenbaum" sung by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in 1949.




Merry Christmas!


Blessings

Amanda Claire x


Ecards and certificates that plant trees are available in the AST shop the perfect eco friendly gift! Ancient and Sacred Trees is planting trees in the Tropics and the UK.

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