O Holy Night" (" Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) by a wine merchant and poet, Placide Cappeau (1808–1877).
Roquemaure at the end of the year 1843, the church organ was recently renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest asked Cappeau, native from this town, to write a Christmas poem. Cappeau did it, although being a professed anticlerical and atheist. [1 ]
Soon after, Adam wrote the music. The song was premiered in Roquemaure in 1847 by the opera singer Emily Laurey.
Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of [2 ] Dwight's Journal of Music, created a singing edition based on Cappeau's French text in 1855. In both the French original and in the two familiar English versions of the carol, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity's redemption. Lyrics [edit ]
Placide Cappeau's Cantique de Noël Literal English translation Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle, Où l'Homme Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous Pour effacer la tache originelle Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux. Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur. Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance. Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur, Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur! De notre foi que la lumière ardente Nous guide tous au berceau de l'Enfant, Comme autrefois une étoile brillante Y conduisit les chefs de l'Orient. Le Roi des rois naît dans une humble crèche: Puissants du jour, fiers de votre grandeur, A votre orgueil, c'est de là que Dieu prêche. Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur. Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur. Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave: La terre est libre, et le ciel est ouvert. Il voit un frère où n'était qu'un esclave, L'amour unit ceux qu'enchaînait le fer. Qui lui dira notre reconnaissance, C'est pour nous tous qu'il naît, qu'il souffre et meurt. Peuple debout! Chante ta délivrance, Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur, Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur! Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour, When God as man descended unto us To erase the stain of original sin And to end the wrath of His Father. The entire world thrills with hope On this night that gives it a Saviour. People kneel down, wait for your deliverance. Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer, Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer! May the ardent light of our Faith Guide us all to the cradle of the infant, As in ancient times a brilliant star Guided the Oriental kings there. The King of Kings was born in a humble manger; O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness, It is to your pride that God preaches. Bow your heads before the Redeemer! Bow your heads before the Redeemer! The Redeemer has broken every bond: The Earth is free, and Heaven is open. He sees a brother where there was only a slave, Love unites those that iron had chained. Who will tell Him of our gratitude, For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies. People stand up! Sing of your deliverance, Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer, Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!
John Sullivan Dwight's version Unattributed version O holy night! The stars are brightly shining, It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error pining, ' Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born; O night divine, O night, O night Divine. Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand. So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming, Here come the wise men from Orient land. The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger; In all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger, Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend! Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend! Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother; And in His name all oppression shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, Let all within us praise His holy name. Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever, His power and glory evermore proclaim. His power and glory evermore proclaim. O! Holy night! The stars, their gleams prolonging, Watch o'er the eve of our dear Saviour's birth. Long lay the world in sin and error, longing For His appearance, then the Spirit felt its worth. A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine, the night when Christ was Born; O night, O holy night, O night divine! Led by the light of faith serenely beaming, With glowing hearts we stand by the Babe adored. O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming, And come now, Shepherds, from your flocks unboard. The Son of God lay thus within lowly manger; In all our trials born to be our Lord. He knows our need, our weakness never lasting, Behold your King! By Him, let Earth accord! Behold your King! By Him, let Earth accord! Truly He taught us to love one another, His law is love and His gospel is peace. Long live His truth, and may it last forever, For in His name all discordant noise shall cease. Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise us, With all our hearts we praise His holy name. Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we, His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim! (The second and third choruses are often replaced with a refrain of the first). (The second verse is often omitted in most public renderings.) (Also the final chorus, His power and glory, evermore proclaim!, is often changed to French- English mix: Noël, Noël, O Night, O Night Divine.) Notable renderings [edit ]
The song has also been recorded through the years by many notable singers such as
Anita Bryant, Mariah Carey, Bing Crosby, Céline Dion, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston, The Lettermen, and Andy Williams, to name only a few. On December 24, 1906, Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor, broadcast the first AM radio program, which started with a phonograph record of Handel's aria " Ombra mai fu" followed by Fessenden playing "O Holy Night" on the violin and singing the final verse. As such, the carol was the second piece of music to be broadcast on radio. [3 ] [4 ] Tenor Enrico Caruso recorded a version in 1916 which is still in print today. Mireille Mathieu sang the song with her father Roger Mathieu on her Chante Noël 1968 album. It was re-released as a CD in 2004 with three additional songs. [5 ] References [edit ] ^ Collins, Ace; , Stories of Best-loved Songs of Christmas, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, pp. 132-138. ^ Nobbman, Dale V. 'Christmas Music Companion Fact Book.' 2000. p 36. Google Books ^ Collins, Ace, , Stories Behind the Best-loved Songs of Christmas, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan,p.137-138 ^ Early Radio History web-site quoting "Builder of Tomorrows" by Helen Fessenden, 1940, pages 153-154, Accessed 7 December 2010 ^ "Mireille Mathieu - Mireille Mathieu Chante Noël (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com . Retrieved 2013-12-11. ^ http://www.musicarchivevault.com, (subscription required) ^ a b "Billboard Singles Charts | Record Research MusicVault". Musicarchivevault.com . Retrieved 2013-12-11. ^ "TOP ANNUAL WINTER HOLIDAY TOUR TO KICK OFF NOVEMBER 6". Trans-siberian.com . Retrieved 2013-12-11. ^ Edison Research 2004 seasonal song test poll results ^ searchable RIAA database ^ "That Josh Groban Guy". That Josh Groban Guy . Retrieved 2013-12-11. ^ "Italian tenor’s album sales top five million - Thaindian News". Thaindian.com. 2009-12-30 . Retrieved 2013-12-11. ^ "O Holy Night! Il Volo Sing Christmas Classics A Cappella". Rolling Stone. 2013-12-12 . Retrieved 2013-12-22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 49. ISBN 0-89820-177-2. ^ Whitburn, p. 263 ^ Whitburn, p. 166 External links [edit ]
Preceded by " Cry" by Faith Hill Billboard Adult Contemporary number-one single by Josh Groban December 28, 2002 - January 4, 2003 Succeeded by "Cry" by Faith Hill