For Mom- O Holy Night

Happy Mother’s day!  Today is the day for all to celebrate the wonderful gifts provided by mothers everywhere.  My mom was feeling too well today, but I still took time to think about how lucky I am to have such a totally amazing mom!  When I think about the holidays and all that I love about Christmas, I can’t not think about my mom.  She and I share a love for winter and especially Christmas.  We have spent many a late night on Christmas Eve quietly ringing in Christmas Day whether it be making cookies, wrapping last-minute gifts, or sitting on the couch watching the Pope celebrate midnight mass on NBC.  We both love Christmas music and listen to it as soon as we can in the fall.  We both love the same favorite tune O Holy Night.

O Holy Night was written in 1847 by Adolphe Adam.  He adapted it from the french poem Minuit Chretiens (Midnight Christians) penned by the poet Placide Cappeau.  The poem was all about the birth of Jesus and the redemption of man at his birth.  In 1855 we gained the English versions with the translations provided by a minister, John Sullivan Dwight. The next 50 years saw the popularity of the song grow. The song plays an interesting part in the history of broadcast music.  On Christmas Eve 1906 the first AM radio broadcast was made.  O Holy Night was the second song played that night and the first Christmas song ever broadcast on radio.  If that doesn’t seal it as a special song, what else is there?

There are hundreds of recorded versions of the song today.  If an artist makes a Christmas collection, it almost always includes a version of O Holy Night.  There are websites listing all types of audio and video recordings- check this site out.  If you only have time to listen to a few versions, here are some not to miss:

1- A 1917 recording from the National Jukebox Project at the Library of Congress. 
2- Classic version from Nat King Cole.  
3- 2002 Josh Groban version from Rockefeller Center 
4- Traditional version from King’s College Choir
 

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