Song of the Day Dec 23

December 23, 2023

Today our song is: O Holy Night

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

In Roquemaure in France at the end of 1843, the church organ had recently been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest persuaded poet Placide Cappeau, a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem. Soon afterwards, in that same year, Adolphe Adam composed the music. The song was premiered in Roquemaure in 1847 by the opera singer Emily Laurey.

Transcendentalist, music critic, minister, and editor of Dwight's Journal of Music, John Dwight, adapted the song into English in 1855. This version became popular in the United States, especially in the North, where the third verse (including "Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, And in his name all oppression shall cease") resonated with abolitionists.

The wide vocal range of the song makes it one of the more difficult Christmas songs to execute properly. In French-language churches, it is commonly used at the beginning of the Midnight Mass.



  1. I never fully absorbed the lyric about freeing of the enslaved. It's a difficult song, yes, but Josh Groban nails it. Alana


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