Friday, December 18, 2009

O Christmas Tree

In researching this song, I found many different English versions of the lyrics. Perhaps the reason for that is the fact that “O Christmas Tree” is an English translation of the German song, “O Tannenbaum”. Earlier versions of "O Tannenbaum" date back at least as far as 1550.

Tannenbaum literally means “fir tree”. Traditionally, Christmas trees were fir trees, although now spruce is used at least as much. During the Third Reich, the Nazi’s used the song to promote Christmas as a non-religious holiday.

The tune to “O Christmas Tree” has been used for many of texts, including several college songs and the state songs for Iowa, Florida, and Maryland.

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