Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O Holy Night

• Was originally written as a French poem, “Cantique de Noel” by Placide Cappeau
• Music was composed by Adolphe-Charles Adam in 1847
• English translation was written by John Sullivan Dwight in 1855
• Became the first Christmas carol to be played live on a radio Christmas program in 1906.
• Is sung at the lighting of Rich’s Great Tree in Atlanta, Georgia. The tree is lit on Thanksgiving Day every year when the highest note of “O Holy Night” is sung.

"O Holy Night" began with a priest asking Placide Cappeau to write a poem. Originally titled “Minuit, Chretians” (Midnight Christians), the poem was written while Cappeau was en route to Paris on a business trip. In Paris, Cappeau took the poem to Adolphe-Charles Adam to set to music. Although “O Holy Night” is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful Christmas carols, it was initially rejected by many in France because of the reputations of its composers. Cappeau had radical social views, such as opposition to slavery, and Adam was a Jew who was known for composing light opera and ballet.

A popular version of the song involves Trey Parker, playing the part of Eric Cartman, sang the song on a Christmas episode of Southpark. A recording of this can often be heard on radio stations at Christmas time.

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