Saturday, December 21, 2013

HYMN TIME #15: "O Holy Night" and CELINE DION... [yup, her]

Albie's Note: This is my very favorite Christmas song!

According to Wikipedia:

"'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 Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). Cappeau, a wine merchant and poet, had been asked by a parish priest to write a Christmas poem.[1] Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight,[2] editor of 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."

I will just say this:   The music may have been supplied by a Unitarian, but the original French version literally translates--  in the first verse-- as the following:

"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!"
Not much "Unitarian" [denying of Christ's deity] in that!   AMEN!

And here is my all time favorite version, sung live by Celine Dion.  I have never owned a single album by that Diva, but I firmly believe in "credit where it is due." 

In the VH1 video below, at about 3 minutes, 16 seconds, when Celine sings the words: "CHRIST IS THE LORD," I get goose pimples every time! 


O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared 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! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
NOEL, NOEL, O, Night Divine...
NOEL, NOEL, O, Night Divine!


No comments: