Home | Songs By Year | Songs from 1816

O du frhliche

Buy O du frhliche now from Amazon

First, read the Wikipedia article. Then, scroll down to see what other TopShelfReviews readers thought about the song. And once you've experienced the song, tell everyone what you thought about it.

Wikipedia article

"'" ("O, how joyful", literally: "Oh, you joyful ... [Christmastime]") is a German Christmas carol. The author of the original text was the prominent Weimar "orphan father" Johannes Daniel Falk (17681826), who set his lyric to the anonymous hymn-tune "O Sanctissima" (O most holy). Shortly after Falk's death, his former assistant (17981847) from Wunsiedel completed the set of three verses that are sung today.

Original song

After Falk lost four of his seven children to typhoid fever, he founded the (Rescue house for abandoned children) in Weimar. In late 1815 or early 1816, he dedicated this song to the children of the orphanage. The melody was taken from the anonymous Catholic hymn "O Sanctissima" (also known as "Sicilian Mariners Hymn"), which he found in the posthumous edition of J.G. Herder's after hearing it sung by Pietro Granucci, an Italian foundling under his care. In Falk's original text, the song was titled "" (A song for three holidays), highlighting the three major festivals of Christianity: Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.

Original text

Today's text

The song became famous as a Christmas carol that took its first verse verbatim from Johannes Daniel Falk. The second and third verses were partially rewritten in 1826 by Heinrich Holzschuher, a former assistant to Falk. The song's current form (with some regional differences in the text) is:

The hymn has been translated into many languages, including English ("O, how joyfully"), French, Latin, Swedish ("O du saliga, o du heliga"), Norwegian (" du heilage, ndeberande"), Czech (" ty radostn ase vnon"), and Esperanto ("Feliega vi, armoplena vi").



\new Voice \relative c'



Religious use and importance

The song is used in the current German Protestant hymnal (EG 44), in various regional editions of the German Catholic 'Gotteslob', in the Free Church (F&L 220) and in the Mennonite (MG 264). In the Protestant churches of Germany, the song is traditionally sung at the end of Christmas Eve services.


Buy O du frhliche now from Amazon

<-- Return to songs from 1816

This work is released under CC-BY-SA. Some or all of this content attributed to http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?oldid=1044204679.