Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nostalgia Time



I took the photo above on my last trip to North Dakota and as we are fast approaching Christmas I thought now was the time to share it. It is of a much treasured family heirloom, a fiddle which belonged to my husband's paternal grandfather and now hangs on the wall of my father-in-law's oldest sister. Sadly I never got to meet either hubby's grandfather or grandmother, but I have heard so many stories of family life from my father-in-law and looked through so many old family photographs, I feel that I know them very well. The fiddle was played at many family gatherings through the years. Behind it you can see the music of Silent Night, Holy Night, one of my all time favorite Carol's, which sent me on another Internet journey tonight.

I found this wonderful video on YouTube of it being sung by the choir, Libera. If you are interested in finding out about them this website gives more information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A3251909




I found the following on Wikipedia.

The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written in German by the Austrian priest Father Josef Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz Xaver Gruber. In 1863, John Freeman Young translated the song into the English version sung today. The version of the melody that is generally sung today differs slightly (particularly in the final strain) from Gruber's original.


Original translation

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar.
Holder Knab im lockigten Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn! O wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt seh'n
Jesum in Menschengestalt.
Jesum in Menschengestalt.

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt.
Jesus die Völker der Welt.

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit,
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß.
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß.

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
Jesus der Retter ist da!
Jesus der Retter ist da!



English translation:


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round your Virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven after
Heavenly host sing Alleluia
Christ the saviour is born
Christ the saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus lord at thy birth
Jesus lord at thy birth

9 comments:

  1. All my life I sang this song Stille Nacht under the Christmas tree ! First with my parents then with my husband and son. It was tradition on the 24th to lighten the tree for the first time sing this song and only then open the gifts ! I think it is the most famous Christmas song in Germany.

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  2. Wow! That voice! How absolutely beautiful! I love your photo. It sort of reminds me of a painting I saw a long time ago. It's just so gorgeous.

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  3. Excellent post! Awesome and unique moments.

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  4. A beautiful fiddle and a lovely post Denise. Thanks.

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  5. I had to learn this in German when I took the language in college :-) It sounds lovely in German.

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  6. My daughter wrote a poem about a fiddle player when she was in middle school. Won 1st place. I am so attracted to them. Beautiful photo, or a beautiful heirloom. We also have one in our family that was my great great grandfather's. My uncle had it restored and my neice plays it at Christmas for us, although she is a violin player, not a fiddle player.

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  7. How beautiful. Hearing this carol always makes me cry, thinking of singing it at the midnight mass in the church where I grew up. The choir would sing a capella and there was such a feeling of togetherness and peace. Your post really brought it all back. Nice instrument there, too!

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  8. The violin looks beautiful, and what a touching tribute to your hubby's grandfather. And thanks for the info on Silent Night, it is a lovely carol.

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  9. Great idea to frame the fiddle. My sister wants to do that with my mothers wedding dress which is still perfect after all this time.
    Great post. :-)

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