O Holy Night
"O Holy Night" (French: "Minuit, chretiens" or "Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens" (Midnight, Christians) written by wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). In both the French original and the English version of the carol, as well as in many other languages, the text reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity's redemption.
|O Holy Night|
|by Adolphe Adam|
|Native name||Cantique de Noël|
In Roquemaure at the end of 1843, the church organ had recently been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest persuaded wine merchant and poet Placide Cappeau, a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem. Soon afterwards that same year, Adolphe Adam composed the music. The song was premiered in Roquemaure in 1847 by the opera singer Emily Laurey. Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of Dwight's Journal of Music, translated the song into English lyrics in 1855.
|Placide Cappeau's Cantique de Noël||Literal English translation||John Sullivan Dwight's version|
Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour,
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
The song has been recorded by numerous well-known popular-music, classical-music, and religious-music singers. Some notable versions include:
- 1959: Jussi Bjorling recorded a Swedish version 'O Helga Natt'
- 1960: Nat King Cole, on his album The Magic of Christmas
- 1968: Mahalia Jackson, on her album Christmas With Mahalia
- 1968: Mireille Mathieu, with her father Roger Mathieu, on her Chante Noël album (re-released as a CD in 2004 with three additional songs)
- 1988: Mannheim Steamroller, on their album A Fresh Aire Christmas
- 1990: Patti LaBelle, on her album This Christmas.
- 1992: Bill Pinkney, accompanied by The Original Drifters, for the Wisepack White Christmas Compilation CD
- David Foster arranged and produced the song successfully for several different artists, including:
- 1993/1999: Michael Crawford, on Foster's best-selling The Christmas Album (No. 48 Billboard Top 200), and on the corresponding TV special The David Foster Christmas Album; as well as Crawford's own later A Christmas Album (No. 98 Billboard Top 200)
- 1999: Trans-Siberian Orchestra's platinum-selling DVD The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
- 2002: Josh Groban (No. 1 Billboard Adult Contemporary)
- 2004: Celine Dion, featured on her 5× platinum album These Are Special Times
- 2009: Andrea Bocelli, for his double platinum My Christmas album
- 1994: Mariah Carey's rendition, featured on her first studio holiday album, Merry Christmas, which sold 15 million copies worldwide, charted at No. 8 on the Billboard Holiday Digital Song Sales chart. It was rereleased as a single in 1996 and 2000. She released a re-recorded live rendition on her 2010 follow-up album Merry Christmas II You.
- 1996: John Berry's version charted at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.
- 1997: Martina McBride's rendering charted at No. 74 on Hot Country Songs chart (also No. 67 in 1998, No. 49 in 1999, No. 57 in 2000, and No. 41 in 2001)
- 2006: Josh Gracin's version charted at No. 59 on Hot Country Songs chart
- 2013: Bastille's version Tuning Out has part of the original song, however it has altered lyrics and cuts out to another part of their song, Skulls.
- 2019: Lea Michele covered the song as the final track of her album Christmas in the City.
- 2019: Idina Menzel covered the song as a mash-up with "Ave Maria" for her second Christmas album Christmas: A Season of Love.
- Collins, Ace; , Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas, Grand Rapids, MI, Zondervan, pp. 132–138.
- Nobbman, Dale V. Christmas Music Companion Fact Book. 2000. p 36. Google Books]
- Scott, Brian K. But do you recall? 25 days of Christmas carols and the stories behind them. Lulu.com, 2015. pp. 88-93.
- "A Pile o' Cole's Nat King Cole website - The Magic of Christmas". apileocole.alongthehall.com. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
- "Christmas with Mahalia". MusicStack. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
- "Mireille Mathieu – Mireille Mathieu Chante Noël (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "CD Album – Various Artistes – White Christmas, Volume 1 – Wisepack UK". 45worlds website. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
- http://www.musicarchivevault.com, (subscription required)
- "Billboard Singles Charts | Record Research MusicVault". Musicarchivevault.com. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "Top Annual Winter Holiday Tour To Kick Off November 6". Trans-siberian.com. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "That Josh Groban Guy". That Josh Groban Guy. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- searchable RIAA database
- "Italian tenor's album sales top five million – Thaindian News". Thaindian.com. 2009-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-11.
- "Mariah Carey's 'All I Want for Christmas Is You' Hits New Hot 100 High, Reaches Top 20 for First Time". Billboard. December 21, 2015. Retrieved June 10, 2018.
- "Holiday Digital Song Sales-November 20, 2010". www.billboard.com.
- Whitburn, Joel (2008). Hot Country Songs 1944 to 2008. Record Research, Inc. p. 49. ISBN 0-89820-177-2.
- Whitburn, p. 263
- Whitburn, p. 166
- on YouTube - by Charles Jauquier (Original French version).
- IMSLP Original version in several keys, and various arrangements.
- Free sheet music for voice & piano from Cantorion.org
- Sheet music for "O Holy Night" (Cantique de Noël)
- Tabs for "O Holy Night"
- Sheet music for solo piano arrangement of "O Holy Night" (Cantique de Noël)