Arcanum News: Still, Still, Still


By Vickie Rhodehamel



It’s 10 days before Christmas. Seems impossible to believe that the most wonderful time of year will soon be here and then over. During this time, I often reflect on some of my favorite Christmas music, specifically carols and find it interesting where they come from, who authored them, when they were written. As a church musician, there are some that are very old and sometimes not the most popular secular carols that we hear on the radio.

One in particular that I want to share with you, I found just the other night while practicing and going through my collection of Christmas music. The carol is an Austrian carol entitled, “Still, Still, Still.” In German, it is a carol and a lullaby – the first line is “Still, still, still, weil’s Kindlein schlafen will!” (“Hush, hush, hush, for the little child wants to sleep!”). The melody is a folk tune (authorship unknown) from the State of Salzburg. The tune appeared for the first time in 1865 in a folksong collection of Maria Vinzenz Süß (1802–1868), founder of the Salzburg Museum. The words, which run to six verses in German, describe the peace of the infant Jesus and his mother as the baby is sung to sleep. They have changed slightly over the years but the modern Standard German version remains attributed to Georg Götsch (1895–1956). There are various English translations; here are the words to this beautiful piece of music:

Still, still, still,

One can hear the falling snow.

For all is hushed,

The world is sleeping,

Holy Star its vigil keeping.

Still, still, still,

One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,

‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

The night is peaceful all around you,

Close your eyes,

Let sleep surround you.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,

‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,

Of the joyous day to come.

While guardian angels without number,

Watch you as you sweetly slumber.

Dream, dream, dream,

Of the joyous day to come.

If you get a chance and have never heard this wonderful piece, there are many recordings of it available on the internet/web either performed by vocalists/choirs and or orchestras/instrumentalists; check one of them out to enjoy and remember the joy and peacefulness all around you during this holiday season as we celebrate the Saviour’s birth.

Next week I will publishing my annual listing of churches in the Arcanum area’s Christmas Eve services, if you would like your church/parish’s information included please contact me via email or telephone. As I have written about in past years, this one night of the year with my family is a tradition to attend a candlelight service together to celebrate on Christmas Eve. May you and yours celebrate the joy of Christmas!

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By Vickie Rhodehamel

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at krhodehamel@woh.rr.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at krhodehamel@woh.rr.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.