“O Tannenbaum”


“O Tannenbaum”, or, in its English version, “O Christmas Tree”, is a Christmas carol of German origin.


A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (German: die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Its evergreen qualities have long inspired musicians to write “Tannenbaum” songs in German.


The best known version was written in 1824 by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune (Lauriger Horatius). The first known “Tannenbaum” song lyrics date back to 1550. There are twenty-two English versions of this carol, maybe even more. Below are the lyrics that most closely match the original German, (or it might be Austrian!).


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!
They are green when summer days are bright,
They are green when winter snow is white.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
Your branches green delight us!


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
You give us so much pleasure!
How oft at Christmas tide the sight,
O green fir tree, gives us delight!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
You give us so much pleasure!


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Forever true your colour.
Your boughs so green in summertime
Stay bravely green in wintertime.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Forever true your colour.


O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You fill my heart with music.
Reminding me on Christmas Day
To think of you and then be gay.
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
You fill my heart with music.


The theme for this year’s Fairegarden tannenbaum is the use of our Margaret Furlong ornament collection, with a few white glass baubles added. The switchover this year to all LED lights makes for a twinkling presentation against the white porcelain and green boughs. The seashell motif of these delicate works of art lends a touch of nature to the sweet smelling Frasier Fir. These exquisite ornaments were added a few each year, with dated angels from 1980 to 2001 and assorted hearts and stars, among others, all using shell or nature inspired shapes. Some years for the tree theme we want a rainbow of many colors, some years it is more subdued, like this one. No matter the decor, the bravely green, forever true tree does indeed fill our heart with song.


May your Christmas be merry and bright, with peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

Frances

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23 Responses to “O Tannenbaum”

  1. Great decorations! Have a good Christmas and a Happy 2012! Thanks for the blogs in 2011. Much enjoyed.

    Thanks Green Bench. I hope you and yours enjoy the holidays!
    Frances

    • hope6309 says:

      Love the white porcelain nature themed ornaments. Just lovely. Thanks for your beautiful and inspiring notes and pictures throughout the year. I enjoy it every day.

      Thank you so much, Hope. I appreciate your readership.
      Frances

  2. catmint says:

    happy christmas to you, Frances, I love the understatedness and sophistication of the white ornaments.

    Thanks Catmint, and the same good wishes back to you and yours. Our tree is not always elegant and understated like this, but it seems appropriate and right for this year.
    Frances

  3. Barbara H. says:

    Merry Christmas and a most blessed New Year to you and all your family, Frances. Thank you for all the pleasure and knowledge you’ve brought me this year.

    Thank you so much, Barbara, and the same good wishes are sent right back to you and yours. I so appreciate you!
    Frances

  4. Gail says:

    Dear Frances, Your tannenbaum/Frasier fir tree is beautiful and serene. It’s my favorite choice every year~fragrant and the green needles are soft to the touch. Have a marvelous Christmas with the Fairegarden clan. xoxogail

    Thanks Gail. The Frasiers are grown nearby and this year’s crop is the prettiest ever. The needles are softer and greener, the scent is sweeter, there is more branching, a good year for the local harvest. May you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.
    xxxooo
    Frances

  5. Layanee says:

    The fragrance of frasier is a delight and you’re guaranteed a white Christmas with those lights and ornaments. Merry Christmas to you Dear Frances.

    Thanks Layanee, my friend, the same wishes back to you and yours. We do love the Frasier firs the best, it is the tree of choice in our area. This year’s decorations are the kind of white Christmas we prefer!
    Frances

  6. michaele says:

    I love the impression of delicacy yet intricacy your white ornaments provide. They welcome close perusal and your photographs show them off beautifully. Maybe some year I will be mature enough (perhaps when I’m in my 70′s) to not go all hodge podge with my holiday color theme.
    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and happiness and good health (so very important) throughout 2012!

    Thanks Micheale, the same very good wishes back to you and yours. Our tree is usually themed, but much more of a mix than this. It is a very small, cut tree and is perfect with these ornaments. I am not yet in my 70s, but those years get closer with each birthday.
    Frances

  7. Donna B. says:

    There is such a purity to your tree! My mother would be envious, she loves all-white themed things, nautical/seashells too! It’s just beautiful. One day I’ll have a matching set of ornaments – but the live holly that I bought to be the “tree” this year will have to live with my gaudy red and silver baubles and electric blu LED lights! hahaha~

    Thanks Donna. I love white and seashell themes, too, sounds like I would get along fine with your mother. Your tree sounds wonderful. We were able to find so-called *warm* LED lights. The are odd, but not blue like the others, or as blue.
    Frances

  8. Those white ornaments are quite lovely. Switch over to LED? interesting…..maybe next year.

    Thanks Janet. I think the switch was forced, I had no white lights in the Christmas decoration tubs, only multi! We were able to find *warm* LED lights, and they are not so blue as the others. Look for after Christmas sales to stock up! (Big Lots)
    Frances

  9. Kathleen says:

    Your Christmas tree is lovely Frances but that lighted ball in the last picture has stolen my heart! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Thanks Kathleen, and the best wishes to you and yours for the holidays. The large grapevine ball is a good counterpoint to the stars. I like it too. It doesn’t just have to be for Christmas, either.
    Frances

  10. ricki says:

    Margaret Furlong is from our neck of the woods and we have many of her creations. I’m happy to see them on your tree. Many happy christmas wishes to you, Frances!

    Thanks Ricki, and the same best wishes back to you and yours. The first few angels were bought from a Made In Oregon catalog until our local gift shop began carrying them. They are treasured.
    Frances

    • Dorothy says:

      Your tree is lovely! I, too, collected the Margaret Furlong shell angels over the years and added a few of her other ornaments as time went on. They are perfect on our little tree at our coastal cottage. Have you read Anne Morrow Lindberg’s ‘Gift from the Sea’? The seashell ornaments always remind me of that inspiring little book!
      Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Thanks Dorothy, the same wishes back to you and yours. I have Anne Morrow’s lovely little book, it is set out for guests to peruse. I agree, there is a link between the Margaret Furlong pieces and the thoughts so beautifully expressed in the book. A good way to think about life.
      Frances

  11. Beautiful, and elegant ornaments Frances. Wishing you peace and joy this holiday season! – Clare

    Thanks Clare, the same good wishes back to you and yours. I am hoping to make some pumpkin gnocchi after the holidays, bookmarked your post!
    Frances

  12. Linda says:

    With 5 trees, in my home, every year (even though I live alone, haha), I always have a tree of white ornaments…….my personal favorite. And every year, everyone in my HUGE family, gets an ornament that I make, which applies to something personal……this year was an angel in white, with my sister Lee’s face on it. She passed recently at the same age as my Mom’s death age, 47, and on her anniversary date (it’s kinda like Lee planned it) Mom’s been on this tree with her wings and halo, for many years. Now lee’s there along side her. I hope you dont find it morbid……..my family loves it…..sorry, I didnt mean to get into something so personal. Merry Christmas, Frances, and thanks for sharing.

    Please accept my condolences for your loss, Linda. It is especially difficult at this time of year when such sorrows occur, and we never forget. Not morbid, just sad. I am happy that you and your family find comfort from the beautiful ornaments that you make to honor your loved ones. May you have a kind and gentle Christmas.
    Frances

  13. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What fun rereading the Christmas tree song again. I love the old songs. Your collection of ornaments are quite beautiful. Thank you for the glimpse into your Christmas celebrations. I hope you and your family are all well and able to enjoy the holidays together. Much love, Merry Christmas.

    Thanks, Lisa. Much love to you and yours. Old songs, old ornaments, help bring meaning to this time of year. It is about family.
    Frances

  14. cheryl says:

    That is such a graceful tree Frances, perfect to appreciate the gentleness of the season. I am amazed at Margarets ornaments because I have a few collected during my visits down south. Alas I can’t find them up in the great white north. I treasure mine as you do yours.
    Thank you Frances for all the work you do to bring your garden to us. Tis such a treat logging in when in the drolldrums of winter, you always make me smile.
    To you and yours I wish a most wonderful Christmas filled with love and laughter.
    All the bestest, Cheryl

    What sweet words, Cheryl, thank you. I do so appreciate your readership and friendship. The wonderful white ornaments are special in many ways, it is good to know you have some, too. May you have a delightful, loving Christmas.
    Frances

  15. Les says:

    I love the Star of David lights in the last shot and have never seen anything like that. I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a joyful new year.

    Thanks Les, the same good wishes back to you and yours. The star lights are one of a kind, I made them one year, from Cotinus cuttings drilled and wired then fastened to bamboo stakes. They make me smile.
    Frances

  16. Gorgeous Christmas Tree. I too decorate with white on white….
    I have seen Margaret Furlong ornaments in the shops. They are lovely.
    May you and yours have a blessed Christmas.
    Sherry

    Thanks Sherry, and the same good wishes back to you and yours. The Margaret Furlong ornaments are exquisite creations. Next year will probably be more colorful, I like to switch things up.
    Frances

  17. Rose says:

    Lovely, Frances! I actually remember the German words to this song better than the English. I hope your house is filled with family and good cheer this holiday–wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

    Thanks Rose. I hope your holidays were and continue to be merry and bright. Your family is wonderful, we do love our relations.
    Frances

  18. Diana says:

    Merry Christmas, Frances! To you and your family may blessings flow. I pray that 2012 brings well-being for us all.

    Thanks so much Diana, for those good wishes, and may they rebound right back to you and yours.
    Frances

  19. Wishing you the most wonderful holidays and that the New Year be prosperous.

    Have a wonderful Holiday,
    Liza and John

    Thanks Liza and John, sending those good thoughts right back to you and yours.
    Frances

  20. Merry Christmas, Frances! We just arrived home and I’m taking time to do a little roaming around on my favs! ;-) I hope you have enjoyed a wonderful day. We can now look forward to all the preparations for 2012 and more blogging!

    Thanks, Shady! I hope your holidays were and continue to be wonderful, and let’s us look forward with great happiness to all that 2012 has to offer us. Onward!
    Frances

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