“O Tannenbaum”


A German Christmas Carol in German and English

Also see the traditional English version of this carol.

See a short history of the “O Tannenbaum” song below.

DEUTSCH
Musik: Volksweise
Text: Ernst Anschütz, 1824
ENGLISH
Traditional melody
Literal English translation – HF
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
wie treu sind deine Blätter!
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles!
You’re green not only
in the summertime,
No, also in winter when it snows.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
How loyal are your leaves/needles!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
You can please me very much!
How often has not at Christmastime
A tree like you given me such joy!
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree,
You can please me very much!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
Your dress wants to
teach me something:
Your hope and durability
Provide comfort and strength
at any time.
O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree
That’s what your dress should
teach me.
MORE > Traditional English lyrics for this carol
BACK > German Christmas Carol Lyrics


About This Carol

caption here

Ein Weihnachtsbaum bei KaDeWe in Berlin.
A Christmas tree at the KaDeWe department store in Berlin. PHOTO: Hyde Flippo

A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Although most Christmas trees today are Fichten (spruce) rather than Tannen, the qualities of the evergreen have inspired musicians to write several “Tannenbaum” songs in German over the years. The best known version (above) was penned in 1824 by a Leipzig organist named Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune. The first known “Tannenbaum” song lyrics date back to 1550. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1573-1639) goes: “Ach Tannebaum, ach Tannebaum, du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grünest uns den Winter, die lieben Sommerzeit.” – The English version above is a literal prose translation, not the traditional English lyrics for the song. There are at least a dozen English versions of this carol.

Next | German Christmas Carol Lyrics in German and English

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