“Weiße Weihnacht” (“White Christmas”)


An American Carol in German and English
This popular American Christmas song was written by Irving Berlin (Israel Beilin, 1888-1989), probably in California in 1940. “White Christmas” was first heard publicly in December 1941 on Bing Crosby’s NBC radio show “Kraft Music Hall.” The song was later featured in the 1942 film Holiday Inn starring Crosby and Fred Astaire, earning Irving Berlin an Academy Award for “Best Song.” It was used again over a decade later in the 1954 Technicolor film White Christmas. It has now become an international Christmas classic.

Augsburg

A semi-white Christmas in Augsburg, Germany. PHOTO: Eddie Hiatt

During the Christmas season in Germany, you’re more likely to hear the English lyrics sung by Bing Crosby than any German version, although the German lyrics by Bruno Balz (1902-1988) are quite good. The German version (“Weiße Weihnacht”) has been recorded by many artists including Zarah Leander, Mireille Mathieu, Peter Alexander, the Tölzer Knabenchor (boys choir), Julio Iglesias, and others. See the German lyrics and a literal English translation below.

“White Christmas” – The Original English
Words and Music: Irving Berlin, 1941

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write:
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

See the German version below, with a literal English translation.


“Weiße Weihnacht (Süß singt der Engel Chor: Weihnacht)”
German lyrics by Bruno Balz (1902-1988)
Also see video of the German version below.

DEUTSCH
Text: Bruno Balz, 1953
ENGLISH
Literal English translation – HF
Süß singt der Engel Chor
Weihnacht
Und draussen rieselt leis’ der Schnee
Festlich strahlen Kerzen in allen
Herzen
Vergeh’n Kummer heut’ und Weh
Sweetly sings the angel choir
Christmas
And outside the snow falls softly
Festively glow candles in all
hearts
Worry and woe vanish today
Süß singt der Glocken Ton
Weihnacht
Das Fest der Liebe ist nun da
Und ein einz’ger Wunsch stellt sich ein
Möcht’s auf Erden Frieden immer sein
Sweetly sing the bells
Christmas
The festival of love is now here
And a single wish arises
May there always be peace on earth
Festlich strahlen Kerzen in allen
Herzen
Vergeh’n Kummer heut’ und Weh
Süß singt der Glocken Ton
Weihnacht
Das Fest der Liebe ist nun da
Festively glow candles in all
hearts
Worry and woe vanish today
Sweetly sing the bells
Christmas
The festival of love is now here
Und ein einz’ger Wunsch stellt sich ein
Möcht’s auf Erden Frieden immer sein
And a single wish arises
May there always be peace on earth
BACK > German Christmas Carol Lyrics


VIDEO: Zarah Leander “Weiße Weihnacht” 1953

VIDEO: G.G. Anderson – “Weiße Weihnacht” (White Christmas)

VIDEO: “Weiße Weihnacht” – Tölzer Knabenchor

More | German Christmas Carol Lyrics in German and English

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