• Germany edition
 
Kitsch and culture: Germany's favourite Christmas songs
Photo: DPA

Kitsch and culture: Germany's favourite Christmas songs

Published: 04 Dec 2012 07:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Dec 2012 07:17 GMT+01:00

600 The number of years Germany´s oldest Christmas song, "Josef, Lieber Josef Mein," has been around. The song, known in English as "Joseph, My Dear Joseph," was supposedly written by the Monk of Salzburg, who adapted it from a Latin Christmas hymn. It has been a staple of German Christmas services ever since.

94 The number of weeks Wham´s "Last Christmas" has spent in the German singles chart, making it the country´s most successful Christmas single of all time. The song also dominates the German airwaves at this time of year: it´s been one of the top-five most played songs during the run-up to Christmas since 1997.

24 The percentage of Germans naming the classic "Stille Nacht" - equally loved in English-speaking countries as Silent night - as their favourite traditional carol. The haunting piece was first played on Christmas Eve 1818 in a church in Salzburg, Austria. Written by the church´s priest Josef Mohr (1792-1848) and the organist Franz Gruber (1787-1863), UNESCO has even enshrined it as part of Austria´s immaterial cultural heritage.

90 The percentage of Germans claiming to know at least the first line of the historic Christmas folk song "O Tannenbaum" or "O Christmas Tree" by heart. The original version of the song first appeared around three hundred years ago.

DPA/The Local/pmw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

09:36 December 4, 2012 by TheCrownPrince
Wham´s "Last Christmas" is no longer a song, but more or less a torture. During the festive season they play it not less than 200 times a day on German radio (or so one might think). Oddly enough, it belongs to Christmas nevertheless.

Concerning traditional German Christmas songs, I do not think you can express their popularity only in numbers: where is the beautiful "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen" or the classic "Oh du fröhliche" (sung at the end of many German Christmas Eve services)? Also I am missing "Herbei oh Ihr Gläubigen" (Adeste fideles), which is very popular, too.
Today's headlines
Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

Spring back in German consumers' step?
Photo: DPA

Spring back in German consumers' step?

Update: Consumer confidence in Germany has stopped falling, as households appear to be no longer fazed by concerns about the economic fallout from geopolitical crises, a new poll found on Friday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,527
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd