This song is a favorite of sopranos and tenors around the world, but did you know it was also the first song to be played on the radio?
The song “O Holy Night,” originated in France in the mid 1800s. “O Holy Night” has earned two special footnotes to history. The first occurred on Christmas Eve, 1870, during the Franco Prussian War, when a French soldier emerged from the trenches, singing this carol. The Prussians ceased fire, and soon one young German soldier emerged from his trench, replying by singing a German Christmas hymn. The second time the song made history was on Christmas Eve, 1906, when Reginald Fessenden played “O Holy Night” on the violin during the first AM radio broadcast.
The song “O Holy Night” perfectly describes the nativity story, beginning with the shining stars of the night of the Savior’s birth and ending with the newborn hope of a weary world, the Lord Jesus Christ. As “O Holy Night” takes us deeper into the Scriptures, it also increases in its intensity, so that by its final notes, many singers erupt in a crescendo of voice and emotion. As the final lines declare, “Christ is the Lord! O praise His name forever. His power and glory evermore proclaim. His power and glory evermore proclaim.”