Christmas carols in German (with simple lyrics and their translation)

December is the month par excellence of traditions: it is a tradition to get together with our family, it is a tradition to give gifts, it is a tradition to sing Christmas carols… At Christmas we love to play instruments and try to sing new songs that tell us and transport us to the oldest stories. Christmas carols (or Weihnachtslieder, in German ) were already sung in the Middle Ages, so the long cultural and religious heritage that exists behind them is most valuable.

The 19th century allowed us to recover many of these Christmas songs that had been lost over the centuries and have been maintained in many countries around the world until today.

Have you ever thought about singing Christmas carols in German ? Would you dare to interpret their lyrics ? In this article we are going to make it easy for you. We leave you the theme of each of them, their lyrics to read and sing them and their translation so you can know their meaning. You have to put the intonation and the desire! Merry christmas!

6 traditional Christmas songs in Germany

  1. Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht (Silent Night)

This Christmas carol is so well known worldwide that it is rare to find a language into which it has not been translated. Silent Night was composed by Joseph Mohren, in 1816. Surely you know the melody and since in Germany they have their own version, here we leave it for you so you can enjoy singing it in a different way than you are used to:

Lyrics:

  • Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
  • Alles schläft, einsam wacht
  • Nur das traute, hochheilige Paar.
  • Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
  • Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
  • Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh.
  • Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht!
  • Hirten erst kundgemacht,
  • Durch der Engel Halleluja.
  • Tönt is laut von fern und nah:
  • Christ, der Retter ist da,
  • Christ, der Retter ist da!
  • Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
  • Gottes Sohn, or wie lacht
  • Lieb’ aus deinem gottlichen Mund,
  • Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund,
  • Christ, in deiner Geburt,
  • Christ, in deiner Geburt.

Spanish translation:

  • Silent night, holy night!
  • Everything is asleep, a single light
  • Only the boldest and most sacred couple.
  • curly haired boy,
  • sleep in heavenly peace
  • Sleep in heavenly peace.
  • Silent night, holy night!
  • The shepherds announced for the first time:
  • By the angel Hallelujah.
  • Sounds loud from far and near:
  • Christ the Savior is here
  • Christ the Savior is here!
  • Silent night, holy night!
  • Child of God, oh what a laugh
  • Love from your divine mouth
  • catches our attention like the dawn of redeeming grace,
  • Christ at your birth
  • Christ, at your birth.
  1. Es ist ein Ros entsprungen (A rose has sprouted)

The translation of this Christmas carol is ‘A rose has sprouted’ and it is a Marian hymn of German origin. The author -from the 16th century- is unknown but it has been used by Catholics and Protestants as a Christmas song, as it speaks of the prophecy that the son of God was going to be born, establishing the birth with the metaphor of the birth of a rose.

Lyrics:

  • Es ist ein’ Ros’ entsprungen,
    aus einer Wurzel zart.
    Wie uns die Alten sungen,
    von Jesse war die Art.
  • Und hat ein Blüm’lein ‘bracht;
    mitten im kalten Winter,
    wohl zu der halben Nacht.
  • Das Röslein, das ich meine,
    davon Jesaia sagt:
    Maria ist’s, die Reine,
    die uns das Blüm’lein bracht’.
  • Aus Gottes ew’gem Rat,
    Hat sie ein Kindlein g’boren,
    Bleibend ein reine Magd.
  • Das Blümelein, so kleine,
    das duftet uns so süß;
    mit seinem hellen Scheine
    vertreibt’s die Finsternis.
  • Wahr’r Mensch und wahrer Gott!
    Hilft uns aus allem Leide,
    rettet von Sünd’ und Tod.
  • O Jesu, bis zum Scheiden
    Aus diesem Jammertal
    Laß Dein hilf uns geleiten
    Hin in den Freudensaal,
    In Deines Vaters Reich,
    Da wir Dich ewig loben.
    O Gott, a few days to see.

Spanish translation:

  • A rose sprouted
    From a tender root
    As the ancestors told us,
    Descends from Jesse
    And produced a little flower
    In the middle of winter,
    Around the middle of the night
  • The rosebud of whom I speak,
    of whom Isaiah spoke,
    is Mary, the pure,
    who brought us the little flower.
    At the immortal word of God,
    She conceived a son
    Remaining a pure virgin.
  • The little flower, so small,
    How good it smells for us,
    With its clear light
    From her Dispels the darkness.
    True man and true God!
    He helps us in sorrows
    He saves us from sin and death.
  • O Jesus, by your birth,
    In this valley of tears,
    May your help guide us
    To the hall of joy
    In the kingdom of your father,
    There we will praise you forever,
    O God, grant us.
  1. Oh Tannenbaum (Oh Fir)

This beautiful German Christmas carol has a fir tree as its protagonist and tells of its good and bad moments. The tree, both in good times (summer) and in bad times (winter with its harsh temperatures), keeps its leaf firm, without giving up in the face of difficulties.

Lyrics:

  • Oh 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 Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
    Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
    Wie oft hat schon zur Winterszeit
    Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
    O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
    Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
  • O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
    Dein Kleid will mich was lehren:
    Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
    Gibt Mut und Kraft zu jeder Zeit!
    O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum,
    Dein Kleid will mich was lehren.

Spanish translation:

  • Oh fir, oh fir
    How faithful are your leaves!
    You not only green in summer
    but also in winter when it snows.
    Oh fir, oh fir
    How faithful are your leaves!
  • Oh fir tree, oh fir tree
    You know how to please me very much!
    How many times, in the winter,
    A tree like you made me so happy.
    Oh fir tree, oh fir tree
    You know how to please me very much!
  • Oh fir tree, oh fir tree
    Your dress wants to teach me something,
    Hope and stability,
    It always gives courage and strength.
    Oh fir tree, oh fir tree
    Your dress wants to teach me something.
  1. Ihr Kinderlein kommet (Come, children)

The lyrics of this carol are the typical and traditional Christmas song that has been passed down from generation to generation telling of the birth of a child in a manger and invites children to adore the child on such a special night. It was written by Christoph von Schmid (a Catholic priest) in 1798.

Lyrics:

  • Ihr Kinderlein kommet, o kommet doch all!
    Zur Krippe her kommet in Bethlehems Stall
    Und seht was in dieser hochheiligen Nacht
    Unser Vater im Himmel für Freude uns macht.
  • O seht in der Krippe, im nächtlichen Stall
    Seht heir bei des Lichtes hellglänzendem Strahl
    In reinliche Windeln, das himmlische Kind,
    Viel schöner und holder als Engelein sind.
  • Da liegt es, ihr Kinder, auf Heu und auf Stroh
    Maria und Josef betrachten es froh
    Die redlichen Hirten knien betend davor
    Hoch oben schwebt jubelnd der Engelein Chor.

Spanish translation:

  • Come, little children, oh, come all of you
    To the manger, in the stable in Bethlehem,
    And look what, on this very holy night,
    Our Father in heaven does for us.
  • Oh, see in the manger, in the stable tonight,
    See here near the very bright rays of light,
    In pure swaddling clothes, the heavenly child,
    Much more beautiful and loved than the little angels.
  • Here he rests, oh children, on hay and straw,
    Mary and Joseph contemplate him happily,
    The honest shepherds kneel in prayer before him,
    On the heights the choir of angels floats joyfully.
  1. Am Weihnachtsbaum die Lichter brennen (At Christmas, the lights are on)

If we close our eyes and describe what Christmas is like for many of us, what we would get is something similar to this German Christmas carol: lights on, children with sparkles in their eyes, laughter, happiness…

Lyrics:

  • Am Weihnachtsbaume die Lichter brennen,
  • wie glänzt er festlich, lieb und mild,
  • als spräch er: Wollt ihr in mir erkennen
  • getreuer Hoffnung stilles Bild.
  • Die Kinder Stehen with Hellen Blicken,
  • das Auge lacht, is lacht das Herz,
  • Or, fröhlich, seliges Entzücken,
  • die Alten schauen himmelwärts
  • Zwei Engel sind hereingetreten,
  • kein Auge hat sie kommen sehn,
  • sie gehen zum Weihnachtsbaum und beten
  • und wenden wieder sich und geh’n
  • Gesegnet seid ihr alten Leute,
  • Gesegnet sei du kleine Schar!
  • Wir bringen Gottes Segen heute
  • Dem braunen wie dem weißen Haar.
  • Kein Ohr hat ihren Spruch vernommen,
  • unsichtbar jedes Menschen Blick.
  • Sind sie gegangen, wie gekommen,
  • doch Gottes Segen bleibt zurück!

Spanish translation:

  • The lights are on the Christmas tree.
  • How festively it shines, sweet and soft,
  • while speaking: Do you want to recognize me?
  • Hope faithful silent image.
  • The children stand with bright eyes,
  • the eye laughs, the heart laughs,
  • O happy, happy!
  • The old look up to the sky
  • two angels entered
  • no eye has seen it coming
  • They go to the Christmas tree and pray
  • and they turn around and leave
  • Blessed are the old
  • Bless you little company!
  • We bring God’s blessing today
  • Brown and white hair.
  • No ear has heard her say
  • Invisible the gaze of every man.
  • They left, how is it possible?
  • but God’s blessing remains!
  1. Johnny Tambor

The little drummer with his famous drum rhythm also finds its German translation. A song for adults and children that we will hear at least once or twice at Christmas. Here, your letter!

  • Lyrics:
  • Kleiner Johnny pa rum pum pum pum
  • Wohin bei Nacht und Wind pa rum pum pum pum
  • Mit deiner Trommel, Kind pa rum pum pum pum
  • Du machst die Leute wach pa rum pum pum pum
  • Wohin läufst du nur pa rum pum pum pum
  • Johnny Tambour.
  • Meine Trommel pa rum pum pum pum
  • Geb ich im Himmel her pa rum pum pum pum
  • For Vaters Wiederkehr pa rum pum pum pum
  • Er lief der Trommel nach pa rum pum pum pum
  • Muss dort oben sein pa rum pum pum pum
  • Ganz allein.
  • Goldene Trommeln pa rum pum pum pum
  • Spielte der Engelchor pa rum pum pum pum
  • Willst deinen Vater sehen pa rum pum pum pum
  • Must du nach Hause gehen pa rum pum pum pum
  • War ein Traum ja nur pa rum pum pum pum
  • Johnny Tambour.

Its version in Spanish:

  • The road that leads to Bethlehem
  • Go down to the valley that the snow covered.
  • The little shepherds want to see their King,
  • they bring him gifts in his humble bag
  • to the Redeemer, to the Redeemer.
  • I would like to put at your feet
    a present that pleases you, Lord,
    but you already know that I am also poor,
    and I only have an old drum.
    (rom pom pom pom, rom pom pom pom)
    In your honor in front of the portal I will play
    with my drum!
  • I am marking the path that leads to Bethlehem
    with my old drum,
    there is nothing better that I can offer,
    its hoarse accent is a love song
    to the Redeemer, to the Redeemer.
  • When God saw me playing before Him He smiled at me.

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