"O Holy Night" is an English translation of the French carol "Le Christien Minuit" that was translated and became a rallying cry of abolitionists during the Civil War. The third verse of "O Holy Night" was a direct Christian call to eradicate slavery, a sentiment that led to the song begin edited or outright banned in some sections of the country. We address this story more in our production, "Freedom Song."
In the context of #CarolStory, "O Holy Night" is woven with five other standard carols -- "Silent Night," "Hark! The Herald," "O Little Town of Bethlehem," and "The Hallelujah Chorus" to establish the atmosphere of fear, awe and respect that the shepherds experienced when the Heavenly Host appeared on "The Night" when Christ was born. (The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2, verses 8-15).
Danny Gokey, a former American Idol runnerup, cleanly expresses those emotions and the abolitionist sentiment in this elegant yet simple video.
LEARN MORE: Original French Lyrics
LEARN MORE: Beloved Carols with non-American Origins
O Holy Night: Variations
The KIT 'n' Kaboodle Blog
The essays here are culled from our travels, conversations, worship experiences and discoveries.
Many are reprints from our newsletter, The KIT 'n' Kaboodle, or Facebook notes over time.
They're written by our ensemble, Garlan Garner, Michael Edgar Myers or Vikki J. Myers -- solo, or collectively.