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December 2005

   Picture of the month











Softly falls the snow – Leise rieselt der Schnee…  Thus begins a traditional Austrian Christmas carol. How beautifully its first two verses capture the magic of this season:

« Leise rieselt der Schnee,
still und starr liegt der See,
weihnachtlich glänzet der Wald:
Freue dich, Christkind kommt bald!


In den Herzen wirds warm,
still schweigt Kummer und Harm,
Sorge des Lebens verhallt:

Freue dich, Christkind kommt bald! »

Eduard Ebel, 1839-1905


A number of English translation are available, but none seems to follow the lyrics and the melody of the original as closely as one might wish. I have therefore tried my hands at a new translation, in an attempt to make it easy for those who like to sing this Christmas carol to follow the song's melody yet staying close to the meaning of the German lyrics:

Snow falls softly tonight,
Nature's quiet and bright,
In the forest a wonderful light,
Christ child is coming tonight!


People's hearts are so warm,
Gone's all sorrow and harm,
All the worries feel suddenly light,
Christ child is coming tonight!

Transl. W. Ulrich, 2010



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Softly falling snow: a perfect symbol for the one challenge that is left to us as the old year is ending: "letting go." We can't keep it, we can't improve it any more. But we can still attempt a soft landing, as it were.

So let it go in peace!

December 2005

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December, 2005

December 2005 - Softly falls the snow

 Mountain Christmas: Adelboden, Bernese Oberland

Snow falls softly tonight …

(Eduard Ebel, 1839-1905)


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Last updated 19 May 2010 (layout and new transl. of the song's lyrics; first published 1 Dec 2005)




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