In the fall of , a French merchant, Placide Cappeau, was asked by his local priest to write a Christmas poem. Cappeau took the new song back to his hometown of Roquemaure, where it was first performed at a midnight mass on Christmas Eve, The American music critic John Sullivan Dwight translated the lyrics of this carol, one of the most dramatically beautiful Christmas songs ever penned, into English in In this arrangement by the Grammy-winning American composer and arranger David T. Clydesdale, Ms. O holy night! A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born.
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The carol reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity's redemption. In Roquemaure at the end of , the church organ had recently been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest persuaded poet Placide Cappeau , a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem. The song was premiered in Roquemaure in by the opera singer Emily Laurey. Peuple debout! Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour, When God as man descended unto us To erase the stain of original sin And to end the wrath of His Father.
Adam was a French composer and music critic who wrote mostly operas and ballets. Placide Cappeau, the author of the French lyrics, was a wine merchant and poet. Although he was never particularly religious, Cappeau was asked in to write a Christmas poem to celebrate the recent renovation of the church organ in his home town. He obliged and, soon after, Adolphe Adam composed the accompanying music. It was almost a decade after the song's composition that the lyrics were translated into English. Minister John Sullivan Dwight translated the French original into the lyrics we sing today in A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;.