Monday, December 22, 2014

"Sind die Lichter angezündet"

There is a beautiful little Christmas song that is not heard much outside of the eastern part of Germany. It is one of those little gems of GDR culture that never influenced anywhere else, and would have died with the country, except that people still live there and still feel a bit nostalgic for the nicer things from that time. This song is certainly one them. The music is lovely, and the text is also inspiring. From a Christian perspective, one is reminded of the hope and joy of the season. However, when the culture that produced the song is considered, another interpretation comes to mind; one that is secular where hope is a wish and assurances are as vacant as the ideology that dominated that country for half a century.

I prefer the Christian sentiment that my perspective adds to the song. Here is a loose translation:

Lights are lit, candles aflame
Joy glows on every tree
Christmas joy is proclaimed
Everywhere nativity
Lights, light, so brightly beaming
Everywhere, everywhere joy is gleaming

Sweet confections, pretty presents
Exchanged and passed from hand to hand
Ev’ry kid feels joy from heaven
Ev’ry kid in ev’ry land
Lights, light, so brightly beaming
Everywhere, everywhere joy is gleaming

Lights are lit, candles aflame
All around radiating
Christmas peace is proclaimed
Around the world mediating
Lights, light so brightly beaming
Everywhere, everywhere peace is gleaming


Sind die Lichter angezündet,
Freude zieht in jeden Raum;
Weihnachtsfreude wird verkündet
unter jedem Lichterbaum.
Leuchte, Licht, mit hellem Schein,
überall, überall soll Freude sein.

Süsse Dinge, schöne Gaben
gehen nun von Hand zu Hand.
Jedes Kind soll Freude haben,
jedes Kind in jedem Land.
Leuchte, Licht, mit hellem Schein,
überall, überall soll Freude sein.

Sind die Lichter angezündet,
rings ist jeder Raum erhellt;
Weinachtsfriede wird verkündet,
zieht hinaus in alle Welt.
Leuchte, Licht, mit hellem Schein,
überall, überall soll Friede sein.

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