Skip to comments.'Silent Night' gets reprieve (Wisconsin school restores original lyrics)
Posted on 12/15/2005 8:26:27 AM PST by NYer
A Wisconsin school that had secularized the lyrics of the beloved Christmas carol "Silent Night" has now agreed to change the words back to the original after receiving countless phone calls and e-mails about the issue.
Liberty Counsel, the law firm working on behalf of parents upset about the secularization of the carol, says it was both public pressure and two letters attorneys sent to the school that prompted the change.
According to a statement from the organization, Debra Messer, administrator of the Dodgeville School District confirmed that "'Silent Night' will be sung. 'Cold in the Night' will not be sung."
As WorldNetDaily reported, for performance in its "winter program," kids who attend Ridgeway Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wis., were scheduled sing the following lyrics to the tune of "Silent Night":
Cold in the night, no one in sight, winter winds whirl and bite, how I wish I were happy and warm, safe with my family out of the storm.
This year's winter program also includes decorating classrooms with Santa Claus, Kwanzaa symbols, menorahs and Labafana, a mythical witch that's a part of traditional Christmas celebrations in Italy.
Letters the law group sent to the school demanded a change in the winter program. Failure to do so would have resulted in legal action, Liberty Counsel said.
Courts have ruled that public schools may include religious songs as part of a teaching or performance program. The Supreme Court once noted: "Music without sacred music, architecture minus the cathedral, or painting without the scriptural themes would be eccentric and incomplete, even from a secular view." Religious songs along with other secular holiday songs are permissible.
"We are pleased that the children at Ridgeway Elementary School will not be singing 'Cold in the Night,'" Mathew Staver, Liberty Counsel president and general counsel, said in a statement. "This secularized rendition mocks one of the world's best-known Christmas songs. Christmas is a state and federal holiday. We don't change the names of any other federal holiday, nor do we change the words to songs commemorating these holidays. It is absurd to have children sing 'Cold in the Night' in place of 'Silent Night.'"
Controversy over Christmas and its celebration in the public square has reached a fever pitch this year with battles raging over everything from what to call evergreen trees to whether or not retailers allow their employees to wish customers a "merry Christmas."
"Silent Night" is the most recorded song in history. The carol was written by Franz Gruber and Joseph Mohr. Gruber led the singing of his new song for the first time during an 1818 Christmas Eve service in Oberndorf, Austria, accompanying the choir on guitar.
Glad to see the Holy Spirit moving in this way. Time for the silent majority to roar!
Doing the right thing apparently wasn't an issue for the school. Too bad, but at least the outcome was right.
Hi, I'm Labafana!
I've been wondering, if the Catholic Church decided to move the date of Christmas, what would the secular world do??? To move the date with Church would reaffirm that the holiday celebrate's Christ's birth. If they kept it on December 25, what would they call it?
Sheesh. Who woulda thought he'd end up as a terrorist killed by Bruce Willis?
I wonder if this curriculum is approved for use in all Wisconsin schools?
An ideas on how to get school boards to change "winter break" back to "christmas break"? I mean everyone knows it is Christmas break.
Gee, I thought 'cold in the night' was kinda catchy!
Not sure, but people would be hosed one way or the other. Since the Global retail sector operates so far in advance and depends on the holiday for the majority of its revenue, it would implode. Of course, an event of this proportion would take the whole gobal economy down with it. Just the announcement of something like that would drop the market something ridiculous.
I see. It's one of "those schools". "Positive action tokens"? It's like training dogs with biscuts. Also wonder what they mean by "character education". Whatever happened to 'the family' and a couple real life experiences doing the character education?? Sheesh!
Actually, it was his brother HANS who was the Alan Rickman character lol
Did the Liberty Council get their "positive action tokens"? I figure they're due a bunch of 'em...
1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigten Haar,
|: Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh! :|
2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
|: Jesus in deiner Geburt! :|
3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
|: Jesum in Menschengestalt! :|
4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
|: Jesus die Völker der Welt! :|
5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
|: Aller Welt Schonung verhieß! :|
6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
|: "Jesus der Retter ist da!" :|
I don't remember the rest.