Quote of the Day: O Holy Night & Celebrating the Divine

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.

A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

O Holy Night !

Origins of the Quote

O Holy Night is one of the oldest and most historic carols. Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ retains an old-world charm and truly embodies the spirit of Christmas. It is the traditional carols that make up a Christmas carol set. The popular songs that have taken over in the past decades are popular, however, these embody the spirit of Christmas.

The Person Behind the Words

The author of ‘O Holy Night’ verses, is Placide Cappeau. Cappeau was a commissionaire of wines and a part-time poet. He was born in 1808. Although he was to take after his father’s business – an accident forced him to take up the life of an academic. Cappeau lived in a small village, Roquemaure near Avignon, France during the nineteenth century (1808-1877).

His little friend Brignon, when he was eight, handling a gun, shot Placide in the arm by mistake. As a result, the injury led to an amputation. It was not uncommon for guns to be in the range of children, though they were not normally loaded. it was truly an unfortunate accident. Both the boys were fast friends and Bringnon’s father took the responsibility for (partially) Placide’s education.

After studying in Nîmes, where he received a baccalauréat littéraire (A level in literature). An academic at heart, he went on to study law in Paris and was awarded a license to practice law in 1831. Cappeau was always oriented academically.

However, following in his father’s footsteps, he became a merchant of wines and spirits. But his focus in life was to remain literature. It was something that had sustained him during difficult times and he loved writing.

Some Final Thoughts

‘O Holy Night’ is also famous for being the first Christmas song ever played live over the radio. In 1906 Reginald Fessenden, a former employee and lab technician for Thomas Edison, transmitted a short broadcast from the Brant Rock radio tower.

Cappeau felt it should be accompanied by music, so approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams. Adams’ text reflects on the birth of Jesus and of humanity’s redemption.

Thus this carol comes wrapped in great history and stories.


Check out our Quote of the Day archive where we bring you quotes hand picked by me, Divvya Nirula. Sharing the stories, people, moments behind the inspiration and thought provoking words.