"O Tannenbaum" ("O Christmas Tree") is a German song. Based on a traditional folk song, it became associated with the Christmas tree by the early 20th century and sung as a Christmas carol. The modern lyrics are due to Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz, written in 1824. A Tannenbaum is a fir tree. The lyrics do not actually refer to Christmas, or describe a decorated Christmas tree. Instead, they refer to the fir's evergreen qualities as a symbol of constancy and faithfulness. Anschütz based his text on a 16th-century Silesian folk song by Melchior Franck, "Ach Tannenbaum". Joachim August Zarnack (de) (1777–1827) in 1819 wrote a tragic love song inspired by this folk song, taking the evergreen, "faithful" fir tree as contrasting with a faithless lover. The folk song first became associated with Christmas with Anschütz, who added two verses of his own to the first, traditional verse. The custom of the Christmas tree developed in the course of the 19th century, and the song came to be seen as a Christmas carol. Anschütz's version still had treu (true, faithful) as the adjective describing the fir's leaves (needles), harking back to the contrast to the faithless maiden of the folk song. This was changed to grün (green) at some point in the 20th century, after the song had come to be associated with Christmas.
While I'm at the Christmas countdown, let's toss something else in there as well; 26 days of 2013 remain, and then it will be 2014! Wow! Good night everyone and sleep well, or I hope that you are sleeping well.
Nat King Cole singing "O Christmas Tree"