O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

O Tannenbaum, known in English as 'O Christmas Tree', is a German folk song that has become a popular Christmas carol.  The lyrics were written in 1824 by Ernst Anschütz.  Anschütz based his song on a sixteenth century folk song from Sielsia, which compared the unchaning evergreen fir tree unfavourably with a faithless lover.  As the custom of displaying fir trees - that is Christmas trees - inside the house became established during the course of the nineteenth century, O Tannenbaum became more and more strongly associated with Christmas.  O Tannenbaum's chords are straightforward.  Move your capo up and down your guitar's fretboard to find the key that works best for you.

Chords

Capo at 3rd Fret

   C
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

 
       F               G7     C
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

    C
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,

  
       F              G7     C
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
       
C

Du grünst nicht nur

       G7
Zur Sommerzeit,

                                     C
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.

   C                           Am
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
       
       F                G7     C
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!





    C
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

 
       F               G7     C
Thy leaves are so unchanging;

    C
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

  
      F                G7    C
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
       
C                                   G7

Not only green when summer's here,

                                C
But also when 'tis cold and drear.

    C                              Am
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

 
       F                G7    C
Thy leaves are so unchanging.

Lyrics

German Lyrics

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!
Du grünst nicht nur
Zur Sommerzeit,
Nein auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Wie treu sind deine Blätter!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Dein Kleid will mich
was lehren:
Die Hoffnung und Beständigkeit
Gibt Trost und Kraft
zu jeder Zeit.
O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum!
Das soll dein Kleid
mich lehren.

English Lyrics

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging;
Not only green when summer's here,
But also when 'tis cold and drear.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy leaves are so unchanging!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me;
How often has the Christmas tree
Afforded me the greatest glee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Much pleasure thou can'st give me.

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!
From base to summit, gay and bright,
There's only splendor for the sight.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
Thy candles shine so brightly!

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee!
Thou bidst us true and faithful be,
And trust in God unchangingly.
O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!
How richly God has decked thee! !"

Other Christmas Carols