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The Forum > Article Comments > Silent Night a miracle in the making > Comments

Silent Night a miracle in the making : Comments

By Warwick Marsh, published 24/12/2010

One song more than any other embodies the qualities of Christmas and has been there to prove it.

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Words pretty well fail me to express my contempt for this load of canting rubbish, except to point out that much the same could be said of Lilli Marlene, the german army marching song later adopted by british soldiers. The Xmas truce had nothing to do with any god, and everything to to with the inherent goodwill towards each other that is within each of us when that goodwill is allowed expression, free from prescriptive morality.
God, had he/she/it chosen to do so could have prevented the whole miserable business - a point that seems to have totally eluded the author.
Posted by GYM-FISH, Friday, 24 December 2010 11:36:35 AM
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@ GYM-FISH:

Agreed.
Posted by Tomithy, Friday, 24 December 2010 3:06:18 PM
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Christmas is almost here - and I don't care what others may say about
Christmas carols - "Silent Night" can still bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eye at certain times. I remember being overseas one year at Christmas time and missing my family and friends when I heard
carols being sung and "Silent Night," was amongst them - I felt so homesick.

"An Aussie bush Christmas is a fabulous one
No sign of snow, just hot Aussie sun
But that doesn't matter 'cause this time of year
Christmas is Christmas, even out here."
Posted by Lexi, Friday, 24 December 2010 3:45:21 PM
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What a load of self-indulgent tosh.

"The real mystery of the miracle lies in the story behind the carol"

Balderdash. The impact on an individual of a song - the tune, that is - is entirely independent of any religious content, whether or not the author intended it or not.

Silent Night's clever combinations of descending thirds and fourths are well-established emotional triggers, and used here to particularly good effect, that's all. The same response (in European ears) is generated, irrespective of the language in which it is sung - evidence, surely, that the words that carry the "message of Christmas" are entirely incidental to the song's popularity.

Christians have always tried to subvert music to their own evangelical purposes, given its intrinsic emotional pulling-power. Think how awe-inspiring a cathedral choir would have been to sixteenth-century peasants. And how easy to say "look, this is God at work", to trick them into coughing up the odd indulgence or two.

And, like GYM-FISH, I marvel at the asinine naivety of Mr Marsh's observation:

"Some might laugh at the baby in the stable and the Christmas story but if He had been born just for the Christmas truce in 1914 and saved several thousand men's deaths over that surreal time of peace in the midst of war, it would still have been worth it."

Errr... how about the sixteen million deaths that were not "saved" in that conflict?

Gah.
Posted by Pericles, Friday, 24 December 2010 4:23:37 PM
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Spot-on, Pericles. Merry Christmas :)
Posted by Loudmouth, Saturday, 25 December 2010 10:50:57 AM
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Agreed. One day of peace in four years of insane mayhem is hardly a recommendation for God's grace or mercy. Once apologists can explain why he let the war happen in the first place, then I'll listen.
Posted by Jon J, Saturday, 25 December 2010 12:52:06 PM
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