Christmas Triple-Feature: Stille Nacht, St. Nick & Scrooge


From top left: The title page of the first edition of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens; A handwritten manuscript of "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore; the music and lyrics to "Stille Nacht, by Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver Gruber. Public domain

We're taking a look at three creative works that have become staples of the Christmas season. All three of them have played a huge part in how people observe and celebrate Christmas in parts of the world, and they all have milestone birthdays this year.

Tracy's Research:

  • Stille Nacht German lyrics: http://www.stillenacht.at/en/text_and_music.asp
  • Fischer, Mag. Manfred W.K. & Renate Schaffenberger. “The Facts.” Stille Nacht Gesellschaft. http://www.stillenacht.at/en/origin_song.asp
  • Egan, Bill. “Silent Night, Holy Night: The History of a Famous Carol.” Soundscapes Journal on Media Culture. http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/VOLUME02/Silent_Night_History.shtml
  • Rowell, Geoffrey. “Dickens and the Construction of Christmas.” History Today. 12/12/1993. https://www.historytoday.com/geoffrey-rowell/dickens-and-construction-christmas
  • Barnes, Alison. “The First Christmas Tree.” History Today. 12/12/2006. https://www.historytoday.com/alison-barnes/first-christmas-tree
  • Eschner, Kat. “Why Charles Dickens Wrote ‘A Christmas Carol.’” Smithsonian. 12/19/2016. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/why-charles-dickens-wrote-christmas-carol-180961507/
  • Blasco, Erin. “Guest Post: Christmas 1843: The Births of the First Christmas Card and A Christmas Carol.” Pushing the Envelope: Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. 12/12/2010. https://postalmuseumblog.si.edu/2010/12/christmas-1843-the-births-of-the-first-christmas-card-and-a-christmas-carol.html
  • Broich, John. “The Real Reason Charles Dickens Wrote A Christmas Carol.” Time. 12/13/2016. http://time.com/4597964/history-charles-dickens-christmas-carol/
  • Varese, Jon Michael. “Why A Christmas Carol was a flop for Dickens.” The Guardian. 12/22/2009. https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2009/dec/22/christmas-carol-flop-dickens
  • Olshan, Jeremy. “What the insane circumstances under which Dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ reveal about money, debt, and success.” MarketWatch. 12/25/2017. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-financial-stress-the-secret-to-success-a-christmas-carol-suggests-it-is-2017-12-07
  • Harrison, Mary-Catherine. “Sentimental Realism: Poverty and the Ethics of Empathy, 1832-1867.” Thesis. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/handle/2027.42/58389
  • Reid, Carol. “Exhibit: Revisiting "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” New York State Library. 12/2015. http://www.nysl.nysed.gov/collections/stnick/
  • Moore, Clement Clareke. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43171/a-visit-from-st-nicholas
  • The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Encyclopedia Britannica. August 17, 2017 https://www.britannica.com/topic/A-Visit-from-St-Nicholas
  • New York Historical Society. “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Object number MSS.BV.Moore.1. https://www.nyhistory.org/exhibit/visit-st-nicholas
  • New York Times. “Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem.” 12/23/2009.
  • Kirkpatrick, David D. “Whose Jolly Old Elf Is That, Anyway?; Literary Sleuth Casts Doubt on the Authorship of an Iconic Christmas Poem.” New York Times. 12/26/2000. https://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/26/books/whose-jolly-old-elf-that-anyway-literary-sleuth-casts-doubt-authorship-iconic.html
  • New York Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin. “Original Documents from the Archives of the Society.” https://books.google.com/books?id=pWtIAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA111&lpg#v=onepage&q&f=false
  • Kaller, Seth. “The Moore Things Change.” The New-York Journal of American History. Winter 2004. https://issuu.com/sethkaller/docs/1._ny_journal-_moore_seth_s_article?e=1967270/45122195
  • Kellam, William Porter. “The Story of "A Visit from St. Nicholas".” The Georgia Review. Vol. 8, No. 4. Winter, 1954. Via JSTOR. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41395270?
  • Jackson, MacDonald P. “Style and Authorship in a Classic of Popular Culture: Henry Livingston and "The Night Before Christmas’” Style. Vol. 51, No. 4. Winter 2017.
  • Henry Livingston Jr. the author of “‘The Night Before Christmas.’” http://www.henrylivingston.com/
  • Hitt, Jack. “Words On Trial: Can linguists solve crimes that stump the police?” New Yorker. 7/23/2012. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/07/23/words-on-trial
  • Nissenbaum, Stephen. “There Arose Such a Clatter: Who Really Wrote ‘The Night before Christmas’? (And Why Does It Matter?)” Common-Place. Vol. 1, No. 2, January 2001. http://www.common-place-archives.org/vol-01/no-02/moore/
  • “Stille Nacht.” By Franz Gruber, performed by Julia Culp. 1914. Via Archive.org. https://archive.org/details/78_stille-nacht-heilige-nacht-silent-night-holy-night_julia-culp-franz-gruber_gbia0016135a

Topics in this Podcast: Austria, disputes, 19th century, U.S. history, Christmas, authors, British history, writers, novels, poets, poetry, charles dickens, Music