Still, still, still.

 

Hauptstadt Bern
Bern, the federal capital of Switzerland, in the winter. If you look very carefully, you can see where the Aare River runs through it.  (Wikimedia Commons public domain)

 

In today’s Deseret News, the latest iteration of my weekly “Defending the Faith” column:

 

“2 competing visions of ‘restoration'”

 

***

 

It’s Day Seven of the Church’s “Light the World” campaign:

 

“Suffer the little children to come unto me.”

 

***

 

As you may have noticed, I’ve been devoting considerable attention, over the past month or two, to attempting to raise funds for the Interpreter Foundation.  We need money to continue our efforts and, if possible, to extend them.  We’ve done some very good things, and we hope to do greater things.  Doing so, though, requires financial support

 

But, in the context of today’s “Light the World” theme (“Suffer the little children to come unto me.”), may I mention two additional causes that seem to me enormously worthwhile?

 

Liahona Children’s Foundation

 

Operation Underground Railroad

 

There are so many desperate needs, and so many wonderful opportunities to help.  Please choose at least one, and please give at least a dollar or two.  Almost everybody can afford that.  If nothing else, enroll in AmazonSmile, which will give to your chosen charitable organization on your behalf — and at no charge to you beyond what you were going to pay for your purchase anyway.

 

***

 

Unfortunately, owing to scheduling conflicts, my wife and I were unable to visit Salt Lake City’s Christkindlmarkt this year.  I really regret that, because, to me, traditional Christmas is very richly Germanic.  Fortunately, we visited Chicago’s Christkindlmarkt a few weeks ago and reveled in food and music from Austria, Bavaria and surrounding regions, so we didn’t miss out altogether.

 

One of my favorite Christmas carols is Still, Still, Still.

 

Like so much wonderful music, Still, Still, Still comes from Salzburg.  (Among other things, a fellow named Mozart was born there.)  The very title seems to put me right into German mode:  I actually began, just now, to write that “Like so much wonderful music, Still Still Still kommt aus Salzburg.”  And I always pronounce it shtill, shtill, shtill.

 

Salzburg in the Winter
Salzburg im Winter (Wikimedia Commons)

 

The song conjures up images in my mind of small Alpine cottages quietly surrounded by deep moonlit snowdrifts, warm firelight visible through their windows.  Truth be told, I think my mental picture may be heavily influenced by one magical night, on my mission long ago, in the Berner Oberland village of Innertkirchen.

 

Innertkirchen sign
Summer in the Oberhasli village of Innertkirchen. Unfortunately, no adequate winter scene was available from Wikimedia Commons.

 

The standard lyrics of Still, Still, Still read like this:

 

Still, still, still,
weil’s Kindlein schlafen will!
Die Engel tun schön jubilieren,
Bei dem Kripplein musizieren.
Stille, stille, stille,
Weil’s Kindlein schlafen will.
(2) Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf,
Mein liebes Kindlein, schlaf!
Maria tut dich [es] niedersingen
Und ihr treues Herz darbringen.
Schlaf, schlaf, schlaf,
Mein liebes Kindlein, schlaf!
(3) Groß, groß, groß,
Die Lieb’ ist übergroß.
Gott hat den Himmelsthron verlassen
Und muß reisen auf der Straßen.
Groß, groß, groß,
Die Lieb’ ist übergroß.
(4) Auf, auf, auf,
Ihr Adamskinder auf!
Fallet Jesum all zu Füßen,
Weil er für uns d’Sünd tut büßen!
Auf, auf, auf,
Ihr Adamskinder auf!
(5) Wir, wir, wir,
Wir rufen all zu dir:
“Tu uns des Himmels Reich aufschließen,
Wenn wir einmal sterben müssen.
Wir, wir, wir,
Wir rufen all zu dir.”
(6) Ruh’t, ruh’t, ruh’t,
Weil’s Kindlein schlafen tut.
Sankt Josef löscht das Lichtlein aus,
Die Englein schützen’s kleine Haus.
Ruh’t, ruh’t, ruh’t,
Weil’s Kindlein schlafen tut.

 

And here’s my rough, non-artistic, literal translation:

 

Quiet, quiet, quiet,
because the little child wants to sleep!
The angels are beautifully rejoicing,
making music by the little crib.
Quiet, quiet, quiet,
because the little child wants to sleep!
(2) Sleep, sleep, sleep,
My dear little child, sleep!
Mary is singing a lullaby to you
and offering her faithful heart.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
My dear little child, sleep!
(3) Great, great, great,
the love is immensely great.
God has left his heavenly throne
And now must travel on our streets.
Great, great, great,
the love is immensely great.
(4) Up, up, up,
You children of Adam, get up!
Fall, all of you, at Jesus’ feet,
Because he atones for all our sins!
Up, up, up,
You children of Adam, get up!
(5) We, we, we,
We all call to thee:
“Open the Kingdom of Heaven to us,
when we someday must die.
We, we, we,
We all call to thee.”
(6) Be still, be still, be still,
because the little child is sleeping.
Saint Joseph puts the little light out,
The little angels guard the tiny house.
Be still, be still, be still,
because the little child is sleeping.

 

 

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