Christmas 2017


Liechtenstein – Christmas carols are always very popular, and four of the best-known ones feature as motifs on our “Christmas” special stamps. Eduard Ebel, Joseph Mohr, James Lord Pierpont … these names may not mean anything to you. But you probably know the songs they wrote by heart, as they have long since become part of our cul- ture and our identity. Silent Night The lyrics of “Silent Night” were originally taken from a Christmas poem written by assistant priest Joseph Mohr (1792–1848) from the Austrian village of Arnsdorf and Franz Xaver Gruber composed the hauntingly beautiful melody.

Today the carol is sung in countless languages around world. Jingle Bells “Jingle Bells” was written in the mid-19th century by the American composer James Lord Pierpont. Although strictly speaking it is not a Christmas carol, it is sung all over the world at Christmas time. We wish you a merry Christmas In the case of “We wish you a merry Christmas”, the writer is lost in the mists of time. A traditional Eng- lish carol dating back to the 16th century, it also looks beyond Christmas to the beginning of the New Year. Snow falls softly at night “Snow falls softly at night” was written – and possibly also composed – by Protestant pastor Eduard Ebel (1839–1905). However, he may also have taken up an old folk tune. At any rate, he himself considered it a nursery rhyme.