John Speller's Web Pages Was, liebes Kind, freut heut dich so? (Lauritzen)

John Speller's Web Pages - North American Christmas Carols
Was, liebes Kind, freut heut dich so? (Lauritzen)
Pastor J. R. Lauritzen wrote both the text and music of this Christmas song and published it in Port Huron, Michigan, in 1880. It is a very interesting example of what might have been going on in small Lutheran churches in the nineteenth century. The Rev. Johannes Rudolph Lauritzen (1845-1923) was successively pastor of the Lutheran Church in New London, Wisconsin, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Huron Michigan, and First Lutheran Church, Knoxville, Tennessee. He wrote this Christmas song while in Port Huron between 1876 and 1883. He later achieved some fame as the author of a New Testament translation, published in Knoxville in 1918. The song may be sung in a number of ways. It is written in German, English and Swedish, doubtless reflecting the ethnic makeup of Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Huron at the time. It may be sung in any of these languages, but ought not to be sung in all three at once, except perhaps in Pentecostal churches. Pastor Lauritzen's text is written as a dialog of questions and answers, and he indicates that these might be sung by separate ensembles (Chor I and Chor II), with some passages being sung by both choirs at once for emphasis. The song might alternatively be sung in unison with women's voices singing the questions, and men's voices singing the answers, with perhaps the Chor I + II sections being sung by all in harmony. In nineteenth-century Port Huron, Pastor Lauritzen does not seem to have had access to Swedish typeface, so he is forced to substitute aa for and for . I have modified his text accordingly.

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The 1874 building of Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Huron, Michigan
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