O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! How lovely are thy branches! ~~ Ernst Anschutz
In 1824, a German composer and teacher named Ernst Anschutz paid homage to the fir tree when he penned the modern lyrics to "O Tannebaum." The original folk song was written in the 16th century by Melchior Franck and was rewritten again in 1819 as a tragic love song by August Zarnack. However, it was not until the custom of the Christmas tree developed in the 19th century, that Anshutz's version morphed into the beloved English Christmas carol. The song tells the story of the faithful fir tree with its evergreen branches that bear the joyful message of the Christmas story. According to the various lyric changes, the tree gives us pleasure and delight, fills our hearts with music, and brings us light in winter's gloom.
The Forest Public Library agrees that nothing brightens the holidays like the first sight of Christmas trees. As part of the Forest Area Chamber of Commerce's Stationary Christmas Parade, the library staff created a display of 12 Christmas trees throughout the years, beginning with the Pioneer tree.