My personal favorite of all the wonderful Christmas music is O Holy Night. I love the visual images, compelling lyrics, and expressive melody of this piece. Most of all, I remember one Christmas playing O Holy Night on piano while accompanying my Mother on her violin. I was 13 years old and felt surprised that I could play with my Mother, an accomplished musician. I had discovered the sheet music on our piano and decided to try to play O Holy Night. With friends, I enjoyed playing all the standard piano pieces such as Heart and Soul, Chopsticks, and Cat on the Keys. But the experience of playing O Holy Night with my Mother’s soulful violin music was an entirely different matter.   

Our music sounded beautiful. We played this piece often that Christmas. Amazing! To be 13 years old and get along with one’s Mother was a feat in itself. Yes, we had occasional arguments about how the music was to be played, but we continued. 

Playing O Holy Night with my Mother is etched in my heart because I realize now this led to a gentle, unfolding new sense of myself as my “soul felt its worth.” The abbreviated lyrics remind us: “…Long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the Soul felt its worth. The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder brinks a new and glorious morn.” Thanks be to God!

Betsy Adams

About the Contributor

Betsy Adams enjoys a soulful life in Spartanburg with husband Fred, black lab Emmylou, and beloved friends and family.