O Holy Night

"O Holy Night" (also known as "Cantique de Noël"|italic=no) is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847 to the French poem "Minuit, chrétiens"|italic=no (Midnight, Christians) by poet Placide Cappeau (1808–1877). The carol reflects on the birth of Jesus as humanity's redemption.


In Roquemaure at the end of 1843, the church organ had recently been renovated. To celebrate the event, the parish priest persuaded poet Placide Cappeau, a native of the town, to write a Christmas poem. Soon afterwards that same year, Adolphe Adam composed the music. The song was premiered in Roquemaure in 1847 by the opera singer Emily Laurey. Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, editor of Dwight's Journal of Music, translated the song into English in 1855.



The song has been recorded by numerous well-known popular-music, classical-music, and religious-music singers. Some notable versions include:

  • 1994: Mariah Carey's rendition, featured on her first studio holiday album, Merry Christmas, which sold 15 million copies worldwide, charted at No. 8 on the Billboard Holiday Digital Song Sales chart. It was rereleased as a single in 1996 and 2000. She released a re-recorded live rendition on her 2010 follow-up album Merry Christmas II You.
  • 1996: John Berry's version charted at No. 55 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart.
  • 1997: Martina McBride's rendering charted at No. 74 on Hot Country Songs chart (also No. 67 in 1998, No. 49 in 1999, No. 57 in 2000, and No. 41 in 2001)
  • 2002: Josh Groban (No. 1 Billboard Adult Contemporary)
  • 2006: Josh Gracin's version charted at No. 59 on Hot Country Songs chart