O Tannenbaum”/”O Christmas Tree” by Ernst Anschütz

This song occupies a space somewhere between the traditional Christmas hymns and the manufactured novelty crap that has dominated the genre for the last hundred years or so. It worked well enough in its original form as a booming, boisterous quasi-Drinking Song, but its banal melody is not well served by the American tendency to perform it as a sentimental ballad, and that combined with the inevitable overexposure any Christmas standard receives has made most American listeners cringe when they hear it.

Verdict: Decent in the German original, but straight-up bad in most American versions.

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