Jim Hopkins begins his column Silent Night voice of our history:
The spirituality of Christmas has been heedlessly stripped away by the Caesars of our age … It was playing on the wireless last week, Justin Bieber’s version of Silent Night, and no matter how soppy the singer, the song still cuts, every time, like love, to the quick. There are always tears in the tune and a lifetime in its lines.
Silent Night is the song of Christmas. There’s so much inside it. The melody floats and soars and lives in the Gothic nave of our imagination, stirring something in us we’d forgotten was there. . .
And concludes it:
. . . But that will happen only if we acknowledge the character and history of Christmas and allow some part of the holy day into the holiday. And that’s all but gone now. The spirituality of Christmas has been heedlessly stripped away by the Caesars of our age, who would have no rendering except to themselves. Officially, like or not, this is still a Christian country, yet our politicians – and the media they control on our behalf – cannot summon the will to make any reference to 2000 years of tradition and belief. We have come to a contrary pass when those who assert the sanctity of taonga in one breath will so casually forsake it in the next.
Still, Silent Night survives. To goad, comfort, challenge and console. As memory and star, it is the song of Christmas. Sing it.
The bits in between are worth reading too.