Another War on Christmas Fraud Exposed
by Caleb Reading
Recently, Bill O’Reilly and others reported that the Ridgewood Elementary School in Dodgeville, Wisconsin had the children singing an secularized-lyrics version of “Silent Night.”
If these pundits had bothered to fact check, they would have discovered that there was no secularized version of Silent Night.
Ridgeway Elementary didn’t change the lyrics to “Silent Night.” What they did was perform a 1988 copyrighted play called “The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift.”
That play actually contains numerous songs about Christmas, including the grand finale, an audience-led group singing of “We Wish You A Merry Christmas.” The play’s creator, Dwight Elrich, happens to lead the New Covenant Singers of Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.
In fact, “The Little Tree’s Christmas Gift” has been performed in several churches, including the Oakwood Forest Christian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee, the St. Anthony Parish School in Des Moines, Iowa, and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church of Abeline, Texas.
So why are the Silent Night lyrics changed in “Little Tree’s Christmas”? Because the play is about a small, lonely Christmas tree that is told it is “too scraggly, it will never sell.” That character sings the revised lyrics — “Cold in the night, No one in sight, Winter winds whirl and bite” — in a scene lamenting his sad state. The rewording has absolutely nothing to do with “secularizing” the song.
Sorry, Virginia, there is no “War on Christmas.”