Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle

Minuit, chrétiens, c’est l’heure solennelle. Placide Cappeau* (1808-1877) Cappeau is believed to have written this Christmas hymn in 1843, at the request of the parish priest of his native town of Roquemaure in the Gard department of France. Cappeau himself said that he wrote it in a stage-coach travelling to Paris. It has three stanzas. Cappeau had a reputation as a Socialist and a free-thinker: this carol is the Incarnation seen through the eyes of a follower of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It is closely associated with the music written for it in 1847 by the French composer Adolphe Adam (1803-1856). Adam gave the tune and the carol itself the name of ‘La Marseillaise réligieuse’. The...

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