A Tannenbaum is a fir tree (German die Tanne) or Christmas tree (der Weihnachtsbaum). Its evergreen qualities have long inspired musicians to write several "Tannenbaum" songs in German.
The best known version was written in 1824 by the Leipzig organist, teacher and composer Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune. The first known lyrics date back to 1550. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1573–1639) begins:
- Ach Tannenbaum, ach Tannenbaum, du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grünest uns den Winter, die liebe Sommerzeit.
Appearances in Christmas specials
- A Charlie Brown Christmas (instrumental)
- A Garfield Christmas Special
- A Claymation Christmas Celebration
- Disney's Christmas Fantasy on Ice (instrumental)
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
- Wee Sing The Best Christmas Ever!
- Alpha's Magical Christmas
- The Santa Clause
- Barney's Night Before Christmas
- Barney's Christmas Star
- 101 Dalmatians: "A Christmas Cruella"
- Animaniacs: "The Christmas Tree"
- O' Christmas Tree - Covered by Marie Osmond.
- Jay-Jay, the Jet Plane: "Jay Jay's Christmas Adventure"
- A Johnny Bravo Christmas
- All Grown Up!: "The Finster Who Stole Christmas"
- In some versions, the singer or singers will sing both the German and English versions of the song in different verses of the same recording, for nostalgia and contrast.
- While not including the full song, the Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy's Christmas" begins with an unknown chorus of singers intoning "O Tannenbaum" amidst the sound of artillery fire, just before the song commences. This is likely because the usual villain of this song series, The Red Baron, plays a very different role here.