Noche de paz

Silent Night (Stille Nacht)

Creche at a museum in Las Palmas, Spain
Creche at the Casa-Museo Antonio Padrón in Las Palmas, Spain. Photo by Juan Ramón Rodríguez Sosa used under terms of Creative Commons license.

These are the most common lyrics used in Spanish for Stille Nacht, a popular Christmas carol known as Silent Night in English.

Noche de paz

Noche de paz, noche de amor,
Todo duerme en derredor.
Entre sus astros que esparcen su luz
Bella anunciando al niñito Jesús.
Brilla la estrella de paz,
Brilla la estrella de paz.

Noche de paz, noche de amor,
Todo duerme en derredor.
Sólo velan en la oscuridad
Los pastores que en el campo están
Y la estrella de Belén,
Y la estrella de Belén.

Noche de paz, noche de amor,
Todo duerme en derredor.
Sobre el santo niño Jesús
Una estrella esparce su luz,
Brilla sobre el Rey,
Brilla sobre el Rey.

Noche de paz, noche de amor,
Todo duerme en derredor;
Fieles velando allí en Belén
Los pastores, la madre también,
Y la estrella de paz,
Y la estrella de paz.

(La letra original fue escrita en alemán por José Mohr.)

Grammar and Vocabulary Notes

Todo duerme: This phrase can be translated as "all sleep" or "everyone sleeps." Note that todo is treated as a collective noun here, much like the singular word gente is treated as a singular word even though it has has the plural meaning of "people."

Derredor: You won't find this word listed except in larger dictionaries. In this context, it refers to the outskirts of an area, or the area surrounding something else.

Esparcen: The verb esparcir generally means "to spread" or "to scatter."

Velan: The verb velar isn't particularly common.

In this context it means "to keep watch" or "to take care."

Pastores: A pastor in this context isn't a pastor, but a shepherd (although the word nowadays can also refer to a minister). In both English and Spanish the word originally means "shepherd," but its meaning was broadened to include people who were appointed to watch over a "flock" of believers.

 Pastor comes from an ancient Indo-European root meaning "to protect" or "to feed." Related English words include "pasture," "pester" and even "food" and "foster."

Oscuridad: It shouldn't be surprising that one meaning of this word is "obscurity." But it more often means "darkness."

Belén: This is the Spanish word for Bethlehem.