'O Christmas Tree' in Spanish

'Qué verdes son'

O Christmas Tree in Madrid
Árbol de Navidid en Puerto del Sol, la plaza central de Madrid. (Christmas tree in Puerto del Sol, Madrid's central plaza.). Jacinta Lluch Valero/Creative Commons

Here is a Spanish-language version of O Tannenbaum, a German Christmas carol known in English as O Christmas Tree.

Qué verdes son

Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
En Navidad qué hermoso está
con su brillar de luces mil.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.

Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.


Sus ramas siempre airosas son,
su aroma es encantador.
Qué verdes son, qué verdes son
las hojas del abeto.

Translation of the Spanish

How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
At Christmas how beautiful you are
with your glittering of a thousand lights.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.

How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.
Your branches always elegant are,
your aroma is enchanting.
How green are, how green are
the needles of the fir tree.

Translation Notes

An unusual word order is used throughout for poetic purposes and so the lyrics go well with the music.

The phrase usually used to refer to a Christmas tree is árbol de Navidad. Although these lyrics do not specifically refer to a Christmas tree, neither do those of the original German carol.

Hoja is normally translated as "leaf," but "needles" was used here because that's what the leaves of a fir tree are typically called. Hoja can also be used to refer to a sheet of paper or a sheet of metal.

Brillar is a verb usually meaning "to shine," "to glitter" or "to be conspicuous." The infinitive form here, like other infinitives, can be used as a noun.

In nonpoetic use of the language, the noun brillantez would be more likely here.

Airosas could have been translated more literally as "airy."

Note that aroma, like many other words of Greek origin ending in -a, is masculine.