What does Ros mean on the radio


Blooms from the snow "A rose has sprung up"

Image source: picture-alliance / dpa

Lunch music extra

German folk songs - a rose has sprung up

Music and lyrics

The melody of this German Christmas carol sung all over the world was first found in 1599 in a Catholic church hymn book of the Speyer diocese, the "Speyrer Gesangbuch". The composer is unknown, the now well-known four-part set was created by the Protestant Michael Praetorius.

The author of the text is also not known.

History of origin

Why did "a rose" come from here? Does the song really tell us about the Christmas rose that blooms in the cold snow in the middle of winter? No.

With the word "Ros" the unknown poet allowed himself a little freedom. It shouldn't really be called "Ros", but rather "Reis". A rice is a twig, and when many such twigs are in a heap, they are still called "twigs" today. The line of text "A rice sprang from" as well as the entire first stanza of the song refer to an Old Testament verse in which the prophet Isaiah foretells the coming of the Messiah. And indeed he will come from the family of King David, whose father was called Jesse: "And a rice will come out of the tribe of Jesse, and a sapling from its roots will bear fruit."

The song is a riddle song. In the first stanza the lyricist poses his riddle, in the second he brings the solution. However, it caused a small problem in the stanza of the ending. He smuggled Our Lady into the text, which does not appear in the prophet Isaiah. And that bothered the Lutheran believers, who also wanted to sing the song. For example, when Michael Praetorius included the song in one of his hymn books in 1609, he simply corrected this little text passage. Since then, the song has existed in two text versions, a Catholic and a Protestant.

And what about the flower that actually blooms in the middle of winter in the cold snow in this country? There is no question of that here. Perhaps she gave the impetus to the text poem, but then the poet succumbed to botanical confusion. Our beautiful Christmas rose, which actually looks a bit like a dog rose, is not a rose at all, but a hellebore. Sneezing powder can be made from their roots.


The manuscript for the broadcast