Sounds of Christmas in Switzerland

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Thursday, December 24th. Christmas eve! We’re thankful you’ve joined us today the The World and Everything in It.

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming up next on The World and Everything In It, Christmas around the world.

Today, our last one in a series. We  travel now to a small river town in Switzerland—this time, for a children’s song that’s quite charming. WORLD correspondent Jenny Lind Schmitt is our guide.

JENNY LIND SCHMITT, CORRESPONDENT: It’s just after five P-M in the small Swiss city of Porrentruy. The rain has stopped, and Christmas lights strung across the streets in the old town reflect off the still-damp cobblestones. A three-story Christmas tree has sprouted in front of the Hotel de Ville—the city hall—and its white lights cast a warm glow onto the white limestone building. Like almost everywhere else in Europe, the concerts and festivals long planned for this season are cancelled. No Christmas markets, no cathedral choirs, no steaming cups of mulled wine. 

But this evening the town’s third grade class assembles in front of the tree for a spontaneous performance of the song they’ve been practicing. A small group gathers to listen. The teacher sets up a makeshift speaker, and as the music begins the clock on the church tower strikes quarter past. 


The song is about a child too excited to sleep on Christmas Eve. “Little boy,” say the words, “it’s time to go to sleep!”  “When you wake tomorrow, you’ll find all kinds of toys in your stocking. But for now, everything is calm and at rest. Your eyes are heavy, and it’s time to sleep. If you’re quiet and listen, can you hear the bells on Santa’s sleigh?” 


Reporting for WORLD, I’m Jenny Lind Schmitt wishing you Joyeux Noel and a Very Merry Christmas.

(Photo/Jenny Lind Schmitt)

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Sounds of Christmas in Switzerland

  1. JohnandValerie Gibbs says:


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