Silent Night

Silent Night is a traditional and popular Christmas carol. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written in German by Josef Mohr and the melody was composed by the Austrian headmaster Franz X. Gruber. The version of the melody that is generally sung today differs slightly (particularly in the final strain) from Gruber's original.

It is believed that the carol has been translated into over 300 languages around the world, and it is one of the most popular carols of all time. It is often sung without musical accompaniment. It is given special significance in the Lutheran church.

The carol was first performed in the Church of St Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria on December 25, 1818. Mohr had composed the words much earlier, in 1816, but on Christmas Eve brought them to Gruber and asked him to compose a guitar accompaniment for them. The reason for this is unclear — perhaps Mohr simply wanted a new carol for the Midnight Mass, but tradition has it that the organ at St Nikolaus was not working that night (a popular version of the story claims that mice had eaten out the bellows).

The original manuscript has been lost, however a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr's hand and dated by researchers at ca. 1820. It shows that Mohr wrote the words in 1816 when he was assigned to a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria, and shows that the music was composed by Gruber in 1818. This is the earliest manuscript that exists and the only one in Mohr's handwriting. Grubers' composition was influenced by the musical tradition of the rural communities he taught in. The melody of Silent Night bears resemblance to aspects of Austrian folk music and Yodelling.

Another popular story claims that the carol, once performed, was promptly forgotten until an organ repairman found the manuscript in 1825 and revived it. However, Gruber published various arrangements of it throughout his lifetime and we now have the Mohr arrangement (ca. 1820) that is kept at the Carolino Augusteum Museum in Salzburg.

In 1965 the duo Simon and Garfunkel released a version known as the 7 O'Clock News, in which an excerpt from a news broadcast was played over top of the pair singing the song.

English Lyrics

Silent night Holy night
All is calm all is bright
'Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia;
Christ the Savior is born;
Christ the Savior is born.
Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth;
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Original German Lyrics

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schlft, einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Hallelujah,
Tnt es laut von fern und nah,
Christ, der Retter ist da,
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb aus Deinem gttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlgt die rettende Stund,
Christ, in Deiner Geburt,
Christ, in Deiner Geburt!

External links

Template:Wikisource lyricscy:Tawel Nos de:Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht fr:Douce nuit, sainte nuit it:Stille Nacht nl:Stille Nacht ja:きよしこの夜 pt:Noite Feliz ro:Noapte de vis sv:Stilla natt, heliga natt


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