Sunday, 7 December 2008

Silent Night

Halfway through December 1818, the organ in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, 11 miles north of Salzburg broke down. The curate, 26-year-old Josef Mohr, realised it couldn’t be repaired in time to provide music on Christmas Eve. He told his troubles to his friend Franz Gruber, who was an amateur composer. After unburdening himself, he gave Gruber a present, which was a poem that he had written two years previously. Gruber was so taken by the rhythm of the poem that he set it to music and, on Christmas Eve, there was music after all. Mohr played his guitar while the pair sang the song. It was the first public performance of "Stille Nacht" or as we know it "Silent Night". 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.
Originally posted on the Songfacts website.

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