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Silent Night

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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« on: December 23, 2007, 04:07:27 am »

Silent Night
by Josef Mohr, translated by John Freeman Young 


"Silent Night" is a traditional and popular Christmas carol. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written in German by the Austrian priest Fr. 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.


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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2007, 04:08:22 am »

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,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ, the Saviour, is born!
Christ, the Saviour, 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.
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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2007, 04:10:18 am »



Autograph of the carol by Gruber
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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2007, 04:11:48 am »

"Silent Night" ("Stille Nacht") is a popular Christmas carol. The original lyrics of the song Stille Nacht were written in German by the priest Father 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. Today, the lyrics and melody are in the public domain.

Some historians believe that Mohr simply wanted a new Christmas carol that he could play on his guitar. The Silent Night Society says that there are "many romantic stories and legends" that add their own anecdotal details to the known facts.

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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2007, 04:14:03 am »



Silent Night Museum and Memorial Chapel in Oberndorf.
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Noelle Clarke Eberly
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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2007, 04:14:43 am »

The Nicola-Kirche was demolished in the early 1900s due to flood damage and due to the fact that the town's centre was moved up the river to a safer location, with a new church being built there close to the new bridge. A tiny chapel, called the "Stille-Nacht-Gedächtniskapelle" (Silent Night Memorial Chapel), was built in the place of the demolished church and a nearby house was converted into a museum, attracting tourists from all over the world, not only but primarily in December.

The original manuscript has been lost, however a manuscript was discovered in 1995 in Mohr's handwriting 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. Gruber's composition was influenced by the musical tradition of his rural domicile. 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.

It is believed that the carol has been translated into over 300 languages and dialects around the world, and it is one of the most popular carols of all time. It is sometimes sung without musical accompaniment. Although written by Catholics, it is given special significance in Lutheranism.

The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914, as it was one of the few carols that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.

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