How ‘Silent Night’ Went From Village Ditty To Global Christmas Hit

Admin 22-Dec-2015 18:20:42 Inothernews

When "Silent Night" was born in Austria almost 200 years ago, those present had little idea that the Christmas carol would one day be sung the world over, including this year by Miley Cyrus and some Swedish goats. Such though was the destiny of "Stille Nacht", premiered to a modest church congregation of ship labourers and their families in this small town in Austria on Christmas Eve, 1818. The words, since translated into more than 300 languages and dialects -- including Japanese, Welsh and Farsi -- had been written as a poem by a priest, Joseph Mohr, in 1816, a time of great suffering in the wake of Europe's Napoleonic wars. Two years later, Mohr asked his friend stationed in a nearby village, the organist, choirmaster and schoolteacher Franz Xaver Gruber, to compose a tune. When Gruber duly obliged on December 24, the two men decided to sing it together that very evening at mass in Oberndorf church. The organ was broken, according to legend because of nibbling mice, so Mohr played guitar. Many years later in his 1854 "Authentic Account of the Origin of the Christmas Carol, 'Silent Night, Holy Night!'," Gruber recalled there was "general approval by all".

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