It had been a ‘Silent Night’ indeed when this beloved song was composed. If not for a broken pipe organ, the world likely might have been without its most popular Christmas carol. Perhaps it was that very silence that motivated the Reverend Joseph Mohr to pen those now-famous words in 1818. During the time, it was probably pure desperation rather than inspiration that motivated him.
As Father Mohr prepared for Christmas Eve Mass in the church within the small Austrian village of Oberndorf, someone learned that the church’s ancient organ was away from commission. With only some days to travel and the nearest repairman several days journey away, it appeared as though Mass would have to commence without musical accompaniment.
Feeling thwarted within his efforts to plan an exciting Christmas, Fr. Mohr set about to manufacture another plan. This was in the middle of all his regular parish duties, like the blessing of the newborn infant. On this particular call, Fr. Mohr was suddenly struck through the words as to what has become referred to as “Silent Night,” or “Stille Nacht” within his native tongue. Quickly, so as not to lose the lines that have been rapidly filling his brain, he finished his call and raced home. Here he penned four stanzas, the first of which reads in English:
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.
When he had set his words to parchment, he called upon his colleague, Franz Gruber, the musician who trained the parish choir. He was able to finagle from him the reality that, as well as his organ prowess, Gruber have also been a guitar player. Gruber emphatically informed him, however, that his guitar skills were under proficient. Undeterred, Mohr presented the text to his new poem to Gruber. Rounding up a dusty, little-used guitar, both men composed the song that could provide music for Oberndorf’s Christmas Mass.
It absolutely was unlikely at the time that either Mohr or Gruber had any inkling of the impact they could have on history. In reality, the song disappeared into near obscurity for any decade. It was then that https://go.miraclepianist.com/free-silent-night-lyrics-amazing/ fell to the hands of the Strasser family of Zillertal Valley.
The four young, musically-trained Strasser children spent many one hour drumming up business for parents’ glove-making business by singing while watching shop. In a manner not unlike a contemporary talent agent discovering some secret talent within the unlikeliest of places, “Silent Night” was brought to the Strassers. Rearranged from two-part to four-part harmony, the Strasser children were catapulted to instant renown making use of their rendition. Valley residents renamed it “The Song From Heaven,” because the Strasser children sounded so much such as a choir of angels whenever they performed it. They sang so beautifully, actually, the Strassers were invited to do it before kings and queens.
The Nativity Story is remarkable in the usage of music, which include traditional tunes of the season such as Veni Emmanuel, Carol in the Bells, and Silent Night–some choral and a few instrumental–introduced in a tasteful, tjuotf way, and along with an authentic score with by Mychael Danna that includes a distinctly middle-eastern flavor. You might like to read Jonathan Broxton’s more descriptive review of the film’s music.
It may have been a king who placed “Silent Night” indelibly on the lips of Christendom. King Frederick William IV of Prussia heard it sung some 22 years following the Strasser children began performing “The Song from Heaven.” Afterward, he asserted that it should “get first spot in all future Christmas concerts” within the domain of his rule. Whether or not this really was or not isn’t certain. What exactly is certain is the fact that “Silent Night” breached King Frederick’s bounds to become loved the world over.