Christmas Challenge: Day 5

Silent Night by Joseph Mohr (1792-1848)

I love music and I’ve always loved Christmas carols.  To me, nothing says Christmas more than the religious and secular songs that accompany the holiday season.  You hear them on the radio (and where I am, several stations play only holiday songs from before Thanksgiving through Christmas), in stores, just about everywhere.  I have lots of favorites, but my all-time, hands-down favorite Christmas carol is Silent Night.  It is just such a beautiful song.  And I know, every year at Midnight Mass, Silent Night will be sung.  As will Joy to the World as you leave church.  🙂

And I love the “history” of Silent Night.  A young priest in Oberndorf, Austria wrote the lyrics in 1816, then in 1817, he took the lyrics to Franz Xavier Gruber to write the music.  For the first time, the music and lyrics were heard on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1818.  The two gentlemen, along with the church choir, performed the song using a guitar (common legend has it because the organ was broken, but no one is quite sure the real reason) that night.

The song traveled outside Austria, when Karl Mauracher came to town to repair the church organ.  He found the sheet music and took it with him when he finished the repairs.   Two traveling families of folk singers began performing the song, introducing it to the rest of the world.   During this time, a few tweaks to the song was made, making it the song we are most familiar with today.  (historical information for this page can be found by visiting Silent Night: The Song Heard Round the World

What is your favorite holiday song?  Is there a song that until you hear it, the holiday’s haven’t arrived yet?

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One comment on “Christmas Challenge: Day 5

  1. Mo says:

    Fascintating story

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