The Story Behind Silent Night
"Silent Night" is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria. Many singers from every music genre have performed this hymn. The version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all time.
The hymn was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A youthful priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had arrived in Oberndorf the year earlier.
The melody was arranged by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass.
Biblical Inspiration of "Silent Night" Lyrics
"And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear." ~ Luke 2:7-9
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." ~ Isaiah 9:6
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel." ~ Isaiah 7:14
See our Favorite Performances of "Silent Night" below!
Collection of Popular Christmas Hymns and Carols:
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The First Noel
Joy To The World
O Holy Night
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
O Come All Ye Faithful
Go Tell It On The Mountain
What Child Is This
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We Three Kings of Orient Are