Christmas 1818 a song was born on a silent night that would weave its way into the hearts of people around the world.

The songwriter could hardly imagine the universal impact his composition would have.

Now translated into hundreds of languages, the carol is sung by countless millions every December from great cathedrals in Antwerp and Rome, to fireside sing-a-longs in St Albert, Alberta.

The Most Recorded Carol

Silent Night is the most recorded Christmas song of all time and the most downloaded from iTunes.

“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.”

Humble Beginnings

The song was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The Internet is filled with a wide array of stories, each telling the supposed back story of the song. No one knows for certain how this carol was inspired.

What is known is the song debuted at Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church. The assistant pastor, Joseph Mohr, accompanied on guitar by the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, were the first to give voice to “Silent Night” or “Stille Nacht.”

Peace On Historic Battlefields

Of all the testaments to the song’s widespread endearment none speak louder than the historic role it played on the battlefields of WW I.

As Christmas 1914 approached the guns fell silent and their volume were replaced with the sounds of a different melody – “Silent Night.”

Soldiers on both sides of the front lines reminisced about home fires and Christmas baking as they sang the carol in their native tongue. Differing words with a united refrain.

When was the first time you recall singing the carol “Silent Night?” Please leave a comment below.

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Bob Jones

Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 41 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vinnie and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers

2 Comments

  • adena lowry says:

    In the film, Joyeux Noel, the true story of the truce on Christmas Eve 1914 is told from the battle lines. It shows how the soldiers from the 2 sides get to know one another, share parts of their lives with each other although they are enemies, and celebrate Christmas even for a short time. It’s amazing how we truly want to get along with one another and just be “known” by someone else.

    My favorite Christmas carol lines are from, “Away in a Manger”

    I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky.
    And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

    It reminds me that Jesus is with me all the time and that he stands by my side as in 2 Timothy 4:17 ” But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength…”

    Read more: Christmas Carols – Away In A Manger Lyrics | MetroLyrics

  • bob jones says:

    War is impersonal. That’s why it seems that all of crave to be known and understood. Once truly understood there is less inclination to act murderously towards others.

    Great carol – “Away in a Manger” – we’ll be singing it Christmas Eve.

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