Silent Night – A Christmas Song

Picture courtesy of Amazon.com

A few years ago, the globally best-known Christmas song was determined. Of course, there was a long list of excellent, famous songs, like ‘Feliz Navidad,’ or ‘White Christmas’ to choose from.

But even though Bing Crosby’s song was the most successful, it wasn’t the best-known song.

Also, ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham was very successful and often streamed. But despite it being played almost too often around the world by uncountable radio stations, the song isn’t the best-known Christmas song in the world. However, some people are convinced it’s the most annoying Christmas song.

The best-known Christmas song, translated into 320 languages and dialects, is ‘Silent Night, Holy Night.’

In 1818, in Salzburg, Austria, curate Joseph Mohr wrote the words as a poem first and then searched for a composer who could vitalize his rhymes. Franz Xaver Gruber found the correct intonations and wrote the melody down on paper. (That particular paper was found in Salzburg in 1995).

The song was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.

‘Silent Night’ was recorded and sold by numerous singers globally. And here we are, meeting Bing Crosby again. His version of Silent Night was sold over 30 million times.

Even though the original text contained six stanzas, the Silent Night is often sung with three stanzas: the first, the second, and the last.


SILENT NIGHT

English lyrics

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,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood & Reba McEntire (2013)

German lyrics

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb’ aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

Stille Nacht, by Peter Alexander, a famous Austrian singer, 1926 – 2011

Silent Night has always been mine and my Father’s favorite Christmas song. I remember very clearly with how much passion he sang this Christmas carol and how much he loved it. Even though he passed away 24 years ago, until this day, I cannot sing Silent Night anymore without being forced to give up, choked by tears.

I still love to hear it, year, by year, by year, that beautiful song, filling my heart with hope and peace.


Picture courtesy of 8tracksradio.com