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Stephen Kerr's Blog




Silent Night

  The Thanksgiving and Christmas season has always been my favorite time of year, especially from a music standpoint.  I've always been fascinated about how some of the traditional holiday songs came into being, and have remained a part of our tradition decades and even centuries after they were first written.    Now that we have launched our Majic of Christmas promotion, I thought it would be a good idea to find out more about some of the songs we play on Majic during the holiday season.  For the next few weeks, we'll take a look at the history of specific songs.    Silent Night is definitely one of the most beautiful carols of the season.  Numerous holiday historians trace the song's origin back to 1816.  The words of the song were originally written as a poem by Joseph Mohr when he was a young priest assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, Austria.    After being transferred to a church in Oberndorf, Austria, in 1817, Mohr took the poem with him to the home of a musician and schoolteacher named Franz Gruber.  On Christmas Eve of that year, Mohr asked Gruber to add a guitar accompaniment for singing at Midnight Mass that night.    It was there, in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, that the carol "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" were sung for the first time.  Several years later, Karl Mauracher, a master organ repairman and builder, obtained a copy of the song and took it home with him.  It subsequently became a folk tune, sung by two families of folk singers, similar to the beloved von Trapp Family Singers from "The Sound of Music".  In 1832, several musical notes of the song were changed to reflect the melody we sing today.  It is now translated into hundreds of languages worldwide, painting a wonderful picture of events leading to the birth of Christ, our Savior.    Enjoy the music!



 
11/17/2008 3:31PM
Silent Night
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