Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Songs for Christmas: Silent Night

Can you imagine not singing Silent Night at least once during the Christmas season? The story goes that this simple carol was composed by an Austrian choirmaster because the church organ was broken and he needed a song that could be sung with guitar accompaniment. Whether or not the broken organ story is true,"Stille Nacht," written by Father Joseph Mohr (melody by Franz Xaver Gruber) was first performed in the Nikolaus-Kirche (Church of St. Nicholas) in Oberndorf, Austria on December 24, 1818, with guitar accompaniment.  In 1859, John Freeman Young (second Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Florida) first published the English translation that we know today. Is there a more beloved Christmas carol that can be enjoyed by the young and the old alike?

I once learned this carol in the original German when I shared office space with a German language instructor. She was native to Germany and coached me in pronunciation. Since I don't speak German, I have long since forgotten the German lyrics. Last year I heard Enya's CD, And Winter Came. One of the tracks off that album is "Oiche Chuin," an Irish version of Silent Night. I found it to be a strikingly beautiful rendition. Here it is for your enjoyment.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...