Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Songs: Where they came from Week 3

Oops! I got forgot to do this, but here it is!

Twenty-five-year-old Joseph Mohr was an assistant priest in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf Austria. In 1818, during a very cold winter, he was making last minute preparations for his Christmas service, one he'd been planning for months. Everything was in place. But he had one tiney problem (well actually it was a very big problem, but back to the story) St. Nicholas's organ wouldn't play. Frantic he messed with the old instrument for hours. He fiddled with the keys, stops, and pedals, even crawled behind the console to see if he could find the problem. But no matter what he did, the organ stayed silent. He realized he could do nothing. So he prayed to find a way to bring music to the congregation. In 1816, Mohr had written a Christmas poem, and he remembered that and rushed to his office. He found the poem and decided to use it. He was really happy. He run and took it to the thirty-one-year-old school teacher, Franz Gruber. He gave it to the teacher and was very agitated since it was getting close to the service. He begged Franz to write music the choir could easily learn. Franz agreed to the challenge. Mohr rushed back to the church, leaving Franz with his thoughts, the ticking of the clock, and inspiration.
A few hours later they met at the St. Nicholas Church. The choir members were waiting for their rehearsal. What could have taken weeks was memorized in a couple hours. They sang it in front of the congregation.
Now, two hundred years later it's one of the most popular Christmas song in the world.
Silent night

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 savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born.

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.

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