Father Joseph Mohr was in a quandary. Christmas Eve was only hours away, but his seasonal hymn was still incomplete due to a broken organ (some say mice were the cause of the damage). Father Mohr feared that if the tune was left unfinished, Christmas 1818 would forever be remembered as Oberdorf, Germany's, "tuneless Yuletide." Happily, organist Franz Gruber rescued Mohr with a simple arrangement for voice and guitars.
When the clocks struck midnight, the just-written "Silent Night" echoed across the Bavarian village. This simple, haunting carol traveled quickly from town to town, but it took 30 years for news of its popularity to reach its amazed composers. To read the full story of "Silent Night," click here.
"Silent Night" Lyrics
1. 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.
2. Silent night, Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heav'nly hosts sing Hallelujah,
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
3. 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.
No one is quite sure about the origins of our next song, a sweet Christmas lullaby. Keep reading to learn more about "Away in a Manger."