"Silent Night" was originally written as a poem in 1816 by Father Joseph Mohr, the assistant pastor to St. Nicholas Church. In 1918, Franz Xaver Gruber, the choir director at the church, composed a melody to complement the song. Mohr and Gruber first performed it in 1918.
"Silent Night" is of Austrian origin, and Austrians call it "Stille Nacht." It took Franz Xaver Gruber only a few hours to create the melody to Father Joseph Mohr's poem. Due to the fact that a flood destroyed the organ at St. Nicholas church, Gruber created the melody on guitar instead. The first performance of "Silent Night" by Mohr and Gruber was on Christmas Eve in 1918 at the St. Nicholas church on the same day that Gruber wrote the melody.
Folk singers from Austria?s Ziller Valley picked up the song, and in 1932 they started performing it with a few alterations to the original piece. Their version of the song is the melody heard by audiences today. People doubted that Gruber and Mohr created the song until the original arrangement?s authentication in the 20th century.
Austria considers "Stille Nacht" a national treasure and prohibits playing the song on the radio, television or anywhere in public until Christmas Eve. MetroLyrics publishes the lyrics for "Silent Night" on its website.