“Silent Night,” sung in more than 300 languages on every continent, is 203 years old this Christmas.
Philadelphia radio station WRTI notes it first was sung, with guitar accompaniment, by Austrians attending a Christmas Eve mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf.
A young priest, Joseph Mohr, wrote the words and Franz Xaver Gruber the melody.
Mohr, on that quiet night in 1818, played the guitar and sang along with Gruber.
An organ builder working at the church took a copy of the song, and it was picked up by traveling folks singers. In 1834, it was sung for the King of Prussia, and by 1839 it was at Trinity Church in New York.
“It was sung in churches, in town squares, even on the battlefield during World War I, when, during a temporary truce on Christmas Eve, soldiers sang carols from home,” WRTI said. “‘Silent Night,’ by 1914, known around the world, was sung simultaneously in French, German and English.”
Hear the song, in its many version, by top artists:
A capella by Pentatonix:
By Kelly Clarkson, Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire:
By the Mormon Tabernacle choir and orchestra:
By Carrie Underwood:
By Muan Valte:
By Alan Jackson:
By Bing Crosby:
By For King and Country:
By Cedarmont Kids:
By Jackie Evancho:
On jazz piano:
On acoustic guitar:
By 1,200 singers:
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.