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Silent Night, Holy Night

Updated on September 5, 2014

The Most Popular Christmas Song Of All Times: "Silent Night, Holy Night"

Videos and history of the ultimate Christmas carol: "Silent Night, Holy Night", originally titled in German: "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht". Who wrote Silent Night? Who created this wonderful song? What was the original version of "Silent Night"? How many different versions exist, in how many languages? What are the most beautiful recordings of "Silent Night, Holy Night"?

Silent Night, Holy Night - The Beginning

Who wrote Silent Night?

Sweet childhood memories of a peaceful evening with my parents and my two sisters, real candles on a real tree, a nice heap of exciting presents, and a late-night trip to the Midnight Mass - all this and more connects me with this beautiful tune - "Silent Night, Holy Night". But how did it all begin?

It was in 1816's Mariapfarr, a small Austrian village, when Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics on a piece of paper. Two years later, Franz Gruber composed the melody.

As the story goes, Mohr was the curate of the St. Nicholas church, in Oberndorf, Austria. Their organ had broken down right before Christmas, so he visited his friend Gruber, a school teacher and church organist in nearby Arnsdorf, and asked for a guitar arrangement for his "poem".

Franz Gruber finished the music just in time for the holidays. Backed by the church choir, both men performed "Silent Night, Holy Night", for the first time in history, on Christmas Eve of 1818, at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf , Austria.

Image courtesy of kjd

Silent Night Chapel in Oberndorf, Austria

Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht (German)

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

Alles schläft; einsam wacht

Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.

Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar,

Schlaf' in himmlischer Ruh! (repeat)

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht

Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,

Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.

Christ in deiner Geburt! (repeat)

Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

Hirten erst kundgemacht

Durch der Engel Alleluja,

Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:

Christ der Retter ist da! (repeat

The Original Version Of "Silent Night, Holy Night" - Sung by the Innsbrucker Kapell Knaben

This is the original melody as written by Franz Xaver Gruber. It was slightly different from the later version known to this day.

The Truly Original Version Of "Silent Night" - The Composer's "Cut" - As written and arranged by Franz Xaver Gruber, almost 200 years ago...

Silent Night / Horn Mass / Wedding Mass
Silent Night / Horn Mass / Wedding Mass

Franz Xaver Gruber's versions of Silent Night as he had meant it to be performed, plus a number of his other compositions. An amazing piece of music history!


Silent Night Around The World

A song creates peace...

Karl Mauracher, a church organ builder from Zillertal, came to St. Nicholas to work on their organ. He took the song back to his hometown, from where two singing families adopted it into their programs. These traveling performers ensured that by the turn of the century "Silent Night" was known on all continents.

Amazingly, even during both World Wars, soldiers of all nationalities ceased their fighting for a few hours on Christmas Eve and sang "Silent Night, Holy Night" in their native languages.

Translated in 300 languages and dialects, recorded by over 300 artist - "Silent Night" is the most successful Christmas carol of all times.

Silent Night, Holy Night (English)

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. (repeat)

Silent night, holy night,

Shepherds quake at the sight.

Glories stream from heaven afar,

Heav'nly hosts sing Alleluia;

Christ the Savior is born. (repeat)

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. (repeat)

Enya's Irish-Gaelic Version

Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé,

Cách 'na suan dís araon,

Dís is dílse 'faire le spéis

Naoín beag gnaoigheal ceananntais caomh

Críost, 'na chodhladh go séimh.

Críost, 'na chodhladh go séimh.

Oíche chiúin, oíche Mhic Dé,

Aoirí ar dtús chuala 'n scéal;

Allelúia aingeal ag glaoch.

Cantain suairc i ngar is i gcéin

Críost an Slánaitheoir Féin

Críost an Slánaitheoir Féin

Enya's Angelic Voice For Christmas - A divine match!

Noche de Paz (Spanish)

Noche de paz, noche de amor,

Todo duerme en derredor.

Entre sus astros que esparcen su luz

Bella anunciando al niñito Jesús

Brilla la estrella de paz

Brilla la estrella de paz

Noche de paz, noche de amor,

Todo duerme en derredor

Sólo velan en la oscuridad

Los pastores que en el campo están;

Y la estrella de Belén

Y la estrella de Belén

Noche de paz, noche de amor,

Todo duerme en derredor;

sobre el santo niño Jesús

Una estrella esparce su luz,

Brilla sobre el Rey

Brilla sobre el Rey.

Japanese Lyrics

Kiyoshi kono yoru hoshi wa hikari

sukui nomiko wa mabune no naka ni

nemuri tamo-o. itoyasuku.

Kiyoshi kono yoru mitsuge ukeshi

makibitotachi wa miko no mimae ni

nukazukinu, kashikomite.

Kiyoshi kono yoru miko no emi ni,

megumi no miyo no ashita no hikari

kagayakeri, hogarakani.

Andrea Bocelli Sings "Sacred Arias" - My favorite tenor...

Sacred Arias [Special Edition with Bonus DVD]
Sacred Arias [Special Edition with Bonus DVD]

Andrea Bocelli always gives me "goose bumps", teary eyes, you know - I'm "melting" when I hear this voice!


Hawaiian Lyrics

Po la`i e, po kamaha`o,

Maluhia, malamalama

Ka makuahine aloha e

Me ke keiki hemolele e

Moe me ka maluhia lani

Moe me ka maluhia lani

Po la`i e, po kamaha`o,

Oni na kahu hipa e

I ko ka lani nani no

Mele na `anela haleluia.

Hanau `ia Kristo ka haku.

Hanau `ia Kristo ka haku.

Po la`i e, po kamaha`o,

Keiki hiwahiwa aloha e,

Ka lama la`i mai luna mai

Me ka lokomaika`i makamae.

Iesu i kou hanau `ana.

Iesu i kou hanau `ana.

French Lyrics

Douce nuit, sainte nuit,

Tout s'endort au dehors,

Le saint couple seul veille

Sur l'enfant qui someille.

Au ciel l'astre reluit

Douce nuit, sainte nuit,

Quel bonheur dans les coeurs,

Quand les bergers entendent

Les saints anges qui chantent:

Il est né, le sauveur

Douce nuit, sainte nuit,

Jetez-vous à genoux.

Bergers, c'est le Méssie,

Jésus, né de Marie,

Dieu, fait homme pour nous

Bianco Natal (Italian)

Bianco Natal,

Santo Natal!

Tutti qua

dormin già,

sol Maria veglia ancor,

un piccino si stringe al cor.

Dormi Gesù bambino

Dormi bimbo divin.

Bianco Natal,

Santo Natal!

Ai pastor

in gran cor

cantan gli angeli: Alleluia,

da Maria è nato il Signor

Cristo il Salvatore,

Cristo il Redentor.

Bianco Natal,

Santo Natal!


dell' Amor

Dio è nato al freddo e al gel,

per noi scese dall' alto del ciel.

Gloria al nostro Signore

Gloria al nostro Signor.

So Many Versions To Choose From! - How do you enjoy this classic tune?

What Is Your Favorite Version Of "Silent Night, Holy Night"?

See results

Silent Night In Many Different Languages - Even Chinese!

Have A Very Peaceful Christmas! - Thank you for visiting this page...

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    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 5 years ago from USA

      I love hearing and singing this song. It blesses me every time I hear it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Returning with fresh angel dust for this wondrous blessing to all..

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Für Dich Chefkeem ein schönes Weihnachtsfest und einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr.!

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Definitely one of my favourite Christmas songs. Wishing you and yours a Wonderful and Blessed Christmas season, Chefkeem...blessings my friend! :)

    • profile image

      DebMartin 6 years ago

      And you too, my friend. Peace and much love, d

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 6 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wonderful to re-visit this fabulously complete lens. Thank you, Chef!

    • DuaneJ profile image

      DuaneJ 6 years ago

      Lovely idea for a Holiday lens! Much enjoyed!

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Beautiful! Blessed

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Came back to bless this one. Great job. Although it was lensrolled to mine, they are very different.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Lensrolling this to my "silent Night". This is awesome.

    • profile image

      Sojourn 7 years ago

      Truly beautiful in any language. I can just imagine what the Jackie Evancho version sounds like - she's got the voice of an angel! I don't think I'd heard this song yet this Christmas and what a great way to come across it. Wonderful!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Had to stop by again for the joy of it all, this is wonderous!

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 7 years ago from Austin, Texas

      @anonymous: What a nice thing to say, Tipi. Thank you!

      Matter of fact...I'm already running for my office.

      (I'm the office lunch boy, y'know!)

      Merry Christmas to you, dear! :)

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 7 years ago

      I love this Christmas carol. It has a peaceful and reverent quality to it. Great and thorough lens. Angel blessings to you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Precious, precious is right! I loved the 53 Japanese angels, in fact I love this whole wonderful creation of yours. I do suggest that you consider running for office ~ you've already brought the whole world together with just one song! May all your silent nights be holy nights, my dear friend!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I was signing while reading this. What a beautiful song as it evokes many memories...happy ones.

    • profile image

      casamonika 7 years ago

      When I learned this song as a child in Germany, I thought Gott had a son named Owie.

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 8 years ago

      I just love this Christmas song. It is very solemn and uplifting. Christmas won't be complete without hearing Silent Night, Holy Night.

    • profile image

      bengriston 8 years ago

      Growing up I sang Christmas carols without thinking about them much. But now I really see just how good they really are as music.

    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 8 years ago

      My dad used to sing it in German, but I can never remember it all in German. Thank you for a great lens.

    • Kimsworld LM profile image

      Kimsworld LM 8 years ago

      My dad used to sing it in german, but I can't remember all it in german. Thank you.

      Great lens.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Beautiful song for a beautiful season. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 8 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Wonderful, The Gaelic version was beautiful - they all were. Thanks for setting the stage for a joyous season. A bright and Merry Christmas to all.

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image

      Tom Fattes 8 years ago from Naperville, IL

      I remember my grandfather every time I hear the song. Always brings a tear to my eyes.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 8 years ago

      I loved hearing these different versions of Silent NIght from all over the world. It is truly a universal song.

    • Heather426 profile image

      Heather Burns 8 years ago from Wexford, Ireland

      Love it, blessed.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 8 years ago from Minnesota

      Well, it's a beautiful song in any language. I have heard it in Hawaiian and it truly is awesome. But I think my favorite is Andy Williams' rendition. Thanks for putting this together...something special at this time of year.

    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      I love how you have the lyrics in so many gives the lns a really "One World" multi-cultural feel...Blessed!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 8 years ago from California

      Another colorful and informative chefkeem lens. Much appreciated. Bear hugs, Frankie

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 8 years ago

      Silent night, holy night around the world! I love it! Blessings from an angel!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      Silent Night is my favourite Christmas carol. What a treat to find this lovely lens full of so much information about it.

    • profile image

      jgelien 8 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. My favorite carol showcased in so many ways. I just love it.

    • profile image

      Roger-Wilco 8 years ago

      For winter 2009, the english coloratura soprano Camilla Kerslake has specially prepared a Christmas album including the great soulful Silent Night Song.

      Signed to Take That singer Gary Barlow's record label, 21-year-old has just released her debut album, an excellent mix of classical and contemporary music, recorded with the Irish Film Orchestra. Hers really is that rare and elusive thing, a one-of-a-kind. “I listened to her demo and instantly was captivated by it,” admits Gary Barlow. “It’s a unique and powerful instrument.”

      By Camilla Kerslake Singer:

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      I remember singing this carol in German when I was in a choir as a child. It is still one of my favorite carols.

    • profile image

      dannystaple 9 years ago

      Silent night is one of my favourite songs for Christmas - it made my first choice on my lens about Christmas songs. Thanks Chefkeem- is there a Chinese version?

    • Lou165 profile image

      Lou165 9 years ago from Australia

      One of my favorite Christmas Carols, when I was in middle school we actually learnt the first verse in German........can't remember why now!

    • PastorKay profile image

      Pastor Kay 9 years ago

      Have you heard it in Hawaiian? Just beautiful.

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image

      Gordon N Hamilton 9 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Fantastic, stunningly presented lens on one of my very favourite Christmas songs. Brilliant. Merry Christmas!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      We used tio sing Stille Nacht as part of our German lessons at school. Now lensrolled to both my Christmas lenses.

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 9 years ago from England

      That's one of my all time favourite Christmas Carols. I remember singing it in German at idea why though, maybe the teacher thought it was a good idea at the time! Lensrolled to Christmas Crackers. 5 ***** for you :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      I love this song, and I love this Lens. Great job!

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 9 years ago

      Once again Chef Keem, you've wowed me. I don't know how you do it, but keep it up! I really like how you've put the words up in several different languages. This song is beautiful no matter what.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love this lens, beautifully done with my favorite traditional Christmas carol. Early Christmas blessings from one SquidAngel to another!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      I hope this holiday season brings you great joy.

      I love Christmas music but my husband won't let me play it until December 1...

      Great lens


    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      Silent Night is my favorite Christmas carol, so I really enjoyed the trivia and history here. Thanks!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Beautiful lens!

    • LisaJo1 profile image

      LisaJo1 9 years ago

      Such a beautiful lens! I love it. 5 starrs and a Digg

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      This is the one carol that always brings a lump to my throat either at school or in church. Another beautiful lens Chef and lensrolled to my Christmas lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Beautiful Chef! A wonderful selection of vids, versions and information. I enjoyed this so much! - Kathy

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      I love singing Silent Night in various different languages. I had learned it in German but couldn't remember the words. Thank you for putting together such a beautiful lens and let us all help to Save the Children.