It's a classic across the decades; Silent Night has been known to stir the hearts of many across the globe with its smooth transitions and awe-inspiring lyrics.

According to Songdex, a company known as "the world’s most authoritative registry of music rights and related business information", Silent Night has been recorded 137,315 times. This amount marks it as the most recorded Christmas song in history. 

The beloved carol "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht" was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. During Midnight Mass in the St. Nicholas Church, Franz Xaver Gruber sang to the wonderful accompaniment of Father Mohr's own voice and guitar playing.

The duet repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony on each of the six original verses. Joseph Mohr's guitar can still be seen at the Stille Nacht Museum of Hallein, Austria. Legend has it that Silent Night was originally played on a guitar because of church mice that ate the bellows of the organ. Others claim Joseph was forced to write new words because the organ was unable to be played. 

The song was later picked up by an organ repairman who took a copy with him on the road and thus began the journey of an everlasting hymn. Travelling folk singers picked up the song after the repairman and brought it to Leipzig 1832, it was brought to America for the first time in 1839, was sung by the Royal Cathedral Choir in the 1840s, and on another occasion, the song was even sung before Emperor Franz I and Tsar Alexander I. 

King Frederick William IV of Prussia claimed it to be his favourite Christmas carol and used to have the Cathedral Choir sing it for him during the Christmas season each year. Over time, the song and its melody evolved to become the beautiful masterpiece we enjoy today.


Here are the complete lyrics:

1.Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute heilige Paar.
Holder Knab im lockigten Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

2. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb´ aus deinem göttlichen
Da schlägt uns die rettende
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

3. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn:
Jesum in Menschengestalt,
Jesum in Menschengestalt

4. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß
Und als Bruder huldvoll
Jesus die Völker der Welt,
Jesus die Völker der Welt.

5. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit

Aller Welt Schonung verhieß,
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß.

6. Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:

Jesus der Retter ist da!
Jesus der Retter ist da!
1. Silent night! Holy night!
All's asleep, one sole light,
Just the faithful and holy pair,
Lovely boy-child with curly hair,
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace!

2. Silent night! Holy night!
God's Son laughs, o how bright.
Love from your holy lips shines
As the dawn of salvation draws
Jesus, Lord, with your birth!
Jesus, Lord, with your birth!

3. Silent night! Holy night!
Brought the world peace tonight,
From the heavens' golden height
Shows the grace of His holy might
Jesus, as man on this earth!
Jesus, as man on this earth!

4. Silent night! holy night!
Where today all the might
Of His fatherly love us graced
And then Jesus, as brother
All the peoples on earth!
All the peoples on earth!

5. Silent night! Holy night!
Long we hoped that He might,
As our Lord, free us of wrath,
Since times of our fathers He
Promised to spare all mankind!
Promised to spare all mankind!

6. Silent night! Holy night!
Sheperds first see the sight.
Told by angelic Alleluja,
Sounding everywhere, both
                    near and far:
"Christ the Savior is here!"
"Christ the Savior is here!"