Christmas Carols are among my favorite songs! I love the hope and joy of the season and the lyrics of the carols provide precious reminders of the reason we celebrate. I am excited to be sharing about Silent Night today because it is one that I have sang since my childhood.
In learning more about the origins of this song, a couple of things stuck out to me as being really interested. The first, is that the song and accompanying music was written in just a few hours on a Christmas Eve night in 1818. The second interesting fact I learned was that the words were originally accompanied by guitar music. We typically think of pianos and hymns being the accompaniment during that time period but this song was first sung with a guitar.
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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.
Silent Night was written as a poem by Joseph Franz Mohr who then asked his friend Franz Xaver Gruber to write the music to accompany the lyrics. They then performed it that night in a little Austrian chapel with the choir. The song took many years to rise to popularity but it is now considered a national treasure in Austria and cannot be sung publicly prior to Christmas Eve each year. ( I encourage you to read more about this history of the hymn.)
My daughter has been learning to play Silent Night on her violin and is planning to perform for some residents at a local nursing home. We are going to use the copywork pages for this song as well as listen to a variety of different versions of the song. For something a little different, I think we may sit on the porch one evening with a little cocoa or cider and listen to the song, before sitting quietly and watching the stars. I think this would be a great chance to slow down and really think about what it must have been like that night so long ago.
If you want to add a little art to this study, you can check out the Christmas Star lesson with Nana from You Are An Artist Chalk Pastels. (There is even a 20% off sale this week on her courses.) This is a fun way to engage your little artists in hymn study or your musicians in art. You have access to this lesson if you are an You Are An Artist Clubhouse Member or you can get that lesson through the Christmas Course. You can also have them draw what they see in their minds as they listen to the song. What do they envision that long ago night to look like?
I hope that you have enjoyed this study and that you take some time to enjoy a variety of hymns during this wonderful season!
Hymn Study Resources:
Silent Night (Classical/Choir Style)
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Hymn Study Fact Sheet
Silent Night Copywork
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