Silent Night

Creche at Stebbinsby Mary Jo

For the second of our Word Wench Christmastide posts, I wanted to tell you about a wonderful article on the history of the beoved Christmas carol Silent Night, which ran in the Baltimore Sun on Christmas Day.  Written by Youngsuck Kim, a music professor at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, it commemorates the 200th anniversary of the song and starts with the lovely story from WWI when three armies in the trenches sang Silent Night in German, English, and French for a moment of Christmas peace. 

I knew that story, though not that a Scottish piper in the British army chimed in on his
bagpipes to accompany the singing.  Nor did I know the song was written because the Creche 2 at Stebbinscomposer, a priest called Father Joseph Mohr, was having trouble with his church organ and had to quickly come up with a song that could be accompanied on a guitar.  And a miracle of music it was as church organist Franz Xaver Gruber composed a melody to go with the music!

I recommend reading the whole article, and may it invoke peace–

Mary Jo, who took the pictures at her local mall, where there are many lovely Christmas things

 

A Christmas Carol

CarolersNicola here, talking about festive music. In the last week I’ve been to a couple of carol concerts and it’s been lovely. Nothing puts me more in the mood for Christmas than a carol concert, perhaps because I’ve sung in choirs since I was a small girl and so music and Christmas are inextricably linked for me.  I vividly recall the Christmas candlelight services I went to with my grandparents (there’s something very beautiful about candlelight these days when so much of our lighting is very bright and harsh in comparison.) I also remember the mortifying experience one Christmas of accidentally gate-crashing a nativity scene when I processed the wrong way and ended up in the manger rather than the choir stalls!

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