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‘Silent Night’ turns 200: 5 interesting facts about the famous Christmas hymn

Joseph Franz Mohr

Joseph Mohr
A stained glass image of Austrian priest Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), author of the lyrics for the famous Christmas carol "Silent Night." |

The lyrics for “Silent Night” came from an Austrian Catholic priest named Joseph Franz Mohr, who penned the six verses as a poem while serving as an assistant priest in 1816.

While living in Oberndorf, he became good friends with Franz Xaver Gruber, a local music teacher who composed the melody for the song in 1818.

Mohr was born out of wedlock and grew up in poverty before becoming a priest. Despite the eventual success of “Silent Night,” Mohr would die poor, his estate only consisting of a single guitar.

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