On December 24, 1818 Joseph Mohr journeyed to the home of musician-schoolteacher Franz Gruber who lived in an apartment over the schoolhouse in nearby Arnsdorf. He showed his friend a poem he had written and asked him to add a melody and guitar accompaniment so that it could be sung at Midnight Mass. Later that evening, the two men backed by the choir, stood in front of the main altar in St. Nicholas Church and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" for the first time.
Here is 'Silent Night' sang in German, accompanied by a guitar, as it was the first time. The singer and guitar player is my mom. This was recorded today, December 10th, the day before she leaves to spend her first Christmas in Germany in over 50 years. She left Germany in 1953, at 19 years old, to come to America with her husband, a sargeant in the Air Force. Though she has been back to Germany for many visits, they were never during Christmas.