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Come with me if you will to the snow covered mountain paths of Oberndorf, a small village in Austria.

It is a cold Christmas Eve morning in 1818.

As you look across the mountains you will see the local vicar Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), winding his way along the path to the village of Arndorf – to visit his friend Franz Gruber (1787-1863).

Mohr is taking with him a poem that he had written some two years earlier in 1816. He desperately needs a carol for the midnight mass that evening - that is now only a few hours away.

He hopes his friend, Gruber, who is the church’s choirmaster and organist - can set his poem to music.

Gruber looks at it and that afternoon composes a melody for Mohr’s poem.

However they can’t play the carol on the local organ because mice had eaten the bellows.

So Gruber composes the music for guitar accompaniment.

And so a few hours after finishing the composition, Gruber and Mohr perform their new song in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf.

And that evening, the sounds of a brand new carol breaks the “Silent Night” of the mountain village of Oberndorf.

Is that the true story of the origins of the world famous carol – Silent Night or is it fiction?

Well - actually it is a mixture.

It is fact that Joseph Mohr did write the words in 1816.

It is fact that Franz Gruber did write the music on Christmas Eve in...

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