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Joseph Mohr

1792-1848. Composer of “Stille Nacht.” Born at Salzburg, he was a chorister in the cathedral there, was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1815, and held several parish posts near Salzburg. In 1828 he became vicar at Hintersee and in 1837 at Wagrein. His “Stille Nacht” was composed in 1818 for a Christmas Eve serve in Oberndorf, near Salzburg, and set for guitar accompaniment by the organist and schoolmaster, Franz Grüber (1787-1863). The carol became popular before publication when sung by wandering Tyrolese singers. At least five English versions of the words, each with three of the five original stanzas, are current. The most widespread in Great Britain, by S.A. Brooke, begins “Still the Night.” The translation commonly used in the USA begins “Silent Night! Holy Night!”