Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
Stille Nacht
(Austrian Christmas Carol)
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Stille Nacht was written as a poem by Joseph Mohr in 1816 and set to music by his friend Franz Gruber in 1818. The original version consisted of verses one, two and six below.

The English translation below comes directly from the original lyrics in German. It's different from the version that's commonly known in the English-speaking world as Silent Night.

Stille Nacht
Silent Night
Christmas Carol
(German)
Christmas Carol
(English)

Stille Nacht - Austrian Children's Songs - Austria - Mama Lisa's World: Children's Songs and Rhymes from Around the World, Intro Image


1. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knab' im lockigen Haar,
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlafe in himmlischer Ruh!

2. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Jesus in deiner Geburt!
Jesus in deiner Geburt!

3. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Die der Welt Heil gebracht,
Aus des Himmels goldenen Höhn,
Uns der Gnaden Fülle läßt sehn,
Jesum in Menschengestalt!
Jesum in Menschengestalt!

4. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Wo sich heut alle Macht
Väterlicher Liebe ergoß,
Und als Bruder huldvoll umschloß
Jesus die Völker der Welt!
Jesus die Völker der Welt!

5. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Lange schon uns bedacht,
Als der Herr vom Grimme befreit
In der Väter urgrauer Zeit
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!
Aller Welt Schonung verhieß!

6. Stille Nacht! Heil'ge Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Alleluja,
Tönt es laut bei Ferne und Nah:
"Jesus der Retter ist da!"
"Jesus der Retter ist da!"

Silent night, holy night,
All asleep, only awake
Is that deeply, holy couple.
The nice boy with curly hair,
Sleeps in heavenly peace,
Sleeps in heavenly peace!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, o lovingly laugh
From your divine mouth!
Now, the hour of salvation rings for us,
Jesus, in thy birth,
Jesus, in thy birth!

Silent night, holy night,
That brought the world salvation,
From the golden heights of Heaven,
Let us see the abundance of grace,
Jesus in human form,
Jesus in human form.

Silent night, holy night,
When all power today
Of Fatherly love has overflowed,
And Jesus, as brother, humbly embraced
The people of the world,
The people of the world.

Silent night, holy night,
Long since intended for us,
When the Lord, freed of wrath,
In the father's "old grey" time,
Promised all the world protection,
Promised all the world protection.

Silent night, holy night,
To the shepherds first announced
By the angels' Alleluia,
Is sounding aloud from far and near:
"Jesus the Savior is here."
"Jesus the Savior is here."

Thanks and Acknowledgements

Thanks to Edward M. Gawlinski for contributing this song, for the midi tune and for sending us sheet music. Many thanks to Christina Weising for her French translation. English translation by Tatie Monique and Mama Lisa.

Image: Birth of Jesus by Geertgen tot Sint Jans (c. 1490).

Thanks to Matt Huffman for singing this song for us! Matt wrote: "Attached is a barbershop arrangement of the song auf Deutsch which I recorded today for you."

Recording of voice and guitar accompaniment by Kristel Tretter.

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