The most popular Christmas Carol (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) was composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber, an Austrian primary school teacher and church organist in the village near Salzburg. Together with Josef Mohr (original German lyrics), a Catholic priest, Gruber composed the Christmas carol Silent Night. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in March 2011. The original manuscript has been lost but rediscovered in 1995 in Mohr's handwriting. In 1859, the Episcopal priest John Freeman Young published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. The version of the melody that is generally used today is a slow, meditative lullaby, differing slightly (particularly in the final strain) from Gruber's original, which was an energetic, dance-like tune in 6/8 time. Today, the lyrics and melody are in the public domain. The carol has been translated into about 140 languages. The song was sung simultaneously in French, English, and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914 in World War I, as it was one carol that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew.
The song was sung simultaneously in French, English, and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914 in World War I