22 December 2016

“Silent Night! Holy Night!”....

Christmas 2016 - Words to Silent Night

Date of Issue : 25 November 2016

Here is a beautiful stamp from Austria featuring famous Christmas carol “Silent Night! Holy Night!” This Christmas carol, which is probably the best known in the world, originated from three tiny municipalities in the province of Salzburg. It was at Christmas in 1818 that the assistant priest Joseph Mohr came to the teacher Franz Xaver Gruber and asked him to compose a melody for his poem of the same name. However, Mohr did not write this in 1818, as was long believed to be the case, but, rather, had written it in 1816, which is why the lyrics of this well-known carol at least are celebrating a special anniversary in 2016.

On this special anniversary of the poem “Silent Night! Holy Night!” a commemorative stamp has been  issued showing an excerpt from a manuscript housed in the Salzburg Museum. Whilst this is not the original version of 1818, it is the only surviving copy of Silent Night written by Joseph Mohr. This handwritten copy including the text and melody is dated to 1824 and bears the simple title “Christmas Carol”. 

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