The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Holy Night! Peaceful Night!

Words: Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!, Rev. Joseph Mohr, 1816
Adaptation by Alfred Bell, circa 1869, of the Jane Montgomery Campbell 1862 Translation:
 Holy Night, Peaceful Night

Music by Joseph Barnby
/ Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Original Music "Stille Nacht," by Franz Gruber, 1818
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF
Modern Arrangement: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF

Source: Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Sunday-School Hymnal and Service Book. Boston: The Parish Choir, 1892, #495.

See Notes and Links to Translations

The lyrics conform to the usual arrangement, not this arrangement.

1. Holy night! peaceful night!
Through the darkness beams a light;
Yonder, where they sweet vigils keep
O'er the Babe, who, in silent sleep;
Rests in heavenly peace,
Rests in heavenly peace.

2. Silent night! holiest night!
Darkness flies and all is light!
Shepherds hear the angels sing
Alleluia! hail the King!
Jesus the Savior is here,
Jesus the Savior is here."

3. Silent night! peaceful night!1
Child of heaven! O how bright
Thou didst smile when Thou wast born;
Blessed was that happy morn,
Full of heavenly joy.
Full of heavenly joy.

4. Silent night! holiest night!
Guiding Star, O lend Thy light!
See the eastern wise men bring
Gifts and homage to our King!
Jesus the Saviour is here!
Jesus the Saviour is here!

5. Silent night! holiest night!
Wondrous Star, O lend Thy light!
With the angels let us sing
Alleluia to our King!
Jesus our Saviour is here!
Jesus our Saviour is here!


1. Or: "Holiest night! peaceful night." (Henry King, ed., Novello's Collection of Words of Anthems, Revised Edition. (London: Novello and Company, Ltd., 1898), #1302, p. 402. Return

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, ed., Sunday-School Hymnal and Service Book. Boston: The Parish Choir, 1892, #495:

Sheet Music from Rev. Charles Lewis Hutchins, Carols Old and Carols New (Boston: Parish Choir, 1916), Carol 372
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Holy_Night_Peaceful_Night_372.gif (205365 bytes)

Sheet Music from Andreas Bersagel, et al, eds., The Concordia Hymnal (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1932), #140

University Hymn Book (Cambridge: John Wilson and Son, 1898), Hymn 97
Contains verses 1, 2, 4 and 5 of the original.

According to the University Hymn Book's "Biographical Index - Composers," Alfred Bell (1832-1895) created this translation that was set to music and published by Joseph Barnby in his “Original Tunes to Popular Hymns,” Vol. 1, London, Novello and Company, 1869. His adaptation of the Campbell translation consisted of five stanzas of five lines. Bell was the son of Jeremiah Bell; born at Silton, Dorsetshire; pupil of Sir Gilbert Scott, architect; then a member of the firm of Clayton & Bell, glass and mural painters; architect, painter, musician. Sir Joseph Barnby said of him, “He was the nearest to heaven of any man I ever knew.”

The differences from the Campbell translation:

Bell also substitutes “Alleluia” for Campbell's “Hallelujah.”

This translation also appears in:

This translation was also published by Novello and Company as a separate piece of sheet music, as noticed in a review of Barnby's Hymns and Tunes in The Musical World, Dec. 11, 1869, p. 851. The reviewer noted "...'Holy night, peaceful night' deserves special mention for its grace and beauty. The words are excellent, and, with the music, make a really charming piece."

Print Page Return Home Page Close Window

If you would like to help support Hymns and Carols of Christmas, please click on the button below and make a donation.