The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Silent Night, Peaceful Night!

Words: Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!, Rev. Joseph Mohr, 1816
Translator Unknown

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

Source: American Unitarian Association, Hymn, Tune, and Service Book for Sunday Schools (1873), #229.

See Notes and Links to Translations of "Stille Nacht"

1. Silent night, peaceful night!
All things sleep, shepherds keep
Watch on Bethlehem's silent hill;
And unseen, while all is still,
Angels watch above,
Angels watch above.

2. Bright the star shines afar,
Guiding trav'lers on their way;
Who their gold and incense bring,
Offerings to the promised King,1
Child of David's line,2
Child of David's line.

3. Light around! joyous sound!
Angel voices wake the air;
"Glory be to God in heav'n;
Peace on earth to you is giv'n,
Jesus the Saviour is come,3
Jesus the Saviour is come."


1. Or: "Peace on earth to you is giv'n,"  Return

2. Or: "Christ the Saviour's come." Return

3. Or: "Christ the Saviour's come." Return

A translation with the same first line and part of the second line was identified by John Julian (Dictionary of Hymnology, 1907, p. 761) as No. 17 in Carols for St. Stephen's Church, Kirkstall, Lees, 1872. I have not yet acquired a copy, so cannot say that this is that translation.

Also found in

All occurrences were "Anonymous."

This version was recorded on Edison Diamond Disk Record 82040 prior to 1919 as noted in The Photo-Bretto (New York: The  Photo-Bretto Company, 1919, p. 221; no copyright was acknowledged). This was a listing of the lyrics to many of the records of the day; the index contained 1,150 items of about 700 unique songs and spoken phonograph selections.

The first verse also occurs in Edward Thring, Poems and Translations (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1887), pp. 124-5. Thring added these two verses.

2. Holy night! stars above
Watch and wind sleepless in love,
O'er his cradle the glad vigils share.
Holy child with the clustering hair,
Slumber in heavenly peace
Slumber in heavenly peace.

3. Peaceful night! glory on high,
Peace on earth angels cry,
Softly listens the wondering air.
Holy child with the clustering hair,
Slumber in heavenly peace,
Slumber in heavenly peace.

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