Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Christmas Trivia ~ Silent Night

This famous and well loved Christmas Carol was first played on the guitar. 
The legend (which is believed to actually be slightly ficticious although based around the truth) tells the story of the carol. 

It was Christmas eve, the snow lay deeply on the ground as the priest entered the church.  He rubbed his hands together and hurried over the the organ, he really must practice before the mass that night.  The candle light flickered as he sat on the organ stool.  Carefully he opened the casing and stretched his fingers in anticipation of playing. Slowly he placed his fingers on to the keys and began to move them.  No sound came from the organ.  The priest pulled out more stops and tried again, but again no sound came forth.
He climbed down from the stool, took up a candle and opened the small door at the organ side.
Inside amongst the dust, he could make out the form of the bellows and as he reached into the dark cavern, his fingers discovered the reason for the silence.  Small holes had been nibbled into the leather.  The ragged little holes bore the teeth marks of the mice who took refuge in the organ.
The nearest organ repairer lived miles away, and there would not be time to call him out. 
The priest's heart was heavy.  What could he do?
Back at the rectory, he took a sip from the cup of hot broth.  It was as though the warm soup had woarmed his heart.  Putting the cup down, he hurried to his study and began riffeling through the piles of papers and then he grabbed a hat and went running down the street to his neighbours house.
Franz Gruber was sitting reading in his parlour when the frantic knocking came at his door.  He senced urgency and hurried to the door.
A breathless and snow covered priest began to talk in an excited manner.
The rest is history.
That night in the small church at Oberndauf in Austria A poem entitled "Stille Nacht" written by the priest Joseph Mohr was sung to a beautiful melody played on the guitar by Gruber.

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