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Silent Night
December 11, 2008 4:12 AM   Subscribe

Silent Night in English, German, Irish, Arapaho, Czech, Italian, Finnish, Russian, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Spanish and another 120 languages. The official song of the Christmas truce.

Additional performances by Simon & Garfunkel, John Denver & the Muppets, Elvis, Andy Williams, The White Stripes, Britney Spears, Frank Sinatra, The Three Tenors, Olivia Newton John, Bing Crosby, Tom Waits, Jewel, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Nicks with Tom Petty, Mariah Carey, Nat King Cole, Aaron Neville, Aretha Franklin, Martha Raye, Johnny Cash & his mother, Hanson, Christina Aguilera, Rick Astley, Barbra Streisand, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir (with Walter Cronkite), Mahalia Jackson, Dean Martin, Joan Baez, Tammy Wynette, in American Sign Language, Joe Satriani, Beyoncé, Bobby Darin, Pat Boone, Jess & Nick, Josh Groban, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, Karen Carpenter, Bee Gees, Liza Minelli, Béla Fleck, Aaron Neville & Linda Rondstadt, David Hasselhoff, some cats, some more cats, and a drunk reindeer.

A little history.

Merry Xmas MeFi.
posted by twoleftfeet (26 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Actually though, my favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. What's yours?
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:12 AM on December 11, 2008

Recent events have lent an extra poignancy to the lovely a capella choral version of Silent Night on the Christmas in the Congo LP, which has been on my personal playlist lately.
posted by misteraitch at 4:23 AM on December 11, 2008

Anybody got any advent songs?
posted by Pollomacho at 4:31 AM on December 11, 2008

Interestingly enough, Josef Mohr's house is right around the corner from my apartment, according to a plaque I noticed on the wall a few days ago.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:50 AM on December 11, 2008

Silent Night named as the public's favourite Christmas carol

Sleep in heavenly peace.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:28 AM on December 11, 2008

official song of the Christmas truce

VISA: official credit card of Whoville

[sorry... still holding a grudge against the Widow Seuss for that one]
posted by Joe Beese at 6:45 AM on December 11, 2008

Hebrew, Esperanto - even Pig Latin - but no Yiddish?
posted by aether516 at 7:15 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm sure Coldplay do a version of Silent Night that sounds suspiciously close to that Satriani version.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:16 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

pollomacho, here you go. Advent song for you.
posted by LN at 7:18 AM on December 11, 2008

You forgot Chewbacca.
posted by Nahum Tate at 8:05 AM on December 11, 2008 [2 favorites]

Nice post, and that history is fascinating. Poor Gruber!

Although Franz Gruber wrote to music authorities in Berlin stating that he was the composer, the melody had been assumed to be the work of Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven at various times and these thoughts persisted even into the twentieth century. The controversy was put to rest in 1994 when a long-lost arrangement of "Stille Nacht" in the hand of Joseph Mohr was authenticated. In the upper right hand corner of the arrangement, Mohr wrote, "Melodie von Fr. Xav. Gruber."
posted by languagehat at 8:57 AM on December 11, 2008

I have always loved the version by Enya. Also, just slightly less beautiful, this version of Oh Holy Night. *sniff* Cartman and Enya go together like cheese and crackers.
posted by Bageena at 9:05 AM on December 11, 2008

"Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay ... "
posted by RavinDave at 9:25 AM on December 11, 2008

This is my favorite version of O Holy Night. Without fail, when stores start pumping the Christmas carols, this song pops into my head. Allegedly it's an audition tape for a religious talent show.
posted by fontophilic at 9:47 AM on December 11, 2008 [1 favorite]

Reading about the Christmas Truce always makes me tear up. The fact that later attempts at Christmas Truces were suppressed, and it never happened again, is sad to me.

I don't think such a thing is possible anymore.
posted by Jpfed at 10:39 AM on December 11, 2008

This is my favorite version of O Holy Night.

My god, that was fantastic. That truly made my holiday season. So gloriously horrible, I couldn't tear myself away, though I wanted to in so many ways. Divine.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:45 AM on December 11, 2008

Nice post. I really enjoyed the Enya version; mostly 'cuz I like to read the Irish words, that don't look at all like what she's singing. So fascinating.
posted by purpletangerine at 11:46 AM on December 11, 2008

fontophilic, what in god's name is that? Besides, of course, THE GREATEST CHRISTMAS SONG EVER TOLD.
posted by Bageena at 12:09 PM on December 11, 2008

Paul Potts version.
posted by RavinDave at 12:25 PM on December 11, 2008

The little church I went to when I was a kid had a Christmas Eve tradition, where the 11 pm service would end at midnight, and everyone would proceed out of the chapel by candle light, singing Silent Night. Thanks for reminding me of that, twoleftfeet. Now I'm off to check Silent Night out from the library.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:49 PM on December 11, 2008

... and then I'll have a marathon of the controversial Silent Night, Deadly Night movies at my house. And there's a remake in the works!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:53 PM on December 11, 2008

I'm a fan of this version.
posted by soonertbone at 3:08 PM on December 11, 2008

The "Portuguese" version is anything but. A feeble attempt at Portuguese, maybe. I can't understand 90% of it - and it makes me wanna smack her on the head.
posted by neblina_matinal at 9:00 AM on December 12, 2008

This one is a little less silent than the others.
posted by donnagirl at 11:46 AM on December 12, 2008

A few more versions which are all interesting in one way or another: The Christmas Beatles, Joan Jett /Obama, Musical Saw, Richard Cheese, William Basinski, Farting Elves, Fredo Viola, Homey the Clown (at 5:12), A Punk's Silent Night, and Weird Commercial.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:34 AM on December 14, 2008

Clean Coal Carolers, Bill Clinton + Wayne Newton, O'Reilly
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:02 AM on December 19, 2008

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