December 22

Throwback To Randy Travis’ Unforgettable Performance of “Silent Night”

In 2006, Randy Travis delivered one of the most divine renditions of the popular Christmas carol, “Silent Night.” The country singer showed the world how he never holds back as far as honoring the annual celebration of Jesus Christ’s birth as he performed inside one of the most magnificent sights in the world, the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.

He was joined by forty singers from the First Baptist Church who had to trek down through the caves – all their efforts were all worth it as they lifted us all through their song.

This unforgettable video was part of Travis’ first Christmas video release called Randy Travis Christmas on the Pecos, where he sang both touching and toe-tapping holiday favorites in a warm, natural setting you’ll want to visit over and over again. Other songs featured were Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Winter Wonderland, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, among others.

The Story Behind The Famous Christmas Carol

Written by Father Joseph Mohr and Franz Xaver, “Silent Night” dates way back to 1818. The beloved Christmas carol was originally known by its German title, “Stille Nacht.” It was first performed on Christmas Eve that same year at St Nicholas parish church in a small town in Austria called Oberndorf.

Father Joseph Mohr was just a young priest when he wrote “Stille Nacht” as a poem in 1816 – in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars – at his father’s hometown in the Salzburg Lungau region called Mariapfarr, where he had also served as an assistant priest. 

On the Christmas Eve of 1818, Mohr brought the words to Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and was also an organist living in the neighboring village. Mohr asked Gruber to compose a melody and play the guitar for that night’s mass after river flooding damaged the church organ. 

According to Gruber, an organ builder and repairman named Karl Mauracher repaired the instrument at the Obendorf church shortly after. Smitten with the song, Mauracher took the composition home with him. From there, two families of traveling folk singers who performed all over northern Europe picked up and spread the song. And the rest was history!

Though it was never known what inspired Mohr to write the beloved hymn or what motivated him to make a new carol, one thing is for sure: he had made such a beautiful composition that evolved through time. “Silent Night” was translated into more than three hundred languages with several different arrangements for different voices and various ensembles. Over the years, the mystique of the hymn grew with its popularity.

“Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright. ‘Round yon virgin Mother and Child. Holy infant so tender and mild. Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace,” the song goes.

Make sure to listen to Randy Travis’ rendition of the famous Christmas carol in the video below.


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