Silent Night or O Holy Night? Britain’s favourite Christmas carol revealed

Britain’s favourite Christmas carol *drumroll and jingle bells please* is Silent Night.

The carol just topped an annual poll by radio station Classic FM for the nation’s most-loved Christmas carols.

The theme tune of Sainsbury’s Christmas advert this year, Silent Night beat O Holy Night, which had held pole position for a decade.

 

Silent Night: the history

In 1816, Father Joseph Mohr wrote a six-stanza German poem, Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!, at a pilgrim church in Mariapfarr, Austria

In 1818, he decided to turn the poem into a song after he was transferred to St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria.

So on Christmas Eve 1818, he and his friend Franz Gruber sang the carol at Christmas Mass in St. Nicholas Church. While Fr. Mohr played his guitar, the choir repeated the last two lines of each verse.

Then a few years later John Freeman Young translated Stille Nacht to Silent Night while he was assigned to New York’s Trinity Church.

Read more about the carol’s history here.

Here’s are Britain’s favourite Christmas carols:

1. Silent Night

2. O Holy Night

3. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

4. In The Bleak Midwinter (Holst version)

5. Come All Ye Faithful

6. In The Bleak Midwinter (Howard Darke version)

7. Once In Royal David’s City

8. Little Town of Bethlehem

9. Away In A Manger

10. Joy To The World

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