According to Wikipedia, this song has origins in American hymnals from the late 1800’s. Though those hymnals tried to attribute the song to Martin Luther, it appears to be a lyric composed by an American and set to a Scottish melody. I know of at least three melodies for this song, so in my piece I have attempted to include them all. Notice how they all have waltz time, and all sound like they could easily be played as bagpipe marches; perhaps one could argue that this is a medley of unknown Scottish folk songs.
In a global culture that gradually moves itself toward 24-hour days that are, on a vast majority, spent indoors, the aspect that maintains our agricultural sense of the harvest is the collection of holidays celebrated around the world between October and January. It is no coincidence that Christmas is four days after Winter Solstice, and that we celebrate the beginnings of hope for a better life and a better world on the darkest night of the year.
An interpretation of Stille Nacht by Josef Moht and Franz Xaver Gruber.
I made this for SounDevotion’s holiday-themed round 34 last year. There’ll be another for this year too.