Silent Night (German Stille Nacht) is a popular Christmas carol composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in a small town in Austria. It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011. The song was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 at St. Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire in present day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had already written the lyrics of the song Stille Nacht in 1816. The melody was composed by Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in a nearby village. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the church service. Both performed the carol during mass on the night of December 24th.
In 1859, an Episcopal priest, John Freeman Young, published the English translation that is most frequently sung today. The song has been translated into about 140 languages. The song was sung simultaneously in English and German by troops during the Christmas truce of 1914 during World War I as it was one carol that soldiers on both sides of the front line knew. The song has been recorded by singers from every music genre, and the version sung by Bing Crosby is the third best-selling single of all time. (from Wikipedia and cute-calendar.com)