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The text of "Silent Night" was written by Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848). The music was written by Franz Gruber (1787-1863). Father Mohr was a catholic priest in Austria and had written the poem "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" in 1816. On Christmas Eve 1818, Father Mohr asked his friend Franz Gruber to set the words to music. Gruber immediately completed the request, and the hymn was born and performed for the first time at their Christmas Mass. (1) The original hymn words and music in SATB format is available here.