On the morning of Christmas Eve 1818, Fr. Joseph Mohr, the priest at the tiny St. Nicholas Parish in the mountains of Oberndorf, Austria, was devastated.The church's organ had broken, so there wouldn't be any music for the big Christmas Eve mass that night.
But as he watched the snow gently fall on the village below him, inspiration struck.He thought of a poem he had written two years earlier about how serene and peaceful the night Jesus was born must have been.
Fr. Mohr rushed to his friend, Franz Gruber, to compose a melody for that poem using the only instrument they had available, the guitar. The two worked feverishly, and in a few hours had written a new song.At Christmas Eve mass that night, the two friends and their guitar performed "Silent Night" for the very first time.