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Austrian born Father Joseph Mohr, in collaboration with music teacher Franz Gruber, wrote a Christmas carol, modern for his time, and not accepted because of the fact it was written to be performed with guitar accompaniment.

Fr. Mohr's work with a more liberal and open-minded priest at a previous church was not well-received by the old, hardline church fathers. So, assigned to the St. Nikolas Church in Oberndorf under a strict and traditional Fr. Georg Heinrich Nöstler, all possibilities of performing his recently written Christmas song were about non existent.

As legend has it, just before Christmas, mice chewed up the bellows operating the church organ, making music impossible. To the rescue, Fr. Mohr, who was permitted what was under all other circumstances verboten, and the first public playing of his song, 'Silent Night', on Christmas Eve, 1818, accompanied by guitar.

Whether the mice got a bad rap, or an enthusiastic young priest had a hand disabling the church organ, nobody can conclusively prove, nevertheless, one of the most recognized Christmas Songs throughout history, was first heard in the town that, just a few decades later became the birthplace of rifle designer brothers Paul and Wilhelm Mauser.

Fröhliche Weihnachten alles, u ein glückliches Neues Jahr.
 
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