I reviewed several children's books about this old Christmas hymn today at book club.
One book tells the story of the 1914 Christmas truce.It seems that late in December, fighting had slowed, and soldiers began to celebrate their commonality--observing Christmas by singing carols and lighting Tannenbaums along the trenches. As the English line was singing Silent Night, Holy Night, the Germans began to cross the lines to hear this "old familiar Austrian tune." Before the Christmas celebration was over, the boys played soccer in No Man's Land, shared their food with one another and had a joint prayer service honoring their dead whom they buried in the dark frozen ground side by side. Knowing that man had devised tools of war for that conflict that would kill more soldiers (10 million before the war was over), I could not help but think about the bombs the insurgents are using to kill our boys (most of whom were not more than 20 years old (much like their WWI counterparts). God, we sorely need Silent Night, Holy Night once more, please!!!!