I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
A couple of years ago I discovered this version of
‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’.
It is not new song/poem, but an inspired update.
And although it’s author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
never wrote it as a Christmas Carol, it’s become
a favorite of many people.
There have been a several Lyric changes/versions over the years.
Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Heard_the_Bells_on_Christmas_Day says:
“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator’s despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men”. The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among men.”
It’s said that two personal tragedies inspired the poem: his wife being badly burnt in a fire, and his son going to fight in the American Civil War, where he was badly wounded.
“Longfellow first wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1863. “Christmas Bells” was first published in February 1865, in Our Young Folks, a juvenile magazine …” “References to the Civil War are prevalent in some of the verses that are not commonly sung”.
In “1872 the poem is known to have been set to music.” by English organist, John Baptiste Calkin.
The poem as evolved through several different versions over the years and in In 1956, Bing Crosby released as a single that reached No. 55 in the Music Vendor survey.
Then Burl Ives put out a version in 50’s? 60’s?
Harry does a great job (1958):
and on and on … with versions by
Frank Sinatra, Sarah McLachlan, The Carpenters … and more.
Sadly, I must agree, that there will never be Peace on Earth.
But I do believe we can find it in ourselves.