Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Did you know?

I saw the other day a You tube clip on a Christmas program and part of the program was an actor who  told the story of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote one of our Christmas Songs. I didn't know the back ground of a song that I already loved so much. This is just part of the story but if you want, then check it out to read the whole story later. I am just impressed that someone who had something so tragic in their live, kept his faith and then took the things that he learned and used them to benefit others. What a beautiful song and an inspirational story.Hope you enjoy and I hope you are getting the decorations out and have your Christmas music playing every day....I do! ( Of course I have been listening to it for over 6 months...but don't tell my family!)


I heard the Bells on Christmas Day, the Song and the Story

Over the years, listeners and singers alike have noted that I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day is at once both joyful and mournful. The words to the song were written in just such a setting:
On Christmas day, 1864, the beloved poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day was set to music by composer John Baptiste Calkin in 1872. An updated arrangement was written in 1950 by Johnny Marks who also wrote Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bowed my head
'There is no peace on earth,' I said,
'For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.'
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
'God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.'

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."  ~Norman Vincent Peale

1 comment:

Julie N. said...

Burke shared this at a Christmas gathering a couple of years ago...isn't it amazing!!