Christmas Carol Spotlight: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Christmas Carol Spotlight: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day – I share the story about this popular Christmas Carol with some good history to it.

Christmas Carol Spotlight: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Was the Christmas Bells … Silver Bells? Sleigh Bells? Church Bells? Hand Bells? Other Bells?

Christmas Carol Spotlight: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - I share the story about this popular Christmas Carol with some good history to it.

This Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Where the original poem was based on hearing Christmas bells during the American Civil War with despair.

Hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.

Longfellow wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1863 and then first published in February 1865, in Our Young Folks

The refrain “peace on Earth, goodwill to men” is a reference to the King James Version of Luke 2:14.

The Christmas carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among men.

See Lyrics to that poem below

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!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
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.”

It was not until 1872 that the poem is known to have been set to music. Several versions have been made using the poem and some revisions with each one. However, Bing Crosby recorded the song on October 3, 1956. In 2008, Christian Music Artist Casting Crowns made it their eighth #1 hit. Not to mention, many other music artist have done their rendition.

Christmas Carol Spotlights

  1. A-Z of Christmas Music
  2. Auld Lang Syne
  3. Deck the Halls
  4. The First Noel
  5. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  6. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  7. Jingle Bells
  8. Let it Snow!
  9. Little Drummer Boy
  10. O Christmas Tree
  11. O Holy Night
  12. Silent Night
  13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Be sure to check out these Christmas Songs with Storied Past!

https://www.courageouschristianfather.com/christmas-songs-with-storied-pasts/
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