Wednesday, December 4, 2013

25 Days of Carols: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

The Ozinga Outlook
Y'all, Christmas carols work for us! I love Christmas music.  Old, new, it doesn't matter.  Growing up in kid choir at church meant we learned the stories behind the carols we sang.  I remember so many of these stories and have fact checked many of them over the years with the invention of the internet.  :)  Check back each day for a new carol and story!  I'll be including a video of one of my favorite versions of the carol as well.  Grab the button and share the fun with your friends!

December 4th: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Casting Crowns recorded an updated version of this song a while back, and I think it made this song even more relevant for this season in today's world.  It's just a beautiful song full of meaning.   I wrote a piece about this carol last year, and I promise you won't be disappointed if wander over to read it.

Henry Woodsworth Longfellow was a man who loved Jesus.  I didn't learn that in high school lit class.  Bummer.  I might have paid more attention to his works if I'd known.  Henry's wife died in 1862, and on Christmas Day 1864, he learned his son had been injured in the Civil War.  Out of his grief, to challenge his state of despair, he wrote this poem and called it Christmas Bells.  Only later was it put to music and transformed into a beloved carol.

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.'

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