December 11, 2009

My All-Time Favorite Christmas Carol

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"...yep, that's it. Have you ever heard of it? Have you ever heard it?? It's not as popular as some other songs but it is my all time favorite...since I was about 5 or 6 yrs old!!

We got a record - I know some of you remember those! - of Christmas songs with a song book and it was one of the songs in there. I swear, I drove my sister insane listening to the song over, and over, and over again!!!

However, to this day, it is one of my faves. A few years ago, Mercy Me added it to their Christmas CD and that made me very happy!

Well, in this age of technology, I looked up the origin of the song. I have thought all along it was English, but I was wrong. That's not that surprising, huh?

Here's some of what I learned, if you are interested ;)

It was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow on Christmas Day in 1864. Now, I am a Civil War junkie and was excited to learn this has a place in American history during the Civil War! During the timeline of the War, Longfellow lost his wife to a fire, and his son, Charles, was severely wounded in the War.

He wrote the poem, "Christmas Bells" after both of these events occurred in his life. It originally had seven stanzas, now down to five. The two that were cut out show a man who was still grieving from all that life had handed him during the War.

Having learned a bit more of the reasons behind it, I love the song even more! Now I hear that Jars of Clay and Casting Crowns also sing the song...that makes me even happier!!!

I love the last stanza where Longfellow shouts to the world, "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep." I am so thankful that my Savior knows what is going on in my world, and is a very present source in my life!!!

I hope you enjoy reading all seven stanza's and for a few days, the music will only play this song so you can enjoy it that way, too.

What is your all-time favorite Christmas Carol??

I pray your Christmas is peaceful, joyful and full of grace!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow....

God's girl, Pamela

"Christmas Bells"
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)

"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!"

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