I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
This Christmas Carol, based on the poem Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, tells of Longfellow’s despair when he heard Christmas bells chime that Christmas in 1863.
During the Civil War, Longfellow’s son was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church. Longfellow had also recently lost his wife in an accidental fire, and was devastated with both losses when he wrote Christmas Bells.
“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 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.’
But, as Longfellow listened longer to the bells chime, his despair lifted to hope.
“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.”
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11).