Welcome to Tigersue's Jungle. Here you may find a Jungle of thoughts and idea's. You may never know what you will find!
Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Bells, or I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day



Christmas Bells
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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!

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!’

The song is based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, entitled "Christmas Bells."

Longfellow wrote "Christmas Bells" on Christmas Day 1864 in the midst of the American Civil War after receiving the news that his son Charles Appleton Longfellow had suffered crippling wounds as a soldier in battle. Longfellow had previously suffered the loss of his wife two years prior to an accident with fire. Sitting down to his desk that Christmas Day, he heard the church bells ringing. It was in this setting that Longfellow wrote these lines:

The poem has been set to several tunes. The first tune was set in the 1870s by an English organist, John Baptiste Calkin, to his composition "Waltham". Less commonly, the poem has also been set to the 1845 composition "Mainzer" by Joseph Mainzer. Johnny Marks, best known for his song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," set Longfellow's poem to music in the 1950's. Marks' version has been recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Kate Smith, Frank Sinatra, Sarah McLachlan, Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, The Carpenters and Bing Crosby. Marks' composition is now generally accepted as the de facto version and is generally what is used for modern recordings of the song, though Calkin's version is still heard as well.

This is not one of my favorite Carols to sing, I hate the tune, but love the words. I am in the minority I think.





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