11 December, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Song



I love "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" AND thanks to my big mouth, I get to sing it in sacrament meeting in two weeks. aha. I found a really cool thing about it and so I just wanted to share it with you.
Text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow(1807-1882)
Music: John Baptiste Calkin (1827-1905)
Tune Name: WALTMAN
As Christmas bells peal their traditional carols, a moment of despair overcomes one who hears them. With such hate and conflict in the world, how can the listener trust the message of " Peace on earth, good will to men"? But the song of hope and promises wells even louder: "the wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's original poem, published in 1867, was seven staznas long. The Chistmas carol version omits the orignal verses 4 and 5 , which show his grief and frusteration over the American Civil War. These omitted verses describe how the awful sounds of war overpower the song of Christmas bells:

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 hearthstones os a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men
Verse three of the original poem has been made the final verse of the carol, so that two positive verses conclude the carol and leave us with a feeling of faith and optimism.

4 comments:

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

GOod luck singing in church! Let's hope you don't pass out.......☺

Ratliffs said...

I had never actually heard of this song until I became a member. It is a very pretty song! Good luck!

James and Aimee said...

I love this song too. And good luck in Sacrament meeting!

Sea Star said...

I too will be performing this song in Sacrament meeting. I am playing it on my flute with two other ladies. We haven't even practiced it yet. YIKES! I hope it is really easy!