Got an email from a viewer saying she had seen a story broadcast about the hymn “I Heard the Bells.” I hadn’t heard it for years but it is certainly as beautiful and as meaningful today as when it was written by Henry W. Longfellow during the American Civil War. It is, for me, what Christmas has always been about — peace.
I Heard the Bells Words and music by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow & John Marks
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.”