I Heard The Bells

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.”

6 Responses

  1. It is a beautiful Carol….and very meaningful now and every year it seems.
    “there is no peace on earth I said”
    It was one of the first carols I learned to play with two hands on the piano!
    And I sang it lustily along with my faltering accompaniment!

    But we have to have peace in our own hearts even if the world is a mess.

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