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Christmas Music, Part 4 – I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem “Christmas Bells” by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator’s despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that “hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men”. The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among mankind.

This version is done by Casting Crowns.  I chose it because the Pender choir sang this on Christmas Eve with past-Associate Pastor Dan Elmore singing the solo…and I fell in love with this version.

As seen on 2008 TBN Christmas special. “I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day” is available on Casting Crowns’ Christmas album, Peace On Earth.

More traditionally, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s version:

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!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
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.”

 
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Posted by on December 4, 2022 in Christmas Music, Holidays, Posts of Interest

 

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Christmas Music, Part 3 – Angels We Have Heard On High

Angels We Have Heard On High

Angels We Have Heard On High

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
CHORUS:
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song? ChorusCome to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King. ChorusSee Him in a manger laid
Jesus Lord of heaven and earth;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth. Chorus

This is a traditional French carol (Les Anges dans nos Campagnes) that was translated into English by Bishop James Chadwick.

This carol commemorates the story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, in which shepherds outside Bethlehem encounter a multitude of angels singing and praising the newborn child.

In 2009, Andrea Bocelli and David Foster collaborated to produce a Christmas album with a number of other music legends. This is “Angels We Have Heard on High” with choir and orchestra.

The Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, David Archuleta, and The Mormon Tabernacle Choir get together to sing “Angels We Have Heard On High”

 

 
 

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Christmas Music, Part 2 – Joy To The World

Joy_To_The_World-Antioch

Joy To The World

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King.

Isaac Watts wrote  the words to “Joy to the World” in 1719, based on Psalm 98 in the Bible. The hymn originally glorified Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a song celebrating His first coming. Only the second half of Watts’ lyrics are still used today.

The music was adapted and arranged to Watts’ lyrics by Lowell Mason in 1839 from an older melody which was then believed to have originated from Handel. The name “Antioch” is generally used for the hymn tune.

As of the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” was the most-published Christmas hymn in North America.

 
 

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Christmas Music, Part 1 – Sleigh Ride

Sleigh Ride

I’ve always liked Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride as a secular Christmas song 🙂  It’s not technically a Christmas song since the words never mention Christmas but it’s often played now so it seems like a way to ease into the season.

Anderson had the original idea for the piece during a heat wave in July 1946;  he finished the work in February 1948.  Lyrics, about a person who would like to ride in a sleigh on a winter’s day with another person, were written by Mitchell Parish in 1950.

The orchestral version was first recorded in 1949 by Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra. The song was a hit record and has become the equivalent of a signature song for the orchestra.

 

 
 

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Pender UMC Holiday Concert

 

Come join us for a free concert of holiday music!

Usher in the holidays with the sounds of the Harp, Flute, Piano, Organ, Soprano vocalist, Handbells, Jazz duo and an Irish session!

The concert will conclude with everyone joining in singing some traditional carols.

A reception will follow.

At Pender UMC on route 50, heading east turn left at the light, just before Harris Teeter.

12401 Alder Woods Drive, Fairfax, VA US 22033

More Christmas Events

 

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