‘God is not dead, nor doth He sleep’

December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas!

The song is “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1863 after his wife died of injuries from an accidental fire and their son was wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church, in the Civil War.  Wikipedia reviews the different ways that the poem has been set to music over the years.  Above is Echosmith (“Cool Kids”)’s take; other versions have been done by everyone from Burl Ives and Johnny Cash to Casting Crowns and Rockapella.

The words of the poem, according to Wikipedia:

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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