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Sunday, December 26, 2010

In honor of our Christmas Program

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head.
The stars in the bright sky looked down where He lay--
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes.
I love Thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me for ever and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven, to live with Thee there.

This is supposed to be the real story of Santa Claus.... Click Here

Now read the whole Christmas Carol, "I heard the Bells."  I hate to print any Yankee propaganda but Longfellow was deeply saddened by Lincoln's war of aggression and I like the song.

When Longfellow this poem, America was still months away from Lee's surrender to the "blue coated devils," at Appomattox Court House on April 9th 1865; and, his poem reflected the prior years of the war's despair, while ending with a confident hope of triumphant peace.

Christmas Bells
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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!

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!'

About this poem click here.

Since no good music has been written since 1918 I suppose there will be no poetry regarding naked scanners or cupping screeners....Or exploding Islamics. Or fake terrorists. I guess that doesn't really lend itself to lyrical expression. Perhaps a banjo tune?


  1. I love it, great work but all involved!

  2. By all involved, not buy! This is what I still love about Christmas in the states.

  3. Quite interesting to read the background to this poem/song. I had only known it as a christmas carol til now. If Longfellow had not suffered all the sadness and adversity I wonder if he would ever have come up with such a work?

  4. Another 1/2 hour following links.

    Wonder what he would have wrote had his life been happier and more cheerful.

    No good music since 1918?? Jazz and Iron Butterfly don't count?

    Great post! A poem, some politics, and religion thrown in for good measure.

    Think I'll settle myself with some tractor porn.

  5. Excellent post. So much of history is only half told.

  6. I wrote that post while looking up some last minute material for our Christmas program. Since we have our services at a retirement home it is hard to ask people to have a part in advance as you never know who will fall over dead and when. As it happened my daughter woke up sick this morning so that ended her participation. But, one old lady said the 23rd psalm twice. Once at the beginning and once at the end. (She has a short attention span.)
    Anyway... Interesting info on Longfellow. I just pulled the 1918 number out at random. I was thinking of hymns.
    Perhaps I will also go look up tractors at tractorhouse now. I just know I will find a nice White 195 for practically nothing, five miles from my house...


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