Friday, December 20, 2013

Fridays at First Day: Longfellow's Christmas Carol

I love Christmas songs.  I equally enjoy the hokey carols you hear repeated incessantly on the radio and the quality versions of Christmas hymns and classics.  There is certain music I need to hear each season to ensure I feel holly and jolly.  I need to hear Andy Williams sing, "and woop dee do and dickory dock and don't forget to hang up your sock, because just exactly at 12 o'clock, he'll be comin' down the chimney, down."

And while I highly doubt Andy was trying to portray a profound piece of the holiday with the world, some carols really reach deep and pull at our belief.  A Christmas song that has come to speak to me in recent years is, "I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day."  As a child, I just let the words float over my head and dance about the twinkle lights.  As an adult, I could meditate on its meaning for hours.

Today, over at The First Day, I give a mix of commentary and contemplation on this well-recognized, but maybe not well-known carol.


Longfellow’s Christmas Carol

At this point in his life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow had also survived his only two wives. The first died of a miscarriage, four years after they wed. The second died from burns sustained during an accidental fire that caught her dress. Longfellow, himself, extinguished the flames by smothering them with his body. He was so badly burned he could not attend his bride’s funeral. It is, therefore, not surprising that he ceases to praise the bells.  Read more.

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