December 9, 2011

♫ ~ Christmas Bells ~ ♫

During the American Civil War, Longfellow's oldest son, Charles Appleton Longfellow, joined the Union Cause as a soldier without his father's blessing.  Charles soon got an appointment as a Lieutenant, but in November he was severely wounded in the Battle of New Hope Church (in Virginia). Coupled with the recent loss of his wife Frances, who died as a result of an accidental fire, Longfellow was inspired to write "Christmas Bells".
He wrote the poem on Christmas Day in 1864.

"Christmas Bells" was first published in February 1865 in 'Our Young Folks', a juvenile magazine. It was not until 1872 that the poem is known to have been set to music. The English organist, John Baptiste Calkin, used the poem in a processional accompanied with a melody he previously used as early as 1848.

The Calkin version of the carol is the most popular.  Elvis Presley, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, MercyMe, Steven Curtis Chapman, Johnny Cash, and Jimmie Rodgers have recorded this version.

Less commonly, the poem has also been set to the 1845 composition "Mainzer" by Joseph Mainzer. Johnny Marks, known for his song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", set Longfellow’s poem to music in the 1950s.
Marks' version has been recorded by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians, Ed Ames, Kate Smith, Frank Sinatra, Sarah McLachlan, Pedro the Lion, Harry Belafonte, The Carpenters, Rockapella, and Bing Crosby. Marks' composition is now  generally what is used for modern recordings of the song.

Casting Crowns is a Grammy Award and Dove Award winning Contemporary Christian/Christian Rock band, started in 1999 by youth pastor Mark Hall at First Baptist Church in Downtown Daytona Beach. Later they moved to Stockbridge, Georgia and more members joined creating the band now known as Casting Crowns.

In 2008,  Mark Hall, lead vocalist of Casting Crowns, recorded his own arrangement of  "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day". It was released on their Christmas album, Peace On Earth.

It is the most beautirul version I have ever heard!

Isn't it AWESOME !


  1. I enjoyed both the read and video on your post.
    Thanks for your visit and joining my followers, much appreciated, As I am self publishing I have to wait until the books arrive then hopefully will be on like my first book"Negative V. Positive.
    I was in Nashville in Feb this year and I was in Canada and US in May so have been to the US.
    Will join your followers as I really enjoyed your blog.

  2. Yvonne, thank you posting and becoming one of my followers. It is an honor to have you here.
    I look forward to your book.

  3. Nice post . Video is awesome. Just found out your blog and loving it.

    Visit mine and follow each other.

  4. Wow! Lots of interesting information! And I just love the song and video! Brought tears to my eyes! Thanks for sharing that!

    re: question about where the parade was held for the photos I took? In the resort where I stay for the winter in Mesa, AZ.

  5. Hi, this song is really awesome! Thanks for sharing!:) My first time here and i enjoy reading your post!:) Thank you!:)

  6. @ Sagittarian
    Thank you for visiting my Blog and leaving a comment.
    It is an honor to have you join as one of my followers.

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. Very pretty song...thanks for following and I've signed up as yours! Look forward to visiting!

  9. Yes, it is beautiful! Thank you for visiting my blog and becoming a follower. It is always delightful to discover a new friend. Looking forward to getting to know you and sharing the Joy of the Lord with have a new follower also...have a very Merry Christmas

  10. Awesome? Yes, indeed. Thank you for posting.

  11. that was fabulous...thanks so much for sharing it with us