Guest Author - Chris Curtis
Like many of the traditional Christmas carols, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear is comprised of a musical composition written by one composer then coupled with lyrics written by a poet. The melody was composed by Richard S. Willis in 1850 who titled it simply "Carol". The traditional lyrics were written in 1849 by Edmund H Sears, a Unitarian Minister in Wayland Massachusetts.
This hymn is celebratory and hopefully joyous in its lyrics. Written during the Civil War years when the United States was ripped asunder, this Christmas carol hoped to heal the torn nation by the foretelling of better times to come. Perhaps in today's world of strife the words of this old hymn can bring comfort to those who's families are missing those deployed to foreign lands.
Lyrics: Edmund H. Sears(1810-1876), 1849
Music: Richard S. Willis (1819 – 1900) 1850
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth
With news of joy foretold,
"Peace on the earth, good will to men
From heaven's all gracious King."
The world in solemn stillness lay,
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
Love's banner all unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
Over all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains
Old echoes plaintive ring,
And ever over its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the Angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man at war with man hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O! hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the Angels sing.
O ye, beneath life's crushing load
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
O rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.