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I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day


by

Lennon714

 Genre: Holiday

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Description
This is, in my opinion, one of the finest Christmas songs ever penned. Based off a poem named "Christmas Bells" by Longfellow with music by John Baptiste. The poem was written on Christmas Day, 1864. Longfellow's son had recently been severely injured in the American Civil War and his journals from years prior show a disdain for Christmas after his wife's death in 1861.

What I like so much about this song is how it shows the struggle many believers have with a just and loving God that allows bad things to happen. Smack dab in the middle of this hymnal standard is a healthy amount of doubt, followed with an exclamation of hope. I've always just loved how honest this song is. It's rare you get that kind of grit in a hymn, let alone a Christmas song. Enjoy and I hope your Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) is all-time.

Production crits are always welcome.
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Lyrics
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.

I 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.

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."

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!
Song Stats
Hits: 3029
Comments: 32
Fans: 15
Plays: 230
Downloads: 60
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Dec 25, 2010 - 02:40:27 AM
Last Updated: Dec 27, 2010 - 02:09:42 PM Last Played: Aug 31, 2016 - 04:49:43 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Telecaster, Jazz Bass, Shure mic, yamaha keys.
Software:
Garageband, Camel Crusher
Comments
egobandit said 2317 days ago (December 25th, 2010)
strumming heaven
Disdain for christmas, most likely bec christmas is just a marriage of pagan festivals and christian beliefs, has nothing to do with jesus but how could Constantine keep the pagans and christians happy by the way the ending change up is priceless!
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Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
P.A.G.A.N.
Thanks for listening. I agree with your sentiments. I love it, but it is a ridiculous holiday. I guess Christmas is what you make of it. My atheist friend celebrates Christmas and it doesn't seem out of place. I guess that's a sign of just how secular the holiday really is.
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bud said 2317 days ago (December 25th, 2010)
Excellent version and enlightened choice
I love the different section treatments.
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Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
Thanks, Bud
Glad you liked it!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
rsorensen said 2316 days ago (December 25th, 2010)
Dude
This is A+ work. Love the acoustic break with the distorted vocal and that dirty beautiful final section. I was dying for a solo after the last verse but regardless this'll be on my Christmas playlist for years to come. Nice work. Merry Christmas Eric and thanks for the song.
Check out my latest song called Again
Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
Solos
If you're looking for solos, buy a Skid Row record. Ha. Love that Frank Black quote. Anyway, I'm not cut out for soloing. I could extend that verse and have you pick up that guitar and talk to me. BTW. It's great to see you around. Drop the art and get us some tunes! :)
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
rsorensen said 2311 days ago (December 31st, 2010)
Hah
Yes a fantastic quote indeed, but some of my favorite solos are on Pixies records. Working out a couple songs in my head. I'll be back soon!
Check out my latest song called Again
ramonaji said 2316 days ago (December 25th, 2010)
nice job!
Thank you for sharing this!
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Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
Thanks, Ramona
I appreciate you taking the time to listen. Thanks for the compliment!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
alackbass said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
This should be on Weezer's xmas record. If Weezer had a xmas record! Cool!
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Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Weezer
is one of my all-time faves. And they do have a handful of Christmas recordings that are sublime.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
racerat said 2315 days ago (December 26th, 2010)
I Heard the Bells
I'm with you. A stellar Christmas song with a lot to say. Like the stummy Weezer-esque rock vamp at the end. I really really cool rendition. This is by far my fav MJ Christmas song yet.
RR
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Lennon714 said 2315 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Thanks!
There's something holy about distortion and 6/8 that really trims my tree. Glad you liked! :)
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
TheKapitols said 2315 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
enjoyable
great tune! definitely worth many listens
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Lennon714 said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Thanks
Enjoyable is about all I can ask for. So I'm glad I got it and I'm glad you dug it. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
five_extra_arms said 2315 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
In The Top Two
My other all time favorite Christmas tune is Far, Far Away.... Dude, you rock Christmas songs!

Excellent sound combinations - love the yamaha keys, love the second guitar, the fluty parts, the crunchy ending and I always dig your vocals.

Thanks for another great download. Top Two baby, Top TWO!!
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Lennon714 said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Top Two
I do my Christmas songs with one thing in mind: What would it be like to party with Baby Jesus and Dee Snider. I have no choice but to rock reverently.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Brian D said 2315 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
A chant sublime
I've never heard this Xmas song before - and I thought I'd heard them all ( being raised/tortured catholic) - nice choice. I like the unexpected gear shifting throughout. Very enjoyable. Amen.
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Lennon714 said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Gear Shifting
Glad you enjoyed it. I really enjoyed your latest!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
lavalamp said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
Wow Dude
I actually love the production here. A lost Weezer X-Mas demo. How could you not enjoy this.

Peace on Earth. War belongs on Mars indeed.

LL
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
Lennon714 said 2313 days ago (December 28th, 2010)
Mars War
They'd probably draft me in the Mars War. The Battle for Element X. The element that gives ultimate power to he who possesses it. My only defense is rock and roll. Stand with me, homes. It's time to rock. Glad you liked!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
BirdmanWayne94 said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
I liked...
... how you pulled off the 3 moods of the song. Terrific work, Lennon714! Definitely a piece to be very proud of.
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Lennon714 said 2313 days ago (December 28th, 2010)
Thank you!
I appreciate you taking the time to listen. It's fun to put a twist on the classics.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
michael2 said 2314 days ago (December 27th, 2010)
cooool
this is a great xmas carol. and your version is awesome. I really liked the rock ending as well. those flutes were perfection when they came in as well. great job Eric.
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Lennon714 said 2313 days ago (December 28th, 2010)
Big rock and roll ending
Thanks for listening. Rock and roll and flutes. Like the Jethro Tull Christmas Spectacular we all grew up on.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
Vic Holman said 2313 days ago (December 28th, 2010)
Eric
well this is great. i dig how this changes while keeping it consistant.... you made it your own!
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Lennon714 said 2313 days ago (December 28th, 2010)
Ch-Ch-Changes
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and listen. I'm glad the theme of the tune remained consistent, because that's what draws me to the hymn to begin with. Thanks!
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
jdholliday said 2312 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
Amazingly well done Eric!
I struggle with hat question all the time, but I think if there is a Loving God, we made Him unwelcome here and he has no authority here, We let bad things happen, that and we are a fallen people in a fallen World with Physical laws that can't be broken. Now that I got that off my chest, this is a stellar production, instant classic X-mas song! reminds me a bit if Michael2!
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Lennon714 said 2311 days ago (December 30th, 2010)
why
would you say such a thing about Michael2? What did he ever do to you? Just joking. I'll take that as a compliment. Thank you very much. You may be on to something with your theory. I don't really have a theory. I'm not sure any explanation would make sense to people who have suffered so it's probably best we don't hear it in our lifetime.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
tempie said 2308 days ago (January 3rd, 2011)
doth
Dude the changeup is inspired, just love it. I guess 'shit happens' wouldn't make much of a hymn. pocketing this chestnut for next year's Christmas playlist.
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Lennon714 said 2307 days ago (January 3rd, 2011)
Shit Happens
Would make an incredible hymn. I smell an HBS challenge.
Check out my latest song called The Robots of Coconino County
somebuddy said 2203 days ago (April 18th, 2011)
Cool
Hey sorry it took me so long to check this one out. This is awesome! I would love an entire Christmas album. maybe you could get one out in time for next Christmas?
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