This year, we’re finding extra significance in an old Christmas song.
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Johnny Cash
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The spirit of Christmas has a tendency to get lost to the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But, this year, as we speed towards a decidedly topsy-turvy Christmas amidst the worsening coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to reflect on the true meaning of the season.

With Christmas less than a month away, we’re finding extra significance in a nearly 60-year-old tune by Johnny Cash. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is an adaptation of a Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem from 1863. The poem is about the despair of hearing Christmas bells as the Civil War tore apart the nation.

Cash recorded the song for his first Christmas album The Christmas Spirit in 1963, but it had previously been recorded by Bing Crosby.

Though decades have passed since the powerful poem was translated into song, the message remains one that we should all take to heart, and it goes like this:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old familiar carols play

And wild and sweet the words repeat

Of peace on earth goodwill to men

I thought how as the day had come

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along unbroken song

Of peace on earth goodwill to men

And in despair I bowed my head

There is no peace on earth I said

For hate is strong that mocks the song

Of peace on earth goodwill to men

(continued below...)

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Then pealed the bells more loud and deep

God is not dead nor doubt He sleeps

The wrong shall fail the right prevail

With peace on earth goodwill to men

Till ringin' singin' on its way

The world revolve from night to day

A voice a chime a chance so blind

Of peace on earth goodwill to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep

God is not dead nor doubt He sleeps

The wrong shall fail the right prevail

With peace on earth goodwill to men