From: Vintage Kitchen Mysteries
Book 3: Freezer I'll Shoot
Publication Date: November 5th, 2013
Author: Victoria Hamilton
Hard Candy Christmas – Dolly Parton – Been there, felt this… maybe it’s because of the heartbreak I went through last Christmas, but I know how this feels, that sense of being unsure what to do with yourself. “Lord it's like a hard candy Christmas/I’m barely getting through tomorrow/But still I won’t let/Sorrow bring me way down.”
But the story behind the poem is even more moving. Longfellow’s beloved son joined the Union cause in March of 1863 against his father’s wishes. In November he was severely wounded. It was a painful time for Longfellow, who had lost his wife in a fire not long before. He penned the poem on Christmas day of 1863, relating his horror at the strife. He wrote about the cannons blasting in the south, and the horror in his heart about the Civil War raging, then this:
“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."
That refrain is the pivotal moment in the song, which adapted the poem to music.
So I’ll be listening to Karen Carpenter’s version of I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and I’ll make my prayer for peace on earth, at this season and forever.
What is your favorite song or carol at this time of year? Is it funny, or touching, or just silly?
BTW, I have a new one for you all. Just listen to Earl the Christmas Squirrel by the Moffats and see if you aren’t humming the chorus, “Earl the Christmas Squirrel works from dawn till dusk/Scurrying all around the world collecting Christmas nuts/Walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts/And on his Hawaiian cruise/He goes nuts over coconuts and macadamias too!”