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Longfellow’s Christmas, narrated by Edward Herrman

December 21, 2009

Every year the Mormon Tabernacle Choir puts on a wonderful (and free) Christmas concert. Each year they invite a different well-known singer/soloist and a narrator, and it promises to be the best Christmas Concert in the country. (I’m not afraid to use hyperbole–oh, no!)

Last year a friend invited me to go with her. It was a couple months after I’d returned from a very stressful MA year and thesis writing, and all the emotionally charged prop 8 political discussions going on among my friends not to mention the rest of the angry or hateful banter during election time… my mom’s broken shoulder… had really gotten me down. It was so gradual, though, that I hadn’t realized how down I had gotten (not to mention I’m affected by SADS in the winter)…

…until I saw this performance by Edward Herman and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:

I think this performance (even in its reduced youtube version–if only you could have been there) is truly wonderful, and it made my Christmas. It reminded that there is–and will always be–plenty to be joyful and hopeful about. It brought me back–renewed me. “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep!”

Here is the original poem:

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!

And 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!

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!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
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!”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    December 22, 2009 9:34 pm

    Bless you for sharing this.

  2. December 22, 2009 10:25 pm

    Very nice. I love when something brings the Christmas spirit in and plunges your heart in a bucket of it.

  3. laurie permalink
    January 1, 2010 8:02 am

    Nice! I like it because that guy is the grandpa in The Gilmore Girls, my favorite show. lol! Hope you had a great christmas. Here is to a year of good art making!

  4. Stephen permalink
    January 2, 2010 3:22 pm

    I watch this repeatedly for how it uplifts. How exquisite it must have been to be there in person to receive this testimony.

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