Today, we’re going to hear the story behind the beautiful Christmas carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”
Written in 1849 by Edmund Hamilton Sears, a Unitarian minister, this was the second of two “twin” carols. (Listen to the show for more.)
“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
“Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!”
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O’er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o’er its Babel sounds
The blessed 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;
Oh 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.
“Calm On The Listening Ear”
Calm on the listening ear of night
Come heaven’s melodious strains,
Where wild Judea stretches far
Her silver mantled plains.
Celestial choirs from courts above
Shed sacred glories there,
And angels, with their sparkling lyres,
Make music on the air.
Artists On This Show
London Fox Players & Tim Mather
“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” (mp3)
from “20 Peaceful Christmas Favorites”
(Classic Fox Records)