Tag Archives: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these verses in 1863 at the height of the Civil War, and on the heels of personal tragedy: his wife died in a fire, and his son was severely wounded in battle.

Sung by Burl Ives, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.


‘I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day’ (Burl Ives)

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote these words in 1864. His wife had just died in a fire that burned down their house, and the nation was in the third year of the Civil War–to this day, the bloodiest war ever for America. That any man could write such a hymn as this, still sung 150 years later, displays the image of God in us.

And nobody sang it like Burl ives…


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