On Christmas day, 1864, the beloved poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow received word that his son, a soldier in the Civil War, had been wounded. Just two years before, Henry had lost his wife in a fire. As this devout Christian man sat alone with his grief, on the most joyful of Holy Days, he penned words of hope to challenge his own despair. He called his composition Christmas Bells. Little did he know that those words would someday be set to music and become a blessing to millions of people around the world.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day was set to music by composer John Baptiste Calkin in 1872.
In 2008 Casting Crowns came out with this version and ever since it has been my favorite Christmas song.