Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Said the king to the people everywhere
Listen to what I say
( Listen to what I say)
Pray for peace people everywhere
Listen to what I say
(Listen to what I Say)

The child, the child
Sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

The seasonal song Do You Hear What I Hear is now officially in the realm of my "I did not know that!" list. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of this song, written by an American couple in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The crisis had the United States on the brink of a nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union, which had missiles in Cuba, pointed at the United States. This madness was narrowly averted and was one of the key events of President John Kennedy's term in office. Since the song was written it has been covered by hundreds of artists, everyone from Der Bingle to Carrie Underwood.

It is a reminder that not only is music written in the midst of real-world circumstances, Christ came as the Prince of Peace in the midst of the hostilties of his time, and he was eventually put to death by the powerful Roman Empire. In that respect religion, art, and politics do mix.

Were you aware of the origins of this song? Do you find it interesting?

Read my latest Groundling Blog about a new bio of Rachel Carson.

1 comment:

Laura said...

You do well at keeping us informed...did not know the background to this beautiful song. It does give us a different window to sing from.

Was reminded this week of the backgrond to a beautiful hymn What a Friend I Have In Jesus. It was wrtten by a Port Hope man after much tragedy in his own life.I thought of his experiences and the lyrics and found his words brought me some comfort amidst last week's tragedies...

What a friend we have in
All sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer.
Oh, what peace we often forfeit.
Oh, what needless pain we
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer.