Excerpt from The Christians Post
Written by Greg Laurie
One of the most familiar carols we hear during the holidays is "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." The story behind the song, based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, is very interesting.
In 1860, Longfellow was at the peak of his success as a poet. Abraham Lincoln had just been elected President, giving hope to many in the nation. But things soon turned dark for America and for Longfellow, personally. The Civil War began the following year, and Longfellow's wife died of severe burns after her dress caught fire. Longfellow sustained severe burns on his hands and face from trying to save his wife. He was so badly burned that he could not even attend her funeral. In his diary for Christmas Day 1861, he wrote, "How inexpressibly sad are the holidays."
Several years later, Longfellow wanted to pull out of his despair, so he decided to try to capture the joy of Christmas.