Christmas Song Pet Peeve

4 Dec

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Christmas music.  Christmas music is wholesome, sweet, touching, kind, well-meaning, and just full of good messages and best wishes. I particularly have a fondness for tradition and the classics. Maybe it’s the snake in me, but I don’t like it when people change my traditions, and I like doing to same song over and over again every  year. 

Maybe that’s why this is a particular pet peeve of mine – When Christian singers take old songs, add one line repeated over and over for a new chorus, and then pretend like they’ve produced something new. Often published without reference to the original writer who actually WAS creative. Okay, I know most of these songs are no longer under Copyright, but if you’re copying someone else’s work, acknowledgement is NEVER out of fashion (and a heck of a lot more ethical). (i.e. Mercy Me’s “I heard the Bells.” — Adding “I can hear them” said 50 times over does not a new song make.)

Original by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said:
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!”

New Version by “Mercy Me”

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on Earth, good will to men

And thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men
I can hear them
I can hear them
I can hear them

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on Earth” I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on Earth, good will to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead nor does He sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on Earth, good will to men

I can hear You
I can hear You
I can hear You
I could still hear You
The world can hear You

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: