When we were part of an orchestra a few years back, we researched some of the songs we were playing. Here is what we found on one of them, one of my favorite Christmas carols: “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
It was written by a Frenchman, Noel Regney, who was born in 1922. He studied for a musical career, but when World War II struck, he was forced into the Nazi army, later deserting. After the war, he became a musical director, moved to Manhattan, and married Gloria Shayne, who also wrote music.
In 1962, the United States and Russia were involved in a missile crisis. The Russians had installed missiles in Cuba and America threatened military action if they were not removed. Although Christmas was approaching, no one seemed to be in the holiday mood. Everyone was scared that America would be bombed.
Just about then, Noel was asked to write a song. Inspiration came for “Do You Hear What I Hear?” when Noel saw two babies, who were riding strollers, smiling at each other. Noel wrote the words and his wife wrote the music. Under the menace of a nuclear war, a plea for peace was published. The next year, their song became a huge hit when the well-known Bing Crosby released a version of it.
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a reminder of the Christ child Who came to bring anyone who ask, His peace forever. John 14:27 says “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Lyrics and a Youtube of Carrie Underwood’s version of the song follow. 😎
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
“Do you see what I see?
Way up in the sky, little lamb,
Do you see what I see?
A star, a star, dancing in the night
With a tail as big as a kite,
With a tail as big as a kite.”
Said the little lamb to the shepherd boy,
“Do you hear what I hear?
Ringing through the sky, shepherd boy,
Do you hear what I hear?
A song, a song high above the trees
With a voice as big as the sea,
With a voice as big as the sea.”
Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
“Do you know what I know?
In your palace warm, mighty king,
Do you know what I know?
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring him silver and gold,
Let us bring him silver and gold.”
Said the king to the people everywhere,
“Listen to what I say!
Pray for peace, people, everywhere,
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.”