The Christmas Bells

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The Christmas Bells
by Mary Holden Coggeshall Seward
This carol was most frequently set to the tune Chime (1865) by Arthur H. Brown. It was also adapted to the tune Hold the fort.[1] Other settings have been published, including those by Joseph Barnby and the author's spouse Theodore F. Seward.

Ring the bells, the Christmas bells.
  Chime out the wond’rous story;
First in song, on angel tongues,
  It came from realms of glory;
"Peace on earth, good will to men",
  Angelic voices ringing,
Christ, the Lord, to earth has come,
  His glorious message bringing.

Common refrain[2]:
     Ring the merry Christmas bells,
       Chime out the wond’rous story,
     Glory be to God on high,
       For evermore be glory.

Wise men hastened from the east,
  To bring their richest treasure,
Gold and myrrh, and frankincense,
  And jewels without measure;
Him they sought, although a king,
  They found in birth-place lowly,
There, within a manger, lay
  The babe so pure and holy.

Earthly crowns were not for him,
  He came God's love revealing;
On the cross he died for us,
  His blood forgiveness sealing;
'Tis the Saviour promised long,
  Ring out your loudest praises;
Every heart this happy day,
  Its grateful anthem raises.

Alternate Refrain[edit]

Seward refrain[3]:
     Ring the bells, the merry Christmas bells;
       Chime out the wondrous story,
     Glory be to God on high, For evermore be glory.

Notes[edit]

  1. Anonymous adaption to the tune Hold the fort(Popular educator, Boston: Educational Publishing Company, p. 172, <http://books.google.com/books?id=9vQBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover#PPA172> )
  2. Settings by Arthur H. Brown, C. Erskine, Alfred Oake, and T.C. Dean (Hutchins, Charles L., ed., Carols old and carols new, Boston: The Parish Choir, <http://books.google.com/books?id=9aQQAAAAYAAJ> )
  3. Setting by Theodore F. Seward (Lowry, Robert, ed., Bright jewels for the Sunday school, New York: Biglow & Main, p. 122, <http://books.google.com/books?id=7ghITjeFeLsC> )


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1919, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.