It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
Written By: Edmund Sears
It came upon a Midnight clear is a favorite during the holiday
season just because of the reason for the song. Everyone wants
peace on earth and good will towards men during Christmas. The song
addresses all of that and has a nice, soothing melody to accompany
It came upon a midnight clear started out as a poem and ended up
a Christmas carol. It was written by Edmund Sears, a pastor at the
Unitarian church in Lancaster Massachusetts. He wrote the song as a
favor to a friend W.P. Lunt also a pastor in Quincy
It came upon a Midnight Clear appeared on the Christian register
in on December 29, 1849. It wasn't until 10 years later in 1859
that it was put to music. Richard Storrs Willis an American
composer/musician took the song and created the melody for it.
Willis has been rumored to have trained under Felix Mendelssohn. He
created the melody carol for It came upon a Midnight Clear and it
is the most widely known tune to the song in the US today. In the
United Kingdom, the melody Noel is used. Noel was adapted from an
English melody in 1874 by Arthur Sullivan.
The original poem has five-stanzas but there are alternate
versions where there are only three stanzas sang. Below I have put
both songs so you can see the difference.
This is the original version of the poem and carol.
The song hasn't been sung by many artists. The most notable to
be found was the version by Hall and Oates in 2006. Their version
hit number one on the billboard charts'
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear Lyrics
It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:
"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men
From heavens all gracious King!"
The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing.
Still through the cloven skies they come,
With peaceful wings unfurled;
And still their heavenly music floats
O'er all the weary world:
Above its sad and lowly plains
They bend on hovering wing,
And ever o'er its Babel sounds
The blessed angels sing.
O ye beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow;
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the ever-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing.