Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Clearly Dark


Sometimes, some of our cherished songs have been born from strife of a not-so-far distant past.

Think about this: The last person to have fought in the Civil War died in 1958. This helps put things into perspective when we think about the history of our nation. We are so young and silly.

The song that starts with the words, it came upon a midnight clear, isn’t so much about the birth of Christ as it is about the man who penned the songs and the days of his life.

Written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, It Came Upon a (the) Midnight Clear is more about the end of the war and his melancholy reflection upon how dark, evil and desolate the world is or was. He felt they were not hearing the Christmas message.  Pastor Sears was a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, and he was a Unitarian pastor who wrote for 19th century liberal protestants.

His work started in Wayland, MA in a small church before he moved up the promotional ladder to a much larger church in Lancaster, MA where he worked himself to the point of a nervous breakdown.

He retreated to Wayland where he penned the poem that would become one of our favorite Christmas carols. The song has had two melodies over the years.  We normally sing it to an English tune titled “Noel”. The first performance of the song was on Christmas Eve at his own home.

It has been believed that the song was written about the Mexican American war that had just ended, but if you look at his personal history, you will see that he was a champion for women’s rights and for the abolition of slavery when it was not trendy to take a stand like that. He stated that "when the human and the Divine law were in conflict it was the duty of all to obey the latter."

That made him a rebel in his time and his words were used by the Massachusetts Abolition group as a rallying cry. Maybe his melancholy was about man in general and not so much the war.

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 heaven's 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 blessèd angels sing.
Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.
And 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.
O rest beside the weary road,
And hear the angels sing!
For lo!, the days are hastening on,
By prophet bards foretold,
When with the ever-circling years
Comes round the age of gold
When peace shall over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling,
And the whole world give back the song
Which now the angels sing.

Like all of our favorite songs, this one has been performed by a number of artists over the years. I found it very difficult to choose that one special performance, but want to mention that Norah Jones and Julie Andrews have renditions that speak to my childhood. However, I wanted to rock this out a bit since it was so melancholy, so here is the one that I finally decided upon.

Anything with a Celtic twist is always a party and a cause for celebration. Maybe, we should just hear the angels sing.

Come celebrate with me by enjoying all of these gifting ideas for the holidays.

Embroidered Snowman / Snowwoman Women's Sweatshirt

Simple Embroidery Sew

Silver and White Star Mug Rugs

Wyvern Designs

Handsome Hanging Snowman Dish Towel

Holly Knitter Creation 

Sapphire Heart Earrings Sterling Silver

Treasures of Jewels 

Holiday Crystal Beaded Blue & White Mat

RSS Designs in Fiber 

Blue Sodalite Jasper Heart Pendant

Kats All That 

Ocean Blue Waves Rolling to Shore from Laguna Beach California

Butterfly in the Attic

Bracelets for Women

Blue Morning Expressions 

Hand Knit Teal Shawl with Knitted Loop


Peter Rabbit Cupcake Toppers

Adore by Nat 

Not All Who Wander Are Lost Handmade Pendant Necklace

Shadow Dog Designs 

Retirement Christmas Ornament Handmade From Birch Wood

Kevs Krafts 

Long Dangle Earrings

Blonde Peach Jewelry 

Druzy Crystals Dainty Gold Chain Pendant Necklace


Sparkly Handmade Dangles

Pretty Gonzo 

Blue Crystal Triangle Earrings

SolanaKai Designs

Paws and Bones Blue Dog Bandana

Sew Amazin 


Turquoise Howlite Black Jasper Kitty Cat Beaded Pendant Necklace

The Singing Beader 

Lampwork Beads Etched Pale Aqua Blue

Covergirl Beads 


Large Sodalite Drilled Nugget Beads

Bead Souk

These talented artists are available for special requests or orders, so don’t hesitate to contact them if you have any questions about these pieces.

Here are some more showcases for you to enjoy:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

Silent Night, Holy Night
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
White Christmas
Hark the Herald Angels Sing
Go Tell it on the Mountain

Hurry because handmade sells out fast, and when they are gone, they are gone! Buy now.


  1. Love all the blues, gorgeous. Thank you Julie and Blu for including my shawl. Shared

  2. Love the Celtic twist! Also, love all of the items you selected. Thank you so much for including my snow people sweatshirt...not that we will be seeing any snow here in Texas any time soon! All have been pinned to the Week 6 countdown!

  3. Such pretty blues! Enjoyed reading! Thanks so much for showing my turquoise howlite kitty cat necklace. Will share all items to Pinterest.

  4. Thank you for including my Sodalite beads, will share.

  5. Thank you Julie. Really enjoyed your post and thanks for including my earrings!

  6. Thanks so much, Julie and beautiful Blu, for this special promotion. I've always been intrigued by "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," one of my favorites, because it's so unique. Thanks for the interesting information about it! Will be sharing. Happy sales to all!

  7. I'm not familiar with this song but it was interesting to learn about the history of it. Thank you for teaching me, Julie! And thank you for including my earrings in this lovely blue collection. In addition to lots of Christmas present ideas, I also spotted some excellent ones for Hanukah as well! Hugs to you and Blu!

  8. Beautiful selections for gifts! Blue is a great choice around here. Thanks for including my lampwork beads.

  9. Thank you so much Julie and such stunning blues. I am also so impressed by this version of It Came Upon a Midnight Clear. Love the Celtic Women and have never heard this one...sent chills!!

  10. Love this song - thank you for sharing it's history! And thank you for including my blue dog bandana in this week's post. Have pinned them all.

  11. I love all the blues. Thanks so much for including my Druzy Necklace.
    Off to share.

  12. Thanks Julie and Blu for sharing this wonderful collection of blues.
    Love your song choice....Off to share

  13. Thank you so much! I love this collection of blue beauties :)
    Have a blessed day