|Music by||Johnny Marks|
|Lyrics by||Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (adapted by Johnny Marks)|
|Date||1864 (poem); 1956 (music)|
|Publisher||St. Nicholas Music Inc.|
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a Christmas song composed by Johnny Marks to the words of a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Longfellow's poem, "Christmas Bells," is about hope in dark places and was written in 1864 during the American Civil War.
The poem was set to music shortly thereafter, and in 1956, Marks composed a new melody for the first two stanzas of the song, adapting the words slightly as necessary. The song has become a Christmas standard, with recorded versions by many artists including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Burl Ives.