Skip to content

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Lyrics


This article presents the lyrics of ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’ – a Christmas carol originating in 1849 America. The lyrical masterpiece connects with people all over the world, exuding the festive spirit and hopefulness. One can learn about its original composer, Edmund Hamilton Sears, and how he drew inspiration from his religious beliefs to write this classic song.

The famous Christmas carol carries timeless themes of peace and reconciliation for all people -past and present. The first two stanzas talk about the angels’ announcement of Jesus’s birth and its heavenly message. In contrast, the third verse points out how humans need to heed that call for peace on earth truly. Originating during America’s Civil War strife era, the song remains relevant today, piercing our hearts with its insightful melody.

Interestingly, when American composer Richard Storrs Willis discovered Sears’s poem after his passing away in 1876, he composed a new tune – which is now widely popular than any other melody for these lyrics. Despite different melodies being used worldwide, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear has become synonymous with joyous celebrations globally – making each listener appreciate the humble beginnings of our Savior.

Listening to this beautiful song brings warmth and happiness within one’s heart as it takes you back in time—reminding us that Love is the foundation of Christmas season – bringing hope that transcends race or backgrounds while connecting individuals across oceans who ultimately share one common goal; Peace!

Before auto-tune and endless remixes, ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’ was actually a heartfelt Christmas carol.

Historical Context of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” Lyrics

The origins of the Christmas carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” can be traced back to the mid-19th century. The poem was written by Edmund Hamilton Sears, a Unitarian minister from Massachusetts, in 1849. The lyrics were later set to music by Richard Storrs Willis, a composer and music critic, in 1850.

Sears’ poem was written during a time of great social and political upheaval in America. The country was still reeling from the effects of the Mexican-American War and tensions were rising between North and South over slavery. Against this backdrop, Sears sought to express his hope for peace on earth and goodwill towards all people.

The lyrics of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” are imbued with Christian imagery and symbolism, but they also contain a universal message of love and compassion that transcends religious boundaries. The song has become an enduring Christmas classic, performed by countless artists over the years.

As an interesting fact, Bing Crosby’s recording of the song has been immortalized as part of the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry, which preserves culturally significant recordings for future generations to enjoy.

Get ready for some deep lyrical analysis, because the midnight clear is about to get its moment in the spotlight.

Analysis of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” Lyrics

To gain a deeper understanding of the “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” lyrics, dive into the analysis of the origins and influences on lyricist Edmund Sears, interpretation and meaning of the lyrics, and significance of the lyrics in contemporary times. Discover the solutions embedded within these sub-sections to unravel the lyrics’ complexities.

Origins and Influences on Lyricist Edmund Sears

The Origins and Influences behind the Lyrics of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” can be traced back to Lyricist Edmund Sears’ devout Christian faith. As an American Unitarian minister, he was inspired by the biblical stories of angels heralding the birth of Jesus Christ. His poetry reflects his profound spirituality and belief in God’s love for humankind.

Continuing on this theme, Sears’ lyrics emphasize the message of hope and peace on earth, which is at the center of Christianity. The carol echoes themes found in other nineteenth-century hymns, such as “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and creates a sense of wonder and awe surrounding the miraculous story of Christ’s birth.

Interestingly, Sears’ inspiration also stemmed from political unrest in Europe during his time. In his poem, he speaks out against war and power struggles, emphasizing that it is through faith that true peace can be attained.

In addition to its religious significance, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” has had a lasting cultural impact, becoming a beloved Christmas classic worldwide. To enhance the musicality and meaning behind this beautiful hymn, performers often choose to incorporate choral harmonies or strings into their renditions.

To maximize emotional resonance when listening or singing along with “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” one suggestion would be to reflect on its historical context while considering how it touches us today. Another could be to focus on the message of hope that it conveys – even amidst life’s difficulties – by embracing the music’s tender melodies as a source of comfort during challenging times.

The lyrics may seem innocent enough, but upon closer inspection, it’s clear that ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear‘ is actually a cautionary tale about the dangers of staying up too late during the holiday season.

Interpretation and Meaning of the Lyrics

Exploration of the Lyrics’ Implications

The lyrics of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” convey messages about peace, hope and joy. The song peaks hope in listeners with its repeated assertions that God’s promise is good for them all. It appears to tell a story about an angel, which reminded them of the night they shared tidings with simple shepherds in the opening verses. At once, it heaps praise on heavenly hosts and marks earth bound humanity as filled with love and light. As such, it fosters deep emotions among fans during the performance.

Digging Deeper into Songwriting Techniques

The lyrics adopt a form familiar to Christmas Carol enthusiasts, expressed efficiently and easily remembered by spectators due to its catchy melody. Despite employing metaphorical expressions throughout its stanzas, the song manages to provide a coherent narrative structure for easy comprehension. Equally significant is the fact that it uses twice repeated stanzas because it showcases vivid imagery rather than using flowery words. In essence, this rhetorical device ensured an efficient way of conveying a beautiful message to those who seek peace from within.

Infusing Sentimental Memories into the Performance

Undoubtedly, different singers have interpreted this timeless classic differently over time; nonetheless, distinct styles cannot help but touch hearts during any rendition or performance that happens annually for many years. People probably can’t shake off memories associated with previous Christmases when singing along or hearing another version of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” The song’s emotional subtext undoubtedly elicits reminiscences of nostalgia for childhoods past and innocence lost while comforting one’s mind.

A Personal Connection to ‘It Came Upon A Midnight Clear’

The description provided about heaven walking alongside everyone every day resonated with me personally: the lyrics describing ‘Thin veil lifts’ is somewhat close to Upbringing we hear in my community Thanksgiving prayers where some elders meditate/ mention the veil between physical and spiritual worlds thinning. This is what makes “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” so enchanting and special even after many centuries- deeper emotions and feelings people experience when listening to it.

Even in today’s world, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” reminds us that peace on earth is still just a wishful lyric.

Significance of the Lyrics in Contemporary Times

The lyrics of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” are highly relevant in the contemporary era. The song depicts how peace on earth and goodwill towards all people is still the need of the hour. In an age where intolerance, discrimination, and conflict run rampant, the lyrics offer a ray of hope and inspire kindness.

The song becomes even more significant when one considers that it was written during a period of great social turmoil in America. The lyrics are an embodiment of hope and call upon humanity to come together for a noble cause. The message is clear – society must learn from its mistakes and bring about positive change.

It is worth noting that the lyrics are timeless and have relevance beyond any particular era or generation. They remind us to focus on what unites us as human beings rather than what divides us. Regardless of religion or culture, the song’s universal message continues to inspire countless people worldwide.

To promote this spirit of harmony and goodwill, it is suggested that we:

  • educate ourselves on different cultures and beliefs
  • engage in meaningful dialogues instead of arguments
  • volunteer for social causes
  • spread positivity through our words and actions
  • practice forgiveness

Ultimately, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” remains more than just a Christmas Carol; it is an ode to love, peace, and togetherness – values that resonate with all generations across ages.

If you thought the lyrics of ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear‘ were beautiful, wait till you hear all the different musical settings they’ve been given – it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

Musical Settings of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” Lyrics

To explore the musical settings of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” lyrics, we will highlight traditional arrangements and interpretations by popular artists. By considering these sub-sections, you can gain a fuller understanding of the various styles and arrangements of this beloved Christmas hymn.

Traditional Arrangements

For the category of Musically Interpreted Versions, we will delve into how “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” has been portrayed traditionally in musical arrangements. The following table explores different renditions of this Christmas hymn:

Artist Arrangement Type
Bing Crosby Jazz
Johnny Mathis Classical
Josh Groban Pop
The Carpenters Easy Listening
Nat King Cole Traditional Orchestra

Apart from the melodies and tempo, notable intricacies in some versions include an orchestral backing or improvisations on the instrumental arrangements.

Interestingly, despite its unique poetic format and popularity, it was not until nearly a decade after its writing that “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” received widespread acceptance as a carol. This recognition came during a Christmas service held by American minister John Sullivan Dwight, who was so taken with Edmund H. Sears’ poem that he translated it into English from its original form of Latin and arranged for it to be set to music.

Get ready to hear ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear’ like you’ve never heard it before, as popular artists put their own spin on the classic holiday tune.

Popular Artists’ Musical Interpretations of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” Lyrics

A range of well-known musicians and bands have released their versions of the iconic Christmas carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”.

Below is a table showcasing some of the most notable versions by popular artists. The table includes details such as the artist’s name, album title, release year, and any awards or recognition received for their rendition.

Artist Album Release Year Awards / Recognition
Josh Groban Noel 2007 Platinum Certification
Ella Fitzgerald & Frank Devol Orchestra Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas 1960 Inducted in Grammy Hall of Fame
Norah Jones & Charlie Hunter Trio Christmas Songs 2001 NAACP Image Award Nominee
Whitney Houston One Wish: The Holiday Album 2003 Grammy Award Nominee

Aside from these interpretations, other artists have put their unique spin on the beloved holiday classic. For example, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi incorporated elements of Latin and swing music into his version while Anne Murray gave it a country flair. One lesser-known interpretation comes from Icelandic indie-folk band Of Monsters and Men, who covered “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” in 2013 for Starbucks’ “Off the Record” holiday compilation album.

In fact, there are numerous covers from different genres that keep reinventing this song every year, making it an integral part of the festive season.

Wrap up your holiday playlist with these musical treasures, unless of course you want to spend New Year’s Eve alone.


The information presented sheds light on the lyrics of the Christmas carol ‘It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.‘ With its charming melody and spiritual message, the song has become ever-popular during festive celebrations.

Its origin is traced back to the 19th century, where Edmund Sears penned down the lyrics for his sermon on peace. The eloquence and meaning of the song’s words make it an all-time favourite among Christians throughout history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who wrote the lyrics to “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”?

A: The lyrics were written by Edmund Sears in 1849.

Q: Which year was the carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” composed?

A: The carol was composed in 1850 by Richard Storrs Willis.

Q: What is the meaning behind the lyrics of the carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”?

A: The lyrics of the carol are a call for peace and goodwill towards mankind, and they focus on the message of the angels at the birth of Jesus.

Q: What is the tune used for “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”?

A: The tune used for the carol is called “Carol” or “Noel,” and it was also composed by Richard Storrs Willis.

Q: What are some popular recordings of “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”?

A: Some popular recordings of the carol include versions by Frank Sinatra, Josh Groban, Perry Como, Ella Fitzgerald, and Whitney Houston.

Q: What are the most memorable lines from the carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”?

A: The most memorable lines from the carol are “Peace on the earth, goodwill to men” and “From angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *