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Archive for Sunday, December 20, 1998

CAROL COMPLETED

December 20, 1998

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To the editor:

I was disappointed in the Journal-World's "Caroling Songbook" supplement (Dec. 17), as one of my favorite "old familiar carols" was not the song I remembered.

"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a song about losing faith and regaining it. The version you published, because it was missing the last two verses, is only about faith lost. The lyric of this song is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in response to the death of his son in the Civil War. The fourth and final (omitted) verses are as signifcant now as they were then:

"Then pealed the bells more loud and deep,

`God is not dead, nor doth he sleep,

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,

With peace on earth, good will to men.'

"Till ringing, singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day

A voice, a chime a chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Your version ends with the despairing statement that "hate is strong, and mocks the song/Of peace on earth, good will to men." You can see what a difference the inclusion of these two verses make to the meaning of this song. Thank you for making this correction and restoring the spirit of this beloved carol.

Rachel Robson,

Baldwin.

Arts at mall?

To the editor:

Location! Location! Location! `Tis said that's the secret of success. Well, what better location for our arts center than the Riverfront mall? It has a sweeping view of the river with eagles soaring above and lots of space, lots of parking, even an outside tower on which to proudly hoist the arts center's flag (an easy landmark for Lawrence's visitors). There also would be deep satisfaction in saving an honorable mall from a slow descent into decay and oblivion -- Christmas spirit for the year(s)!

Virginia Meserve

T-104 Windsor Pl.

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