I think I was about 10 years old when this became my favourite carol. It is full of reality and yet hope. Phrases like “Two thousand years of wrong” and “Men at war with man” deeply affected me – and still do. The writer tells it like it is and writes of “life’s crushing load” and “the weary road” and yet speaks about “peace on the whole earth ” and “the love song which they (the angels) bring”.
Christine and I belong to a choir. We have just held a number of Christmas concerts and we sang this carol among others. It starts with typical words about Christmas bells and “Peace on earth”. The carol goes on to say:
“Tell the nations that love has won”
But then suddenly comes this verse:
And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth”, I said,
“for hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, goodwill to men”.