“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.”Isaiah 26:3
The wind blows across the field and speaks to a little lamb about a star dancing in the night. The little lamb asks a shepherd boy if he hears a song high above the trees. The shepherd boy tells the king about a child shivering in the cold. The king tells the people everywhere to pray for peace. Have you guessed the song? Of course, I am talking about “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
In 1952, a brilliant French-composer, Noel Regney, left war-torn France after enduring the horrors of World War II and moved to New York City for a fresh start in life. He composed music for many early TV shows and commercial jingles, in addition to writing serious musical compositions.
Ten years later, in the fall of 1962, the Soviet Union and the United States were involved in a crisis centered on missiles the Russians had installed in Cuba. The United States threatened military action if the missiles were not removed. The world trembled and prayed as these two nuclear powers stood eye-to-eye.
Regney had recently been approached by a record producer to write a holiday song. Christmas—which was supposed to be a time of peace and goodwill—was approaching. Having endured the horrors of war, he knew the fear and terror of being close to death. The safe and secure life he had built for himself in the United States was on the verge of ending with the Cuban Missile Crisis.
One October evening, as Regney walked through the streets of Manhattan, he felt a sense of despair hanging heavy in the air. No one smiled. No pleasantries were exchanged. As he made his way home, Regney encountered two mothers with their babies in strollers. They looked to him like little angels gazing at each other and smiling. All of a sudden, his mood was changed. A glimpse of these babies filled his heart with poetry. The little ones reminded him of newborn lambs. Thus, the song begins, “Said the night wind to the little lamb…”
As soon as Regney arrived home, he jotted down the lyrics. Then he asked his wife, who was an extraordinary pianist and composer, to write the music to accompany his words. While walking down the streets in New York, his wife had thoughts of a melody featuring trumpets, which resulted in the beautiful and captivating music we have all come to love.
“Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a powerful plea for peace by a man who feared the unknown. The song’s message, a prayer for peace, is often lost on many. It is a reminder that “The Child, the Child sleeping in the night, He will bring us goodness and light.”
Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.” This Christmas season as you reflect on the birth of our Savior, remember Jesus is our Prince of Peace.