"Sleep In Heavenly Peace" Song Story

Featuring Kevin Pledger Posted on November 28, 2011

When I wrote this song, I was serving a church in central Illinois that, like many churches across the world, had Christmas Eve services that were quite well attended. Each year the service ended with the candle lighting ceremony as the church sang SILENT NIGHT. Nothing wrong with that, mind you! But one day leading up to Christmas, I wanted to just try to write a version of a Christmas hymn that would be easy for the congregation to grab. To me, this meant the song needed a simple melody that had a melodic hook, words that could easily be learned, an easily sung meter, and of course, scriptural truth. I sat down at the piano and remembered an article on Phil Collins I had read years ago about how he crafted great songs out of mostly two chords, sometimes three. So I went for the simple side and tried to do the same. And my favourite characters in the Christmas story, aside from Jesus of course, are the shepherds. Just simple minded guys doing a simple, but necessary task. So what better portion of the Christmas story to build a new chorus around for a simple song, than when angels appeared to simple people?

SILENT NIGHT is one of the most recognizable Christmas songs in history, sung in many different languages. My purpose in writing this was not to replace it, but to give worshippers around the globe a new way in which to sing an old truth. I hope you enjoy this song and that your people connect with God in amazing ways using it as their heart's cry to our King! Oh! And by the way, we DID use this version in our Christmas Eve service that year...early on. We still closed the night with the original.