A Soldier's Carol

About the Song

"I had been thinking about writing a song for our troops in the Middle East, then early December came with thoughts of Christmas and the holidays, and the two just came together into 'A Soldier's Carol.' This song is meant for all our men and women in the Armed Forces in service to our country, but particularly captures the feeling of those with Vermont connections who are spending these special winter holidays in Iraq, away from loved ones. I especially dedicate it to Norwich alums, my students who are currently serving or have served, and to our Vermont Guard men and women. May you hold the spirit of the season of light in your hearts wherever you may be!" -Paula Gills

Play the song (.mp3)


I left the northern mountains
With turning leaves ablaze
To come to this stark desert
Awash in sand and haze.
In armor and in cammo
The sweat and grit abounds--
I think of the first snowflakes
That melt on still warm ground.

The deer escape the hunters,
The bear take to their dens,
And I snake through the snipers--
I hide where stark walls lend
A moment of forgiveness
From all the killing fear
From aching in my belly
From thoughts that don't run clear.

It must be getting close now
To Bethlehem Day songs,
To trees with such green branches
That never last for long.
I smell the food and wood smoke,
I know the love and warmth--
I feel the arms surround me
To keep me from all harm.

I'm singing now a carol
Too softly to be heard--
Just something I can offer
In this so broken world.
Just something I remember
From a more simple time
And every word comes back to me
As I go, line by line.

Noel, Noel -- a child is born
In all this pain and strife,
Noel, Noel -- with hope so worn
Still, something comes of life.
The stars above the desert
Are the same above the hills--
Tonight one shines more brightly,
Tonight one heart is filled.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel-
Born is the King of Israel.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel-
Born is the King of Israel.

© 2005 Paula Gills