"Kay, your carol is on the air, all the time, everywhere on radio!"
"What carol?" asked the surprised Davis.
"The Little Drummer Boy."
Davis's carol was becoming a hit, with a new title, some minor changes, and no mention of her as composer and lyricist. Able to prove authorship, she secured both credit and royalties, and, of course, a place in the pantheon of American Christmas carol creators.
Harvard University and the town of Cambridge are home to several carols. For example, the Rev. Edmund Hamilton Sears, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, wrote the words to "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear."
John Sullivan Dwight, cofounder of the Harvard Musical Society, translated the 19th-century French carol, "Cantique de Noël," known in English as "O Holy Night." Harvard was also home to the famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who taught there, and on Christmas Day 1863, while still grieving his wife's death in a home fire in 1861 and his son's injury in the Civil War, he wrote a poem he called "Christmas Bells."
Clancy says: "Longfellow heard church bells pealing with the good news of Christmas, causing his demeanor to change." Indeed, Longfellow's poem concludes famously: "With peace on earth, good-will to men!" Set to music, we know it today as "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day."