Josiah Gilbert Holland wrote the hymn beginning with the first line “There’s a song in the air.” “There’s a song in the air” excellently expresses a childlike simplicity and joy regarding the virgin birth of Jesus Christ. It seems best considered as meter 188.8.131.52.12.12. It was set to music in Christmas Song by Karl P. Harrington in 1904.
Holland was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts July 24, 1819. He served on the staff of the Springfield Republican newspaper, under Editor Samuel Bowles. He wrote numerous essays under the pseudonym Timothy Titcomb. In 1870, he became editor of Scribner’s Magazine. He wrote several poems, as well as a biography of Abraham Lincoln. “For summer’s bloom, and autumn’s blight” is among his well-known works (from Bitter-Sweet). Holland married Elizabeth L Chapin. He perhaps was a Unitarian. Henry Foote Wilder lists him in American Unitarian Hymn Writers and Hymns.[i] Josiah Holland died October 12, 1881 in New York City, New York. He is buried in the Springfield Cemetery in Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.
There’s a star in the sky!
[i] Whether because he was a Unitarian or because “For summer’s bloom, and autumn’s blight” is included in the Unitarian Hymn and Tune Book for Church and Home (Boston, MA: 1868) is not clear to me.