The example from Christmas is not just to be good to God, but to each other. It’s peace on earth, goodwill on the porch. For all. Get it?
The Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” (a peace offering for Civil War firebrands) gets musical traction starting in the ’50s with Bing (preachy, I’d say The Carpenters did it better–more soulful). But you want something different in your novelty library, so check out Counting Crowns (a Christian chart-topper). Hey, that’s a different tune! Then check out Pedro the Lion who has all the time in the world to drag the song out for about a month of music. Except i can’t tell if that’s music back there. Even the bells are on 1/1 time.
The Ding Dong song “Caroling Caroling (Christmas Bells are Ringing)” was some cool cadences brought to you by mac daddy Nat King Cole, also in the ’50s. It’s so full of joy, you have to get some spirit–or else. So give it up for Tennessee Ernie Ford for blending his big booming intimidating baritone with the whole choir. Nice. For an oddity, try the syncopation of Reindeer Tribe. And finally, the electronica of House of Wires. Robo-glee.
I have a soft spot for the song that uses ten words or less, over and over and over. “Christmas Bells” by Sarah Winter is folk/pop church yippee-ness, but with its limited vocabulary doesn’t quite mention any carpenters.
Mary Chapin Carpenter reminds us when the “Bells are Ringing” that, no matter what you don’t have, peace is possible. It’s that kind of soft country that can move a body. Thank you.
When Heaven rings bells, it must be some kinder big deal. Thus, “Ding Dong Merrily on High.” This was an early 20th Century carol from one of those carol books the kids were always reading under the desks at school. Set to a really old dance tune, it has that ‘O’ part that goes up and down and up and down for people who like lots of notes but not so many words.
The music is nice filler for the background of some holiday party, but i couldn’t tell you who has a hit record of it–it’s that sacred. Roger Whittaker does his best to fool around with it, but it’s bells to God. And okay, there are lots of Celtic goes at it, a couple with bagpipes… which really makes a churchgoer sit and check his watch.
Let’s leave it to grunge masters I Don’t Know Margo to honor this hymn in their own garage way. Get me outta here.
At this point we gotta admit, sometimes the bells are TOO MUCH. “Christmas Bells” from the cast of ‘Rent’ documents the overexposure of marginalia instead of goodness and spirit during the season. Bells aren’t the topic, but the gateway into a mishmash of jazz atonal showpiece musical parts. Enjoy.
Sometimes the steeple sounds are background to the message. Granted it’s Christmas and there’s Christ in there. But Calling All Souls–let’s just give Peace a chance without the Name-dropping.
Some of this stuff is so ancient, i can’t really make out the gloriosa bits. “Sweet Christmas Bells/Christmas Bells” by Stainer/Bridge is uplifting us about the sounds on high. Not the Son on high. (I guess.) Also indecipherable comes upon us “Ring Out Your Bells” from The Joyful Company of Singers. Sit up straight and quit falling asleep!
As you may have heard (Overheard Novelty Alert), church bells keep the Red Baron from ruining “Snoopy’s Christmas” according to the 1966 rock of the Royal Guardsmen.
Simplify Christmas (feat. Mark Hand) has a very short exhortation (is that hip hop Salvation Army music?) with “Fortune Bell,” a round of chant-song that calls to us.
Surely those bells at Christmastime are church bells! Yet, as we have seen, some bells are just brazen gongs. Even the bells that call us to faith are not always X-ian.
Druids like a good clang-a-lang. Jethro Tull’s flute-rock hails us to “Ring Out Solstice Bells.” Ecstasy through clamor. Besides, there aren’t enough carols you can clap along with.
Cowgirl Aspen Black’s “Sleigh Bells in the Sky” relies on mythos and symbolism (and a voice like a dull woodsaw) to create a soaring outdoor ballad about loss. Gentle country.
Ohio City Players mean God = Christmas, obvi. But their “The Ringing of the Bells” is so carefully crafted as secular that i want to hear it in this pigeon-hole. Lively, yes. But a bit un-knowing in its gospeliousness.
Faithfully, spiritually, Melissa Etheridge invokes us to “Ring the Bells” of Peace. It’s inclusive of all who want to no longer want. Powerful folk.
What’s the bell-sound of the broken-hearted at Xmas time? I mean that lovely mellifluous tinkling is all overhead, and your head’s in your hands–your heart’s in your throat… it’s the worst.
Kenny Loggins hangs a portrait of the lonely boy and “The Bells of Christmas.” Country ballad popular music, so i’d hazard a guess she’s dead.
Show tune from the lady’s POV. Not enough communication dooms the romance in “The Bells of St. Paul.” It builds prog-rock style to the highs and lows of a Titanic-sized affair. What a ride, Linda Eder.
Light jazz from Jason Gleason pours out some “Sleigh Bells and Wine,” a soppy soaper about the crying aftermath of the holiday post-dump.
I love watching the flatulent-propulsed The Beaten Generation’s “Ring Out the Bells.” This garage morosity is slurred through some foreign accent and regrets the choices and words… but never the bells. Never the Christmas.
Christmas is love. Christmas is bells. What to do when you feel close at the holidays…
Well, okay, there’s love for all and JC and children and maybe the beasts and bugs and whatnot. The Steeles ring “The Bells” with R+B gospel for Love. It’s like climaxing, but more appropriate for church.