12 o’Clock Bells

Bells might ring all through the holidays. They certainly do the week after Christmas for the new year.

Dave Para and friends gets in the folk community spirit with “Ring in the New Year.” Unplugged revelry.

Garage celebration from Motion City Soundtrack. “Together We’ll Ring in the New Year” is churlish and sarcastic. But, that’s good for the genre.

Let him die, intone the a cappella Crofts Family with a dirge for the old. Not sure i’d sing this “Ring Out Wild Bells” on Dec. 31. Folk sorrow from the Alfred Lord Tennyson poem ‘In Memoriam.’

Vintage crooner Johnny Cole chimes in on “Ring Out Wild Bells.” The new is coo’, daddio.

Did I say cool? Billy Ward & His Dominoes is gonna take us on a trip to Mars “Ringing in a Brand New Year.” Doo wop done right.

Money Bells

Cashiers ring, are you listenin’? To the charge, that is blisterin’? …bells remind some of us of debt.

The Progress bemoan the lack of change while they’re “Jingle Bell Broke.” (Caution: no actual bells were harmed during these lyrics.) Just solid folk/rock protest against the riches.

“Make It Jingle” equates the timpani with the dolla. Big Freedia queens up this dance number with all the right ringing: car keys, bracelets, you know–it’s not all bells.

Good Bells

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.

Heaven Bells

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.

Christ Bells

The clarion call of the church bells summon some of us to the stories of Advent, Nativity, and Epiphany. So gather ’round, true believers–at least when the alarms go off.

W.D. Hay commands “Ring Out the News, Oh Christmas Bells.” That only begins to say it all, in folk cadences. Then the rest of the stories.

Face Vocal Band gets the a cappella ringing with “I Hear the Bells.” These bells call you unto.

Jesus is the King! sings Evie Tornquist to get you home. “Come On Ring those Bells” is for family, for fun, and for God’s sake. Kristen Chenowith puts more sass into it.

The Leonard de Paur Chorus “Ring de Christmas Bells” to quieten you alls down for dis King of Kings info. This is 1956 joyousness, so–authentic calypso? racist patois? i dunno. Swingin’ i’d say.

Born Bells

Let the world know, Jay-by born! Twelve Twenty-five is the announcement of Christianity, some God in avatar walking around down here to see what is what.

Nearly as old as the Nativity, Edison Concert Band brings us (the wax cylinder of) “Ring Out the Bells.” The Holy Child arrives to what sounds like a Souza march for temperance.

Birth announcement! Fred Bogert sermonizes with declarative folk to cue you with “Christmas Bell.” Quite tinkly.

Starting with a doorbell Patch the Pirate leads the kids in churchsong: “Christmas Bell.” Angelically high-pitches that won’t last.

Travis Cottrell wants Emmanuel, himself, to “Ring the Bells” to get the story started. Country gospel, when done right like this is awful pretty.

A cappella gospel to some good old classical music, “Ring Christmas Bells” features Morning Star Quartet prettily waking us up to the Devine.

Brief gravelly folk from Lower Lights makes the “Christmas Bells” ringing for the Bethlehem manger morning a serious event.

(Could Be) Church Bells

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.

Spiritual Bells

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.

Broken Bells

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.

Hair rock from The Darkness sets the falsetto to It Hurts with “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End).” See, if the bells stop, so does your love. Boo. Oh, and hoo.

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.

Love Bells

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.

Definitely not religious, Erasure rings the “Bells of Love (Isabelle’s of Love).” It’s barely even about the holidays it’s so heart-eyed.

The Drifters tell us that “The Bells of St. Mary’sring out for you and me. This is doo wop you can make moves/movies to.

Peter Dunne’s “Ring Out the Bells” is a grinder of seduction that invokes the child is born as a sign We Were Made for Love. Raunchy pop. Too much?

The Infini-teens say “Ring a Bell” for a loved one. This soft pop is so close to kidsong that i can’t even fault it with a PG. Handholding sweetness.