Christmas by themes: Bell carols
Thanks to the many of you who sent ideas of carols which mention bells. Here
is a compilation of the responses.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Ring Dem Bells (Hairston)
The Bells of Christmas Chime Once More
There's Alfred Burt's Christmas Bells Are Ringing
Libby Larsen's O HARK, THE BELLS GLAD SONG! from Ringeltänze SATB,
handbells, piano; 11th C. carol; tr. Daniels, text; 1983 (ECS)
We did a "bell" theme for christmas at morningside a couple of years ago.
Check out Mack Wilberg's "I Saw Three Ships." The last verse has a bell
interlude (can be done on piano or Orff instruments) and the chorus comes in
loudly ... "And all the bells on earth shall ring on Christmas Day, on
Christmas Day ..." and the old hymn "I heard the bells on Christmas Day."
Mack Wilbergs arr. of "I Saw Three Ships" SSAATTBB, 2 pianos, orchestra
bells. It's published by Hinshaw and is part of a set of carols with piano
My community choir did William Mathias' Bell Carol a few years back. It's
a more complicated piece than the two you mentioned, and is SSATB. Great
piece, though, with accompaniment for piano.
There is always "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", a setting of the
The English version of "In Dulci Jubilo" which appears in the green Oxford
Book of Carols also contains a reference to the bells of Heaven in the final
Ding-dong ding! (verse: 'Up, good Christen Folk, and listen') - from Piae
Cantiones, arr. Woodward - in The Shorter New Oxford Book of Carols, p. 174.
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (Longfellow poem) - Of course, there is
the old-timey setting by J. B. Calkin (I think), available in lots of carol
Also a new setting by Allen Percival in 100 Carols for Choirs (Oxford
Press), p. 146
Bell Carol - (Lots of 'Ding dong,' then verse: 'On Christmas night the bells
are rung') - Eric H. Thiman - in University Carol Book, ed. Routley, H.
Freeman and Co. (UK) -
Most of these are (were) available separately in small carol leaflets from
(now handled by E C Schirmer, but not listed in their catalogue) -
Someone in England might have this - You might check with the
Royal School of Church Music (music supplies(a)rscm.com).
I Saw Three Ships (v. 6: 'And all the bells on earth shall ring') - Lots of
arrangements - an excellent one by Andrew Carter (Oxford Univ. Press) - My
personal favorite tried-and-true arr. by David Willcocks, in Carols for
100 Carols for Choirs, and separately (all Oxford University Press)
Also a different folk-tune setting by John Rutter in same books as the
Willcocks and separately(?)
Kling Glöckchen - German Carol - Lots of arrangements
Past Three O'clock (one verse: 'Seraph quire singeth, Angel bell ringeth:
Hark how they rime it, Time it, and chime it') - English Carol - Several
"It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas", words and music by Meredith
"Sleigh Ride" words by Mitchell Parish, music by Leroy Anderson
"The Bells of Christmas" (Hear The Bells) words and music by Mary Stuart
"Glad Christmas Bells" Traditional
"Hark! The Bells Are Ringing" Traditional
"Jingle, Jingle, Jingle" words and music by Johnny Marks
"Ring, Little Bells" Traditional German
"Silver Bells" words and music Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Would you consider my Gladde Things?? It uses an old English text
and at the end, peals the text? "....and Christmas bells a-ringing!"?
Just click on the blue link and your browser should be able to view and hear
Bradley Nelson, Composer
Gladde Music Publications