Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ring Out Wild Bells

As an English lit girl there are often times when I can't untangle the music from
the written word.
The poetry of it all can make the two inseparable. 

There is a cool old poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson "Ring Out Wild Bells" 
that was written about this particular time of year, and was set to music. 
There is debate about who actually set the poem to music. And, since it the first
 Sunday of the New Year, we are back on a roll with our Sunday Specials coming from 
classical, jazz, etc this seems appropriate. I did some looking and the Mormon 
Tabernacle Choir does the best musical rendition that I could find on  youtube;
though I wish they had made it more mournful throughout then spiked with a 
quick joyous twist on the last few stanzas the way  it is generally performed.

Happy New Year!
Here is the original text from Tennyson.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky, The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night; Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind, For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause, And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life, With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin, The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes, But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood, The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right, Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease, Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old, Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free, The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.
-- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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