Christmas Bells Are Ringing, Ringing

by Mike Wilson

Here's a delightful little Christmas tune for your young choir. It's sort of a partner song between vocals and bells – hand bells, tone chimes, any pitched bell-like instrument. The verses, which act as the "call," are comprised of one simple melody line. And if you cut the line in half you'll see the second half is a repeat of the first half. The "response" will be 2-part bells the first time, 2-part vocals the second time, then they partner up the third time around.

All the bell notes, from low C to high C are covered (some more briefly), and for the most part, the bells move right up or down the scale. This gives each player a little warning from the ringer next to him. Tell your ringers that, if the bell beside you rings, there's a good chance you're next.

This is an "olde" English approach musically. We have a recorder choir (part of the background – not for the kids), harpsichord, lute, guitar, and percussion to create a sound reminiscent (dare we say) of the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas period pieces. The feel has a lilt, so you will want the singers to bounce a little to the beat. We didn't create a kid's part for percussion but the hand drum and antique cymbal parts are easily discernible in case you have extra kids who want to play something.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.