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|by Alfred, Lord Tennyson|
"Ring Out, Wild Bells" is a poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Published in 1850, the year he was appointed Poet Laureate, it forms part of In Memoriam , Tennyson's elegy to Arthur Henry Hallam, his sister's fiancé who died at the age of twenty-two.
According to a story widely held in Waltham Abbey, and repeated on many websites (see two examples below), the 'wild bells' in question were the bells of the Abbey Church. According to the local story, Tennyson was staying at High Beach in the vicinity and heard the bells being rung on New Year's Eve.
It is an accepted English custom to ring English Full circle bells to ring out the old year and ring in the new year over midnight on New Year's Eve. Sometimes the bells are rung half-muffled for the death of the old year, then the muffles are removed to ring without muffling to mark the birth of the new year. In some versions of the story it was a particularly stormy night and the bells were being swung by the wind rather than by ringers, but this is highly unlikely given the method of ringing English full circle bells, which requires a considerable swinging arc before the clappers will strike the bell.
The Gresham's School chapel bell is inscribed with the last line of the poem, plus an attribution to the donor: "Ring in the Christ that is to be, Donum Dedit J. R. E."
Manchester Town Hall's hour bell, called 'Great Abel' after the Town Clerk, Abel Heywood, who oversaw the construction of the building - completed 1850, has the lines, 'Ring out the false, ring in the true' cast upon its surface.
A translation into Swedish by Edvard Fredin called 'Nyårsklockan' - 'The New Year's Bell' - is recited just before the stroke of midnight at the annual New Year's Eve festivities at Skansen in Stockholm, capital of Sweden. This tradition began in 1897 when the young Swedish actor Anders de Wahl was asked to recite the poem. De Wahl then performed the poem annually until his death in 1956. Since 1977 the Swedish national public TV broadcaster, SVT, has aired the event live, and the first to read the poem on television was the actor Georg Rydeberg. The show turned out to be a major success, and watching it on New Year's Eve quickly became a nationwide tradition. Rydeberg recited the poem until his death in 1983. After that many famous Swedish actors and/or singers have recited the poem, for example Jarl Kulle, Jan Malmsjö and Margaretha Krook. The Swedish translation differs significantly from the English original. Inspired by the Swedish tradition, auto manufacturer Volvo used the poem in a 2016 New Year's Eve advertisement.
Charles Gounod's setting for voice and piano, published in 1880, uses verses one, two, three, five, seven, and eight.
Percy Fletcher's 1914 SATB setting uses all but the fifth stanza of the poem, using the second stanza as a recurring refrain
The second, seventh and eighth stanza were set to music by Karl Jenkins in the finale ("Better is Peace") of The Armed Man.
The first, second and last stanza were set to music by Crawford Gates, and it is included in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 1985 hymnal (hymn number 215).
The first, second, third, fifth and seventh stanzas are set to music by Jonathon Dove for the final movement of his "Passing of the Year" song cycle written for Double Choir (SSAATTBB).
James Q Mullholland – set the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th stanzas to music in honour of Gary Schwartzhoff in a commissioned piece by members and friends at First Congregational Church, Eau Claire, WI. 2011. First sung by the UW Eau Claire Concert Choir on Sunday, 10 April 2011. Sung again by the Chancel Choir of First Congregational Church on Sunday, 22 May 2011.
Excerpts of the poem were also used by George Harrison in his song Ding Dong, Ding Dong ("Ring out the old – Ring in the new. Ring out the false – Ring in the true"). But Harrison attributed these passages to Sir Frank Crisp, having seen them engraved on walls and other parts of Friar Park, the mansion he bought which had once belonged to Sir Frank.
The final song of "Ballads for Christmas" by Andrew Downes for high voices and harp.
More recently, Jonathan Ward of Magdalen College School composed a setting, while Wiltshire-based composer Stuart Brown has used it as the opening of his song cycle "Idylls", written in 2014 for the London-based soprano Chen Wang.
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson was a British poet. He was the Poet Laureate during much of Queen Victoria's reign and remains one of the most popular British poets. In 1829, Tennyson was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal at Cambridge for one of his first pieces, "Timbuktu". He published his first solo collection of poems, Poems Chiefly Lyrical in 1830. "Claribel" and "Mariana", which remain some of Tennyson's most celebrated poems, were included in this volume. Although decried by some critics as overly sentimental, his verse soon proved popular and brought Tennyson to the attention of well-known writers of the day, including Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Tennyson's early poetry, with its medievalism and powerful visual imagery, was a major influence on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
The Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross and St Lawrence is the parish church of the town of Waltham Abbey, Essex, England. It has been a place of worship since the 7th century. The present building dates mainly from the early 12th century and is an example of Norman architecture. To the east of the existing church are traces of an enormous eastward enlargement of the building, begun following the re-foundation of the abbey in 1177. In the Late Middle Ages, Waltham was one of the largest church buildings in England and a major site of pilgrimage; in 1540 it was the last religious community to be closed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. It is still an active parish church for the town.
Romsey Abbey is a parish church of the Church of England in Romsey, a market town in Hampshire, England. Until the dissolution it was the church of a Benedictine nunnery. It is now the largest parish church in the county, since Christchurch Priory is now in Dorset.
"If—" is a poem by English Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936), written circa 1895 as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. It is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism. The poem, first published in Rewards and Fairies (1910), ch. 'Brother Square-Toes,' is written in the form of paternal advice to the poet's son, John.
Bilbo's Last Song is a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien, written as a pendant to his fantasy The Lord of the Rings. It was first published in a Dutch translation in 1973, subsequently appearing in English on posters in 1974 and as a picture-book in 1990. It was illustrated by Pauline Baynes, and set to music by Donald Swann and Stephen Oliver. The poem's copyright was owned by Tolkien's secretary, to whom he gave it in gratitude for her work for him.
"The Lady of Shalott" is a lyrical ballad by the English poet Alfred Tennyson. Based on the medieval La Damigella di Scalot, it tells the story of Elaine of Astolat, a young noblewoman imprisoned in a tower on an island near Camelot. One of the poet's best-known works, its vivid medieval romanticism and enigmatic symbolism inspired many painters, especially the Pre-Raphaelites and their followers.
A church bell in the Christian tradition is a bell which is rung in a church for a variety of ceremonial purposes, and can be heard outside the building. Traditionally they are used to call worshippers to the church for a communal service, and to announce times of daily prayer, called the canonical hours. They are also rung on special occasions such as a wedding, or a funeral service. In some religious traditions they are used within the liturgy of the church service to signify to people that a particular part of the service has been reached. The ringing of church bells, in the Christian tradition, is also believed to drive out demons.
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" is a Christmas carol that first appeared in 1739 in the collection Hymns and Sacred Poems. As it is known in the modern era, it features lyrical contributions from Charles Wesley and George Whitefield, two of the founding ministers of Methodism, with music adapted from "Vaterland, in deinen Gauen" by Felix Mendelssohn.
The Angelus is a Catholic devotion commemorating the Incarnation. As with many Catholic prayers, the name Angelus is derived from its incipit—the first few words of the text: Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. The devotion is practised by reciting as versicle and response three Biblical verses narrating the mystery, alternating with the prayer "Hail Mary". The Angelus exemplifies a species of prayers called the "prayer of the devotee".
Psalm 119 is the 119th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord." The Book of Psalms is in the third section of the Hebrew Bible, the Khetuvim, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. It is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech". In the Greek Septuagint version of the Bible, and in its Latin translation Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 118 in a slightly different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Beati inmaculati in via qui ambulant in lege Domini." The psalm is a hymn psalm.
"The Road Goes Ever On" is a title that encompasses several walking songs that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote for his Middle-earth legendarium. Within the stories, the original song was composed by Bilbo Baggins and recorded in The Hobbit. Different versions of it also appear in The Lord of the Rings, along with some similar walking songs.
"Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" is a poem attributed to be written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Although the origin of the poem was disputed until later in her life, Mary Frye's authorship was purportedly confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren, a newspaper columnist. However, there is no hard evidence supporting this claim.
"For the Fallen" is a poem written by Laurence Binyon. It was first published in The Times in September 1914. The "Ode of Remembrance" is an ode taken from the poem that is often recited at Remembrance Day services. Over time, the third and fourth stanzas of the poem have been claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of state, and it is that selection of "For the Fallen" to which the term "Ode of Remembrance" usually refers.
"Eldorado" is a poem written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in April 1849.
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a Christmas carol based on the 1863 poem "Christmas Bells" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator's despair, upon hearing Christmas bells during the American Civil War, that "hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men". The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among men.
"Tears, Idle Tears" is a lyric poem written in 1847 by Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892), the Victorian-era English poet. Published as one of the "songs" in his The Princess (1847), it is regarded for the quality of its lyrics. A Tennyson anthology describes the poem as "one of the most Virgilian of Tennyson's poems and perhaps his most famous lyric". Readers often overlook the poem's blank verse—the poem does not rhyme.
On the Morning of Christ's Nativity is a nativity ode written by John Milton in 1629 and published in his Poems of Mr. John Milton (1645). The poem describes Christ's Incarnation and his overthrow of earthly and pagan powers. The poem also connects the Incarnation with Christ's Crucifixion.
A death knell is the ringing of a church bell immediately after a death to announce it. Historically it was the second of three bells rung around death, the first being the passing bell to warn of impending death, and the last was the lych bell or corpse bell, which survives today as the funeral toll.
"Full fathom five" is a catchphrase deriving from a verse passage, beginning with those words, in Shakespeare's The Tempest. Its original context, during a storm and shipwreck, is the drowning, in water about 5 fathoms deep, of the father of the character to whom the lines are addressed and the physical metamorphosis that follows.