- Ring Out, Wild Bells
- 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
When I was younger, I actively disliked this hymn when it was sung on the first Sunday of the new year. The tune was set in a minor key, and had strange intervals that were difficult to remember and sing. The words were also less than pleasing -- as a child I didn't want to hear about the year dying in the night -- it was kind of spooky. Even the rhymes were odd. The last line is so far removed, musically, from the first, that it was only a couple of wears ago that I found that there was any rhyme or reason to it at all. As a child, I just knew that neither the words nor the music seemed to resolve at the end of the verse.
Now I really like the hymn, for exactly the same reasons. It's not the same as our other hymns, and that makes it interesting. It's a bit more sophisticated musically and lyrically than many of the others -- it's definitely not one of those hymns you sing on autopilot. Add to that the fact that we only get to sing it once a year, and you have something truly special.
I didn't know that there were more verses to it than are in our hymnbook. They're an added bonus!
PS: some people have been asking for more recent pictures of me being very pregnant. Here are a couple Peter took yesterday.