Songs

For the Beauty of the Earth

Ring the Bells of Solstice

The Bells of the Morning

1. Down through the winters there shines a star
The world is old, the world it is new
It brightens the darkness wherever we are,
The bells of the morning ring ever and true.

2. Under the star sleeps a child in a stall
The world is old, the world it is new
Peace is the dream that he dreams for us all
The bells of the morning ring ever and true.

3. Softly a maiden sings lull-hush-a-bye
The world is old, the world it is new
Never was earth so at one with the sky
The bells of the morning ring ever and true.

4. Then glory was humble and slept upon hay
The world is old, the world it is new
Love rose with the sun on the first Christmas day
The bells of the morning ring ever and true.

5. Come music, come singing by heart and by voice
The world is old, the world it is new
And we will like heavenly angels rejoice
The bells of the morning ring ever and true.

Dick Lewis wrote these new words to the traditional Derbyshire carol "Down in Yon Forest." The carol was collected in 1908 by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and appears to have derived from the 16th-century Corpus Christi Carol. Dick modified it for the Portland Christmas Revels this year. As a cast member, I have been singing this for the past several months and I like it more each time I hear it. Dick is a retired English teacher and Portland Revels founder. We printed his version of "John Barleycorn" several years ago.

And here are the original words (a bit grim perhaps):

1. Down in yon forest there stands a hall:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
It's covered all over with purple and pall
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

2. In that hall there stands a bed:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
It's covered all over with scarlet so red:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

3. At the bed-side there lies a stone:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Which the sweet Virgin Mary knelt upon:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

4. Under that bed there runs a flood:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
The one half runs water, the other runs blood:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

5. At the bed's foot there grows a thorn:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Which ever blows blossom since he was born:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.

6. Over that bed the moon shines bright:
The bells of Paradise I heard them ring:
Denoting our Saviour was born this night:
And I love my Lord Jesus above anything.


This folknik song page was loving produced by Barbara Millikan (whose computer crashed in that storm last week). If you have comments or suggestions, please write, e-mail, or phone me. If you'd like to submit a song for possible publication, please send a score, tape or (preferably) both to Barbara Millikan: (503) 843-2548, 7680 Harmony Rd., Sheridan OR 97378, Copyright for all songs published on this page remains with the authors.