Silver Bells… ( or stars and ornaments)

I adore the lyrics to Silver Bells. The melody is beautiful, and through the years there have been a number of truly gorgeous covers of this song. Bebo Norman, Michael Buble, Bing Crosby… whomever you prefer to hear sing it, you can’t escape the fact that it’s a very nostalgic song.

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style
In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas
Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile
And on every street corner you’ll hearSilver bells (silver bells), silver bells (silver bells)
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling (ring-a-ling), hear them ring (hear them ring)
Soon it will be Christmas dayStrings of streetlights, even stop lights blink a bright red and green
As the shoppers rush home with their treasures
Hear the snow crunch, see the kids bunch, this is Santa’s big scene
And above all this bustle, you’ll hearSilver bells (silver bells), silver bells (silver bells)
It’s Christmas time in the city
Ring-a-ling (ring-a-ling), hear them ring (hear them ring)
Soon it will be Christmas day
Soon it will be Christmas Day”

And while I think it’s such a fun song, it has absolutely nothing to do with the meaning of the season. Which means it’s categorically secular. And yet, I never consider that aspect when I’m listing to it. It seems uplifting. And it is.

It is essentially an ode to a simpler time in America. It frankly sounds like a small town rather than that of a city.

“ Children laughing, people passing” may have been true to the city experience fifty years agonor more, but it bares little resemblance to the cities we are familiar with today.

If it isn’t about God coming down, and it has little resemblance to something we have ourselves experienced, where is the magnetic draw of the song? Why do we like it? what is it that we love about the song?

Is it the ideal? We would love to go Christmas shopping and meet with smiling strangers and hear children laugh and Bells ring?

I’m not sure that’s it either.

And yet, the song endures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s