Lyrics / The Bell Ringer

Bell Ringer 

Every city holds an office

Down an alley with a single light

An old man sits there

Every Christmas night

Through his smile, the watches the door

For Men of broken dreams

 

Bearing up their doubt he sends them

Out to share our burdens

And with it bear the cold

A last chance, the only one left to them

Indifference aches on through them

But the man he knows the simple magic in that chime

 

Just like the thought of sleighs in flight

As they sail high against the winter night

They speed out on their way with the hope no dream is ever lost

It's like their answering every childhood prayer

The ones just for themselves, the ones they've no strength to share

This chime, it calls out loud

This chime, you know it is their song

So listen, to the invitation

The bell man's at his station

Despite his fragile heart

Do you hear him, soft words tell his story

Not for gain or glory,

Just to fill a pot, with coins like faith he thought he'd lost

 

And the chime it beats out strong

From a hand that wants to know

If there are any left who hear its song

 

Up and down the boulevard

On most any street

Winter bells return your memories

Let the echo of those chimes

Ring forward now

And find you in their simple sharing grace

The Bell Ringer

The Bell Ringer

$15.00Price

Hope in Coin 

 

She sees him standing there 

Inviting her to sacrifice 

A coin that means a little more 

To one who has no coin to share 

His tired eyes all worn with care 

But her choices have left her bare  

 

Can she find 

A lone coin 

She can spare 

 

Winter's chill is biting and it's fright'ning 

As the crowd goes by 

She wonders if tomorrow 

There'll be snowy skies 

Her coat thread-bare 

It's Heaven's dare  

 

The bell ringer's eyes they patiently wait 

No judgment there, like one accepting his fate 

He shakes his head, letting her know 

It's too much to ask, of one whose fallen so low 

Who is this man, seeing her pain 

Doesn't he ring his bell for gain? 

 

And then she knows, if she can find 

A single coin to answer his chime 

The heart it might change isn't out of her sight 

It's standing right here on this winter's night  

And so she stands firm, and gives him a nod 

Tonight she will be the face of God 

 

'Cause she believes that one more coin will help  

To give a man a little hope 

And she has strength so she will do without 

The thing she thought she had to hold 

She drops her coin then smiles to herself  

 And listens to the bell man ring 

Reminding her what Christmas is about 

The story of it ringing onward 

 

His fateful chime 

She heard this time 

 

Cause she believes that one more coin will help  

To give a man a little hope 

And she has strength so she will do without 

The thing she thought she had to hold 

She drops her coin then smiles to herself  

 And listens to the bell man ring 

Reminding her what Christmas is about 

The story of it ringing onward 

If You Haven’t Got a Penny

 

Christmas is coming

The world is moving fast

Please put a penny in the poor man’s hat

 

Christmas is coming

The world is moving fast

Please put a penny in the poor man’s hat

If you haven’t got a penny

A prayer for him will do

If you haven’t got a prayer for him

Then God bless you

 

The bell man

Heard of one

So he left his post

To find him

Begging

Out in the cold

 

“God rest ye merry gentlemen”

The man was heard to say

“Remember Christ our savior

Was born upon this day

To save all us all from selfishness

When we are caught in pain”

And he handed the bell man half his coins out of his hat

Then he raised a hand because he could not stand

 

Christmas is coming

The world is moving fast

Please put a penny in the poor man’s hat

If you haven’t got a penny

A prayer for him will do

If you haven’t got a prayer for him

Then God bless you

 

The poor man

Said goodbye

As the bell man took

His coat off

And thanked him

For the grace he’d shown

 

“God rest ye merry gentleman”

The bell man had to say

“You call to mind our savior

Whose born upon this day

To save all us all from selfishness

When we are caught in pain”

And he handed the poor man his best coat there in the cold

For no man he knew had ever stood so bold

Here We Come A-Caroling

 

Out in the streets

There’s a woman bold

Each year, with her friends, you’ll find     

She sings an old song

That she hopes will stir

The better part of you and I

 

Here we come a-caroling,
Along the city streets
Here we come a-wandring
So fair to be seen

Love and joy come to you
And to you glad Christmas too
And God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year
God send you a Happy New Year

We are not daily beggars
That go from door to door
No, we are all your neighbors
Whom you have seen before

Love and joy come to you
And to you glad Christmas too
And God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year
God send you a Happy New Year

 

God bless the mister of your house
God bless the missus too
 And all the little children
 That round the table go

 

Love and joy come to you
And to you glad Christmas too
And God bless you and send you
A Happy New Year
God send you a Happy New Year

 

And when you have heard this old song she sings

Let it find that one place in your heart

Which hears at this time of year

Songs like hers, that speak to our better part

Seeing More

 

There I sat, deep inside of this room

Laying out what I could only assume

Was a pale meager showing for sure

A few coins and not so much more

 

Then the old man he says to me

There’s more here than you can see

These simple offerings

Mean everything

 

This first coin, was held tightly in hand

When its child knelt and prayed for his dad

And the next was a woman’s best find

Reminds her of a gentler time  

And the last bears the year he came home

War was done, and this token he owed

 

See, it’s amazing to me 

They would give these willingly

I’m hoping that you can see

The love here 

 

Time

And hope

And love

Mean nothing until shared

No matter the cost

 

Take

A coin

And wish

That every heart will mend

That no one is lost

 

Find them

Remind them

I’m asking you to chime for them

You’ve got to look inside the coin to know their song

Then ring it out strong

 

See them

Believe them

I’m asking you to grieve with them

You’ve got to look inside the coin to know their song

Then ring it out strong

Then ring it out strong

Then ring it out strong

Please

Ring

It

Out

Strong

No Fairytales

 

Deck the halls with boughs of holly

Cut holly dies

‘Tis the season to be jolly

When prices rise?

 

I was once a young child too

I believed all the lies

Now I’ve grown up to face the world

I rely on my rational mind


Heedless of the wind and weather

Are they insane?

 

I cannot sit by

While fairytales are handed out

To those who choose to disregard

The evidence

I won't be silenced

By the cheer

And the all the fruitless

Happiness

We need to ground ourselves in

Problems

And forget

Christmas!

 

You were once a young child too

Try to remember that night

Waiting a stranger to barge right in

My therapist calls it fight of flight

 

I am truth’s soldier

And I stand to stop the careless dreams

So, stand back with all your kind greetings

I won’t be fooled by your desire to help
 

I cannot sit by

While fairytales are handed out

To those who choose to disregard

The evidence

I won't be silenced

By the cheer

And the all the fruitless

Happiness

We need to ground ourselves in

Problems

And forget

Christmas!

Yes, Fairytales

Stars high in a winter sky

Dreams there, given life to fly

Small hands reaching up to try

To take hold of the wonder in their sight

 

Children they hear the bells and then

They lift a thousand earnest prayers

They hearts are just not bound

By world-worn cares

They can just believe

 

A man dressed in white and red

A snow man with a hat upon his head

A drum played, instead of gifts they said

A shepherd who seeks the one instead

 

But life it can dim the bells and even

Silence a thousand earnest prayers

And bind our hearts too much

To world-worn cares

Challenge our belief 

And some when the sound is lost

They can’t imagine others holding fast

To something they themselves no longer trust

That’s where I step in   

 

They can say no happy ending

They can say I’ve lost my right

They can criticize my neighbor

If they want to pick this fight

They can say that I am foolish

They can say I’m out of time

They can try to run me out

And call this fairytale a lie

I will stand up for the story

I will stand here in the cold

You will hear of my convictions

For every child who still needs hope

(SOLO)

They can laugh at ever after

They can turn a careless eye

The can mock our sacrifice

And say that Christmas is a lie

I will stand up for the story

I will stand here in the cold

You will hear of my convictions

For every child who still needs hope

(Add second voice and second harmony a third above the main vocal)

I will stand up for the story

I will stand here in the cold

You will hear of my convictions

For every child who still needs hope

(Add third voice and third harmony at a fifth above the main vocal)

I will stand up for the story

I will stand here in the cold

You will hear of my convictions

For every child who still needs hope

Make glad their childhood

Street Kid Part II

 

When night had come and he stood in the cold

The bell man could see those who make cold their home    

No one should feel of indifference, be shunned

But the child who came now, had learned them far too young

 

His eyes held a question, why should he give

The streets were each day a fight just to live

What did a bell man know of it, a winter time clown

Then the bell man stopped ringing, and put his bell down

 

Buried in memory, he'd lived on the streets

He’d huddled near drain pipes, to savor their heat

It ached deep inside him, the scars of the road

He had nothing to give the kid, maybe lighten his load, sharing

 

When the hurt comes down and I can't breathe

I look to the sky

Where stars suggest that I believe

And I feel something inside,

Knowing these same stars are those that were seen

That First Christmas Eve

And I feel better about me

 

The kid stared back, his anger was gone.

The bell man could tell few did ever respond

The kid dug through his pockets searching for change

The bell man beat him to it, and unclasped the chain

His bucket’s lid he removed and invited the boy

To take what he needed

And remember star-filled skies  

 

The kids eyes held questions, how could he take

The money being offered was for all of their sakes

What did he know about it, just a kid from the street

But the bell man said nothing more, and sank from his feet

 

He sat on the ground there, right down in the snow

Too tired to stand more, and nowhere to go

Of his bell he'd grown weary, it was taking a toll

A moment, a step, and the street kid bent low, saying

 

When the hurt comes down and I can't breathe

I look to the sky

Where stars suggest that I believe

And I feel something inside, knowing these

Same stars are those that were seen on that first Christmas Eve

And I feel better about me

 

His eyes held a question, would the bell man stand up

Were words and some memories going to be quite enough

Kids like him needed bell men like this

Who came for the one, and left all the rest

 

The man raised a hand, and together they stood

The kid threw his change in, and pulled up his hood

As he disappeared back into the cold

The bell man kept ringing into every silence    old 

A Young Mother's Wish

 

Please, mister, please

She said as he entered the office to shake off the cold

Her child was ill

And her child's one wish

Was relief for her mother from her constant fear

But this mother

Her guilt was the fear that her daughter could see

When she looked in her eyes

So, please, mister please

 

Take it away

I know you’re a man in a costume just ringing a bell

But this Christmas Eve

Even illusion might offer it's spell

 

So, he followed

Through streets narrow and cobbled

To their humble home

The child brightened

To see the bell ringer come visit her on this

The night of all nights

And he listened

To stories and memories that made them a family

With courage to fight

 

He prayed, please Christmas, please

 

Take it away

I'm merely a man in a costume just ringing a bell

On this Christmas Eve

They need more than I have to offer to grant the child health

Grant the child health

 

Then the child spoke

She told him his fear was the same as her mother's

Kind but in vain

For Christmas had answered her sorrow

And filled her with gladness for moments like these

No illness had power to take the back the promise

His costume was meant to convey

 

So please, mister, please

 

Take it away

You are  a man in a costume

And you play it well

On this Christmas Eve

Others will need you to ring out your bell!

 

Ring on!

She sang, Ring on!

Ring on!

She sang, Ring on!

A Young Girl’s Wish

 

The child she brightened

When in came the bell man

To spend a few moments Christmas Eve

 

The Child was ill, and never left her home

 

He asked what she wanted

For that Christmas morning

“Please give my parents strength to

 

Smile and help me trust Christmas

Share all the love that our family can 

 

Ride with me memories past

Tell the

Stories that I like the best  

Take the

Time for the smallest of cares

Find the

Light in this Christmas we share

 

She sat there waiting

Her hope life changing

What was it

She could see

In this night

Christmas dreams

Quietly

Patiently

Wondering       

Faithfully

She was a child

But her heart

Knew a song

That rang out

In the night

When our eyes

Are turned up

To the sky

 

Smile and help me trust Christmas

Share all the love that our family can    

 

Ride with me memories past

Tell the

Stories that I like the best

Take the

Time for the smallest of cares

Find the

Light in this Christmas we share

 What Child Is This

 

Late night

Rare sight

A bell man comes to my door

Says close by

A child lies

Her parents kneel to implore

 

He says the child has none with which to pay

She stands in need of mercy, and I have power to say

He’s come here now to stand in for her debt

In his tired eyes I can see an old regret

 

His face was worn and tired

Been so long since he’s inspired

And this child he’s come to say

Has helped him to see

There is a night

Bearing the light

Silence falls around us

Just like that distant Christmas

I have no way to pay for

The child to stay

Then he sits down

Finds the right words to say

 

Take my last coin

Then ask yourself

Could I have turned

The child away

 

On this night

What child is this?

 

He reached across my desk

Placed his penny in my hand

Found a smile on his face

That was rarely seen

Smiling bright

Sharing his light

Laughter falls around us

The joy of merry Christmas

And there in hand I find I’ve

A ransom paid

All of my life

I’ll treasure the words that he said

 

Take my last coin

Then ask yourself

Could I have turned

The child away

 

Take my last coin

Then ask yourself

Could I have turned

The child away

Every Doubt Has an Answer

 

A peaceful night

Doubt in his mind

He might have had

Enough

 

How many times

Could he rewind

And build himself

Back up

 

What good a prayer

When no one's there

To share

To care  

 

So he returned

Back to his place

Where a bell man does his time

 

And coming near

At this time of year

Another traveler he did find

 

She was a friend

From way back when

Gone these years back to her grace

 

She looked at him,

A beautiful grin

And told him, doubt has no place

 

But if it came,

Just recall her face

And trust this night's embrace

 

She had found the peace she sought

For every doubt her heart had wrought

By holding on to the simple thought

That one small child her promise bought               

   

 

He stared away

His hand ashake

It caused a ringing in his chime

 

His little bell,

A lonesome knell

That seemed to call the tired home

 

What good was he

This Christmas eve

Doubt-filled and all alone

 

She felt his pain 

So took his hand

And filled him with memories

 

Then looked at him,

That beautiful grin

Said I love you, now listen to me

 

There are in this night

So many stories being told, now

We must do our part, and try to help them

Doubt gets in the way

When men reach out

To those who need them

Put your doubt away

And trust the story of Christmas

 

There are in this night

So many stories being told, now

We must do our part, and try to help them

Doubt gets in the way

When men reach out

To those who need them

Put your doubt away

And trust the story of Christmas

Christmas Suite

 

(Female Part)

Dancing shoes high on a shelf

My yesterday is gone

But on this night

The girl inside

Dreams on

 

(Male Part)

She gave me

The strength to stand

Least I can do

Is give to this good woman a dance

 

(Male Part)

Please just take my hand

And let me show you that same strength and tenderness

(Female Part)

I believed this night

Could then restore all that had been lost

 

(Female Part x2)

Dancing shoes high on a shelf

My yesterday is gone

But on this night

The girl inside

Dreams on

 

(Male joins second time through chorus)

She gave me

The strength to stand

Least I could do

Was give to this good woman a dance

Understanding

 

The bell man stood at his post 'neath Christmas snow

There came a man upon him

His hands were hanging low

Like other men who come back from fighting war

He came broken

Needing on wish more

 

He paused, staring at the man

They shared a moment, only soldiers can

He asked the bell man, did he think his chime

Could do something for a soldier, running out of time

See, he did not believe that peace could come again

He'd seen too much already to have good will for men

                           

The bell man's silence, might have seemed a right response

The soldier turned to leave him, when the bell man rang his song

Into that midnight, he chose the only words

One soldier to another, something he had heard . . .

  

 

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And mild and sweet their songs repeat
Of peace on earth good will to men

And the bells are ringing (peace on earth)
Like a choir they're singing (peace on earth)
In my heart I hear them (peace on earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men

But the bells are ringing (peace on earth)
Like a choir singing (peace on earth)
Does anybody hear them? (peace on earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep (peace on earth, peace on earth)
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men

Then ringing singing on its way

The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men

And the bells they're ringing (peace on earth)
Like a choir they're singing (peace on earth)
And with our hearts we'll hear them (peace on earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men

Do you hear the bells they're ringing? (peace on earth)
The life the angels singing (peace on earth)
Open up your heart and hear them (peace on earth)
Peace on earth, good will to men

Peace on earth, peace on earth
Peace on earth, Good will to men

 

 

The soldier stood there, a reverence in his eyes

A peace they shared between them, they'd marked it with their lives

He'd heard an answer while standing in the snow

And for the world the bell man saw his hands hung not so low

 

He raised a hand, said he had to go

And left him standing there, but the bell man he did know

That the old man knew his business, knew the place and time

To send him out, help him recall, the power of his chime

And for the soldier, who'd surely passed others of his kind

On this night, the bell man, had been there for him to find . . .

My Silent Night

 

It was Christmas Eve, he was alone

Everyone had found there home

The bell man, stood a silent darkened street

 

You might have thought, he'd feel some pain

Some loneliness, that he'd complain

Instead, he thought that finally he could see

 

He'd helped some people on their way

Kept a promise, seen some strength

It mattered not he had no place to be

 

For him, home now meant something more

A peace he’d never known before

He'd found that gentle silence in the night

 

 

And sometime deep inside that night

The old man came and stood beside

For a while, they just watched the snow fall down

 

When the bell man asked, just who he was

The old man smiled, and nodded once

As though the night had answered well enough

 

A moment more, then he was gone

The bell man left to carry on

Keeping watch as the all the world fell still

Gift of Self

 

The bell ringer stood as Christmas drew nigh

At peace in the silence and cold

Somewhere out there, a church bell it rang

A midnight tone he now understood well

It hadn't echoed its last, when a new music came

Footsteps arriving through the snow

One, then another, the stories returned

Each inviting him back to their home 

    

Hear the bells, this Christmas Eve

They are every life, a music worth the listening

 

The bell ringer hadn't a thing to give

He was just willing to stand in the cold

And hear every story of suffering

And offer the best self he knows

  

Hear the tales, this Christmas Eve

They are every song, their stories worth the rendering

 

Father, Christmas shares a message

Asks us all to ring out a chime

 

Hear the sound of Christmas bells

They ask for us to try

 

Good King Wenceslaus went down

 

When someone's heart need lifting it's not ours

To wonder why

 

Listen to the invitation,

Then ask them, "How high?"

  

Give of yourself to help

A soldier

A mother

A child on the street

You can give of yourself to help

A neighbor

A sister

A brother that you've never met

 

The best you have

Is the care that you can give

 

 

The best you have

 

Hear the sound of Christmas bells

They ring out in the sky

 

All our finest gifts we bring

 

They call on us to lend a hand

To every broken life

 

And your own story may be

Heard when bell men ring their chime

 

Give of yourself to help

A soldier

A mother

A child on the street

You can give of yourself to help

A neighbor

A sister

A brother that you've never

We can be bell ringers

Give of the best of ourselves

© 2020 by Symphony North LLC