Carol of the Bells

Stacie Marshall Carol of the Bells
"Carol of the Bells" is a popular Christmas carol, with music by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in 1914 and lyrics by Peter J. Wilhousky. The song is based on the Ukrainian folk chant "Shchedryk". Discover this carol's lyrics and the story behind its rise in popularity below along with video performances.

Carol of the Bells Lyrics

Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold.

Ding dong ding dong
that is their song
with joyful ring
all caroling.

One seems to hear
words of good cheer
from everywhere
filling the air.

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale.

Gaily they ring
while people sing
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here.

Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas,
Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas.
On on they send,
on without end,
their joyful tone
to every home.
Ding dong ding... dong!

Songwriters Peter J. Wilhousky Published by Carl Fischer Music

The Story Behind Carol of the Bells

According to Wikipedia, Wilhousky reworked the music for orchestra with new lyrics for NBC radio network's symphony orchestra, focused around the theme of bells because the harmony reminded him of handbells, which starts "Hark! How the bells". It was originally aired during the Great Depression, and Wilhousky copyrighted the new lyrics in 1936 and also published the song, although the song had been published nearly two decades earlier in the Ukrainian National Republic. 

Its first popularity arose largely from Wilhousky's ability to reach a wide audience as his role as an arranger for the NBC Symphony Orchestra. It is now strongly associated with Christmas because of its new lyrics, which reference bells, caroling, and the line "merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas".

Biblical Inspiration for "Carol of the Bells"

"And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar." ~ Zechariah 14:20

"On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet yarns, around its hem, with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe. And it shall be on Aaron when he ministers, and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place before the Lord, and when he comes out, so that he does not die." ~ Exodus 28:33-35

"Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!" ~ Psalm 150:1-6

Our Favorite Performance of "Carol of the Bells"


Collection of Popular Christmas Hymns and Carols:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
The First Noel
Joy To The World
O Holy Night
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Silent Night
O Come All Ye Faithful
Go Tell It On The Mountain
What Child Is This
O Little Town of Bethlehem
We, Three Kings of Orient, Are
Ave Maria
Away in a Manger
Have Yourself A M


A Cappella Group Sings 'Carol Of The Bells'
Violinist Lindsey Stirling Performs 'Carol Of The Bells'

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A Prayer to Help You Stop Drifting from God - Your Daily Prayer - April 13

Lord, forgive us for drifting away from you, for allowing other things to become more important in our lives.

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