Clear As A Bell

Any person’s death is a loss to all of us, because we are all part of mankind and as John Donne so aptly put, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”  The Funeral tolling of a bell is the technique of sounding a single bell very slowly, with a significant gap between strikes.  The term tolling may also be used to signify a single bell being rung slowly, and possibly half-muffled at a commemoration event many years later.  In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there and he later completed a quintessential novel titled, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’.  Bells often toll to let a gregarious congregation know that they can come to church for a mass, but toll can also stand for a value, price or cost that one is required to pay in order to gain entry.

Quasimodo who worked in the bell tower at the cathedral of Notre Dame is famous for the way he jiggled and joggled the bells.  The answer is Victor Hugo, just in case you ask, “Who invited him?”, as not too many people want a hunchback at a party.  Claude Frollo found an abandoned baby and he adopted Quasimodo and gave him his name which he might have chose to commemorate the day when he found him, or possibly he meant this name to imply that the poor little creature was incomplete and imperfectly molded.  There is a Quasimodo Sunday which is the Sunday after Easter, and it is also called Low Sunday, the first words of the introit (psalm or antiphon sung or said while the priest approaches the altar for the Eucharist) for this day in Latin are, quasi modo geniti infantes and this translates into ‘as if new-born babes’.  Quasimodo is also used in surfing for an act of riding on a wave in a crouched position with one arm forward and one arm back.  I actually posted a story about Quasimodo titled ‘Rings a Bell’.

Edgar Allen Poe wrote a poem titled ‘The Bells’ where he used rhythm and rhyme to evoke sound and mood and this allows the reader to almost hear the tinkling of the bells.  “To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells, From the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells  From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells.”  The term tintinnabulation is onomatopoeic, because it describes a sound and it means the ringing of bells.  Like ting or tinkle, it means to ring or jingle.

A bell is used in boxing to signify the start of the fight and it also signifies the end of a round and many boxers embrace the sound when they are saved by the bell.  The bell gives the fighter a rest in between rounds of a fight, but if you feel like you can no longer continue, like if someone has rang your bell, than you can always throw in the white towel, which is a way to signify that you have given up and you should never have to plead for the referee to end the fight.

To ‘bell the cat’ is a phrase that is used when someone takes the danger of a shared enterprise upon them self.  This alludes to the fable in which mice or rats come up with the idea of hanging a bell around the cat’s neck, I guess that they would use the cat’s collar as a hanger for the bell, so they will have a warning before it approaches, however it is a difficult task and it is hard to find someone who is willing to undertake the challenge, and it certainly is not for someone who lacks courage.  If you are enthusiastic about attending a party, then you would show up ‘with bells on’ and you would not be lax in your appearance.  I always thought that an airplane hangar would make a great place for a party.  A desert being a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs is completely different from a dessert which is a confectionery course that concludes a main meal.  There is a good chance that you will not hear a bell ringing when you are in the desert but I am always up for the dessert bell to ring signifying that savory items are being served.

I would not even think about writing a post about bells without mentioning The Rolling Stones who are considered to be the world’s greatest rock and roll band, and talking about their hit song Honky Tonk Women and although it is a raunchy song, you got to love that prevalent cowbell that rings throughout the song.  The song Bell Bottom Blues was written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock and it was recorded by Derek And The Dominos who formed a group after Eric Clapton, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon worked on George Harrison’s solo album, All Things Must Pass.  Clapton was completely obsessed with Pattie Boyd, who asked him to get her these blue jeans that were called Landlubbers, which were hipsters with two little slip pockets at the front and she requested the flared rather than straight bottoms.  Clapton’s anguish is painfully clear in every note of this song and as he sang, “Bell bottom blues, you made me cry. I don’t want to lose this feeling.  And if I could choose a place to die.”  Bell-bottoms became popular in this country after Sonny and Cher started wearing them on their popular television show.

I wore bell-bottoms back in my hippie days and I also had a pony tail and love beads.  One thing that just makes my blood boil is when I see people continue to wear outdated fashions.  I wish that rap music would disappear for good along with Justin Bieber.  Other things about society that annoy me are the way President Trump kisses up to Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un.  Sometimes the prompt words are difficult to string together into a coherent post and when this happens it does upset me, but I always seem to get over it.

Written for Daily Addictions prompt – Plead, for FOWC with Fandango – Quintessential, for July Writing Prompts – Jiggled and joggled, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Tintinnabulation, for Ragtag Community – Embrace, for RayNotBradbury Cool Writing Prompt – ‘Game On’ 5 things about society that annoy you, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix – Double Take – lacks/lax hangar/hanger for Scotts Daily Prompt – Desert, for Swimmers the New Community Pool prompt – Fight, for Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge, where the three prompt words are “blues, rock and roll and country”, for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write Sentence Starter 36: “Who invited him?” and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Gregarious.

19 thoughts on “Clear As A Bell

  1. If I thought of a song about bells, it would be Winchester Cahedral</em by a group called the New Vaudeville Band. And, like yourself, i'd rather hear the dessert bell than the desert's howling wind. 🙂 Great combo of all the prompt challenges.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Rachel, but I messed up your prompt, because I misread it and it was only after I posted it that I realized I got it wrong. If I had the time I would rewrite that part, but I probably already spent too much time on this post.


Comments are closed.