Jingle, Jingle, Tinkle, Tinkle {Edgar Allen Poe}

November 19, 2008 at 9:03 pm (Musings...)

Hear the sledges with the bells-Silver bells!
What a world of merriment their melody foretells!
How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night!
While the stars that oversprinkle All the heavens, seem to twinkle
With a crystalline delight; Keeping time, time, time,
In a sort of Runic rhyme, 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.


I am the accompanist for Central Cambria School District.  We have a massive unauditioned high school choir — approximately 220 students; 90 are boys.  I also play for the middle school chorus.  There are probably 45-50 boys in that chorus.

In the middle school we are singing “The Bells.”  It has been probably 30 years since I read Edgar Allen Poe.  “The Bells” is a fabulous poem; the words are the staccato rhythm as you say it.  We explained to the students what “sledges” and “Runic” and “crystalline” meant.  I love the word “tintinnabulation.”  Can I use that in Scrabble, Sacha??

However…  we had to change a word…  The boys, throughout the song were supposed to sing, jingle, jingle, tinkle, tinkle, jingle, jingle, tinkle, tinkle over and over again as the sopranos sing the body of the verse.   You tell me how to get 50 -13/14 year old boys to sing “tinkle, tinkle” without breaking into laughter and I will be sincerely grateful.  We just couldn’t do it! 

Our version of the song, with our sincere apologies to Mr. Poe was changed to “jingle, jingle, twinkle, twinkle.”  🙂



  1. kristinschaub said,

    Haha! That is so like boys! My boys found it so funny to get me to say “pee pee” that during our spelling game, when they were supposed to spell “appropriate” they would stop after the second “p” and then think for awhile and then ask me where they left off. “a-p-p.” The class would then roar.

  2. Sacha said,

    NOOO you can’t use that word! 😉 ha ha

  3. Tabitha said,

    hahaha, that is such a cute story! I love it. Thanks for introducing me to your blog! I really miss working with kids and that story is exactly the reason why. too funny!

  4. Brenda Burger said,

    Melodye, thanks for the link to the traditions forum and the advice.
    You and I have much in common, the painting, sewing and the health issues. Unfortunately, I believe if we were having a sled race I would alread be at the bottom of the hill, lol, so I know all about the slowing down stuff.

    This is the point in life where you see all the beauty around you that you have been missing and take those long sweet breaths of fresh air. We are still very blessed.
    Take note how so many other things in life have heightened for us?
    Anytime you need to chat, please feel free to email me at bjkline@rcn.com.

    Happiest warmest Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂

    Brenda Burger
    Traditions Group

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