The Bells of St. Mary's (song)

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"The Bells of St. Mary's" is a 1917 popular song. The music was written by A. Emmett Adams, the lyrics[1] by Douglas Furber, following a visit to St. Mary's Church, Southampton, England.[2]

The song was revived in 1945, in the film of the same name, by Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. On June 14, 1962, it was recorded by Perry Como [3] for an album, By Request, but was omitted from the album as released.

Christmas connection[edit]

Due to the inclusion in the eponymous 1945 film of a scene featuring a Christmas pageant, both the film and the song have come to be associated with the Christmas season, although the latter has no direct lyrical connection with the holiday (and, indeed, refers to the "red leaves" of autumn in the chorus). Several artists have recorded the song for inclusion on Christmas albums; examples include Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, 1963), Andy Williams (Merry Christmas, 1965), and Sheryl Crow (Home for Christmas, 2008).

In popular culture[edit]

The song appears in an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. In a skit called "Musical Mice", Ken Ewing (Terry Jones) claims to have trained mice to squeal at the specific pitches necessary to play the song (as he demonstrates with debatable success).[4]

The Drifters' version is featured in the movie Goodfellas, in the Christmas Eve scene with Henry Hill and family, and the following scene where Stacks (Samuel L. Jackson) is shot dead by Tommy Devito (Joe Pesci).

This song is also associated with Saint Mary's College (Indiana).

A version of this song is the anthem of State University of New York Maritime College, whose first training ship was the USS St. Mary's.

Recorded versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Song lyric
  2. ^ Hooper, Brian; Henry, Jeff. "The Bells Of St Mary's". Retrieved 27 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Bells of St. Mary's". By Request, A Perry Como Discography. Retrieved 2007-05-15. 
  4. ^ "A man with two noses / Musical Mice". Monty Python's Flying Circus Episode 2 Partial Script. Retrieved 2007-06-08.