Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)

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"Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)"
Single by The Darkness
from the album Permission to Land (Christmas Edition)
B-side "I Love You 5 Times"
Released 15 December 2003
Format CD single, Digital download
Genre Glam metal, Christmas music
Length 3:25
Label Must Destroy, Atlantic
Writer(s) Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain, Ed Graham
Producer(s) Bob Ezrin
Certification Silver (BPI)
The Darkness singles chronology
"I Believe in a Thing Called Love"
"Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)"
"Love Is Only a Feeling"

"Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" is a single released by British hard rock band The Darkness. The single was released on 15 December 2003, to fall in with the UK Christmas Number One Race. The track was later included on a "Christmas Edition" of their debut studio album, Permission to Land, issued in some areas of Europe on 22 December 2003.


The song is a take on the usual structure of Christmas songs. It features the usual mention of festivities, Santa Claus and bells, delivered with Justin Hawkins' trademark falsettos. The school choir that provide backing vocals, which can be heard on the song and seen in the video, are from Haberdashers' Aske's Hatcham College school, in New Cross, London, which Justin and Dan's mother once attended. Following the humour and tone of The Darkness' other work, the song also includes a strong level of parody, most notably the double meaning of the line 'Bells End' and 'Ring in peace'. The song appeared as the backing track for the Christmas version of Adult Swim's iOS game, Robot Unicorn Attack, which was released in November 2010.[1] The song was also used to advertise Sky One's Christmas programming in 2003.

When asked about the meaning of the song on a television special, Hawkins stated "we managed to get bellend into a Christmas song without it getting banned! (And ringpiece!)"

Music video[edit]

The video features the band unwrapping presents. Justin Hawkins thinks of his girlfriend, played by his then-girlfriend and The Darkness's manager, Sue Whitehouse, as pictured in a bauble and in the fire. Then Justin goes outside and is joined by the rest of the band playing the song. Then Justin opens the door to find a choir standing outside singing the song. Justin joins in and invites them inside. Then Dan Hawkins gives Justin a present; a car key. Then Justin runs outside and into the car while Dan winks to the audience. And inside the car is Justin's girlfriend. They kiss as the spaceship seen in the videos for 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love' and 'Growing on Me', and on the cover of debut album Permission To Land, flies across the sky, showing some glittery words, which read 'Merry Christmas'.

Race for Christmas #1[edit]

The song was favourite with the bookmakers to reach number one in the official UK singles chart, but was beaten by the relatively unknown Gary Jules and Michael Andrews with a cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World", and thus, the band had to settle for the number two position, joining a list of acts including The Pogues, Mariah Carey and Cliff Richard to miss out on the top spot. According to sales information from Music Week, The Darkness were at #1 all week and lost out on Saturday sales - one of the closest battles for Christmas number one in recent years.[2] According to the official charts company, the song sold 385,000 copies over the Christmas period.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" - 3:39
  2. "I Love You 5 Times" - 3:42
  • Digital download[4]
  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" - 3:39
  • German CD single[5]
  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" - 3:39
  2. "I Love You 5 Times" - 3:42
  3. "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" (Live At Knebworth) - 4:43
  4. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" (Music Video) - 3:45
  • Swedish CD single[6]
  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" - 3:39
  2. "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" (Single Version) - 3:37
  • DVD single[7]
  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" (Audio) - 3:39
  2. "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" (Live At Knebworth - Audio) - 4:43
  3. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" (Music Video) - 3:45
  1. "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" - 3:39
  2. "I Love You 5 Times" - 3:42


Chart (2003) Peak
Australian Singles Chart 63
Dutch Singles Chart 10
Danish Singles Chart 9
Irish Singles Chart 2
Norwegian Singles Chart 20
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 2
Chart (2005) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 58
Chart (2008) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 89
Chart (2010) Peak
UK Rock (The Official Charts Company)[10] 1
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 87

See also[edit]


External links[edit]