I Can Hear the Bells

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"I Can Hear the Bells" is a song from the musical Hairspray. It is sung by the protagonist Tracy Turnblad.


Nikki Blonsky, who plays Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 film, was sick the day the vocals were recorded.[citation needed]


After brushing past Link, the main lead on the Corny Collins Show, Tracy Turnblad starts to dream about what her life would be like if she pursued a relationship with him. These thoughts of a future wedding and perfect romance are idealized.


Orlando Sentinel notes "the chorus members produce bells whose tinkling emphasizes the dream setting of the song".[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing the 2007 movie, Spirituality and Practice writes "Nikki Blonsky carries the movie on her shoulders and belts out all the power of "I Can Hear the Bells""[2] Oregon Live notes the song yields a "funny sexual awakening".[3]

Reviewing a live performance, Variety said "“I Can Hear the Bells,” the fantasy ballet in which Tracy seduces and weds Link to the sound of rhythmic chiming, is performed with winking brio and remains a comic highlight of the first act."[4] Broadway Word described it as "lovelorn", and Theatre Mirror deemed it "a fall in love at first sight love song".[5] Hoopls described it as "love-struck",[6] while MC Theatre Guide named it "lovesick"[7] and Shropshire Star called it a "love-struck ballad".[8] It has also been described as an "anthem",[9] a "heartfelt solo",[10] and "dreamy".[11] DC Metro Theatre Arts write "Tracy fantasizes about getting married to the local heartthrob in a dream sequence that is both beautifully romantic and hysterically funny."[12] Edge Boston called it a "fun, slyly comic number".[13] The Public Reviews wrote "I Can Hear the Bells is a cute reflection of every teenage girls inner mind when faced with the school heart throb".[14]


  1. ^ "Hairspray at Garden Theatre review in Orlando Sentinel - tribunedigital-orlandosentinel". Articles.orlandosentinel.com. 2014-05-03. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  2. ^ "Hairspray | Film Reviews | Films | Spirituality & Practice". Spiritualityandpractice.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  3. ^ Chris Ryan (2011-07-02). "Broadway Rose Theatre Company's 'Hairspray' captures energy of the early '60s (review)". OregonLive.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  4. ^ Charles Isherwood (2004-06-22). "Hairspray". Variety. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  5. ^ "North Shore Music Theatre - Hairspray - Reviews". Nsmt.org. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  6. ^ "'Hairspray' didn't stop the beat at Theatre Cedar Rapids : REVIEW | Hoopla". Hooplanow.com. 2014-01-21. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  7. ^ "Cappies Review: 'Hairspray' at Thomas S. Wootton High School | Maryland Theatre Guide". Mdtheatreguide.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  8. ^ "Review: Hairspray, Birmingham, Hippodrome « Shropshire Star". Shropshirestar.com. 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  9. ^ "Last week to see "Hairspray" at Ivoryton Playhouse". IvorytonPlayhouse.org. 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  10. ^ Ward, Denise (2011-07-29). "'Hairspray' review: 'You can't stop the beat' and you won't want to". GoUpstate.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  11. ^ "'Hairspray' Review – Dayton Playhouse – The Beat Goes On | Dayton Most Metro". Mostmetro.com. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  12. ^ "'Hairspray' at Magruder High School". DCMetroTheaterArts. 2014-03-09. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  13. ^ St, Jason (2014-01-28). "Hairspray". Edgeboston.com. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  14. ^ "Hairspray – Alhambra Theatre, Bradford". The Public Reviews. 2013-03-14. Retrieved 2015-08-10.