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October 29th, 2016


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08:56 am
It's been a while since I last wrote something about which I'd been ruminating, but something occurred to me yesterday and I thought I'd put it into words today.

I was walking to my car yesterday in Ontario, CA, at noon and I heard in the near distance church bells being played as a musical tune.

See, when I was a kid in Racine, WI, back in the 1960s, it was pretty easy to hear church bells hitting the hours, and noontime some of them would play a few bars of things. However once we moved to California in 1967, that stopped. I mean, there were churches nearby, but I don't remember hearing any church bells anymore.

At UCLA, my recollection is that Royce Hall played music, even though its bells had failed decades before. I graduated from there in 1977.

Moving to Chicago in the late 1970s I still can't recall hearing much of anything angelic in the air. Occasional gunfire, yes. But no bells.

So it's been a very long time since I last heard any church bells. Have I been missing them because I used to drive around with air conditioning on full blast and the radio or my iPhone playing? Or are they mostly gone? I don't know.

All-in-all, I find that I like it. It seems homey, classy, and very pretty. What have you found in your parts of the world? Do you hear them? Do you recall them? Is it just me? Are they more common than I realize? Or have they mostly disappeared?

As I continue to ponder the world...

(12 comments | Speak, or forever hold your peace)

Comments:


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From:stacymckenna
Date:October 29th, 2016 11:50 pm (UTC)
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Angelica Lutheran in the Pico Union district still has a carillon that plays throughout the day.
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From:mycroftca
Date:October 30th, 2016 03:03 am (UTC)
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Cool! I think it is a beautiful thing...

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From:siliconshaman
Date:October 30th, 2016 10:58 am (UTC)
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It's tradition that's mostly died out in the UK, except for a few pockets such as where I went to university in York.

If you waited until the right time, you could tell where you were in the town even with your eyes closed, simply by listening to which set of bells were loudest. The Minster bells were always loudest, but there were at least half a dozen others all with their own sound and tune.

Although occasionally, I think they'd reach some sort of agreement and they'd all play the same pattern at least.
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From:mycroftca
Date:October 30th, 2016 02:11 pm (UTC)
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Don't I recall that there was a children's rhyme that essentially laid out the bells in London?
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From:siliconshaman
Date:October 30th, 2016 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Oranges and Lemons, say the bells of St Clements,

I've been to London, they do say that.
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From:mycroftca
Date:October 31st, 2016 02:13 am (UTC)
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Thank you for that! I really appreciate proof that my memory is still sharp!
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From:noachoc
Date:October 31st, 2016 08:16 pm (UTC)
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When I was in college in Annapolis, there were church bells every hour and you could get along pretty well without a watch if you just paid attention (this was '02-'06). Where I live now, there are church bells but I don't hear them unless I've actually gone downtown (can't hear them from my apartment). Also the local highschool plays the national anthem at 8 AM every morning, and I can hear that if the wind's in the right direction and the windows are open.
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From:mycroftca
Date:November 1st, 2016 03:14 am (UTC)
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See, I don't get this. There're churches all over the place and so you actually shouldn't be so far away that you couldn't hear bells unless they either don't have them or they've turned down the sound...
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From:noachoc
Date:November 3rd, 2016 06:33 pm (UTC)
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Well... the closest one to my apartment is a half mile away or so. I can sometimes barely hear the bells, but it's far enough away that most of the time I can't.
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From:mycroftca
Date:November 4th, 2016 04:15 am (UTC)
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I bet that they've muted the bells.
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From:atxcats
Date:October 31st, 2016 11:33 pm (UTC)
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I haven't recalled hearing church bells for a long time, but I work at The University of Texas at Austin, and we have some lovely carillon bells that chime every 15 minutes (that "Westminster chime" progression) and they play for 10 minutes before lunch a few times a week - some whimsical songs (Walking in a Winter Wonderland on a 112 degree day in August) along with the more traditional chime pieces.
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From:mycroftca
Date:November 1st, 2016 03:16 am (UTC)
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That reminds me to some degree of my college experience. Churches, though? Off campus? It's like it's all disappeared, or nearly all.
It's been a while since I last wrote something about which I'd been… - This ain't no party, this ain't no disco...

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