Sunday, November 18, 2007

For whom the bells toll

One of the best things about my apartment - (ahem) our apartment - is living next to Holy Cross. The bells in the belfry aren't just for show over there. They sound daily, but Sundays are really fantastic. Right now, for example, the bells are playing, "Softly and gently, Jesus is calling, calling for sinners to come home..."

If you don't have a religious upbringing, you wouldn't even recognize these. It would just sound like bells.

Oh, now it's Amazing Grace.

I love the bells.

Now it's God Bless America.

When the realtor took me on a tour of the apartment back in July of 2003, I asked him if the bells in the church ever rang. He stopped and looked at me and obviously didn't know what the right answer was. I laughed and said, "I love bells." And he said, "Oh, well then, you'll love to live next to Holy Cross."

There's a flourish of bells that starts and ends these medleys Sometimes it gets stuck in my head, which is fine by me. Also, at certain times, a single bell tolls. As luck would have it, it tolls every weekday morning at 8:30, right when I have to leave for work. If I'm not ready to go by the time the bell starts, I'm pretty much going to be late.

There is a church not far from here that plays piped-in, fake bells. The recording sounds tinny and terrible. On a clear day I can hear that other church too and I'm sad for the abutters in that neighborhood. I can see how the fake bells could make a person hate bells. But up here on Suffolk Street, gosh, it's just beautiful.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, comments!!

New Orleans has many features that were missing from my life in Atlanta, including church bells.

I walk through the French Quarter to & from work, and on Friday I was walking by the old St. Louis Cathedral right as it swung into action. LOUD! In such close proximity, the sound seems to spill over into your other senses.

I love hearing churchbells, especially ringing out over the city at sunset. The only thing cooler would be hearing the eerie Muslim call to prayer, although I guess most mosques just use a recording these days, alas.

November 18, 2007 at 3:13 PM  

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