Bells of Hell, The
DESCRIPTION: "The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling For you but not for me; And the little devils how they sing-a-ling-a-ling For you but not for me. O Death, where is thy sting-a-ling-a-ling, O Grave, thy victory? The bells of hell go ting-a-ling-a-ling, For...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1931 (Brophy/Partridge-TommiesSongsAndSlang)
KEYWORDS: soldier death
FOUND IN: Canada
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Brophy/Partridge-TommiesSongsAndSlang, p. 55, "The Bells of Hell" (1 text)
Hopkins-SongsFromTheFrontAndRear, p. 117, "The Bells of Hell" (1 short text, 1 tune)
Jolly-Miller-Songster-5thEd, #148, "Salvation Army Song" (1 text)
cf. "She Only Answered 'Ting-a-ling-a-ling'" (tune)
NOTES [163 words]: Based on 1 Corinthians 15:55 (where the King James Version reads "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?"), which is in turn derived from Hosea 13:14 (where, however, the KJV translates "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes." The King James translation of Hosea is based on the Hebrew; the Greek and Syriac versions of the verse are more like the reading of 1 Corinthians, which is quoting the Greek, not the Hebrew).
Rodeheaver-SociabilitySongs, p. 114, has piece "Sing-A-Ling-A-Ling" which opens "Oh Mister (Wing/any name), We sing-a-ling-a-ling With all our hearts to you; We hope there'll be some thing-a-ling-a-ling That we can do for you." It seems clear that it is another riff on the original "She Only Answered 'Ting-a-ling-a-ling," but I don't know if they have anything in common beyod that. - RBW
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