White Coral Bells
DESCRIPTION: "White coral bells upon a slender stalk, Lilies of the valley (line/grace) my garden walk. Oh don't you wish that you could hear them ring? That will only happen when the (angels/fairies) sing."
EARLIEST DATE: 1916 (as "May Bells," in the "Fourth Year" volume of the "Hollis Dann Music Course")
FOUND IN: US
REFERENCES (1 citation):
Pankake-PHCFSB, p. 268, "White Coral Bells" (1 text)
NOTES: One of the tiny handful of songs in my mother's singing tradition. Seems to be a genuine folk song, even if no one knows what it's supposed to be about.
Jack Manischewitz, who did the research leading to the 1916 date for the May Bells variant, has found a number of people who also know the song from early life. He notes that the 1916 publication listed no author, although authors were listed for most of the other pieces. This would imply, at minimum, that the copyright had expired by 1916, which would hint at a nineteenth century origin. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.