jw_logo.gif

Oranges and Lemons

I’ve been sketching bell shapes (upside down cooking pots!) – seem to be a good fit for the Coningsby Medieval museum. I found this little paragraph online:

As both antiquarian and more recent studies have noted, bells played a central role in medieval Christianity. The history and meanings of church bells are more complex than often assumed. Drawing on a mixture of archaeological and textual material, the article demonstrates that a variety of types of bell—and indeed other signaling devices—were found in early medieval Christianity, and argues that the social and spiritual meanings of bells, whilst in some aspects determined by liturgical texts of the eleventh century, could also vary markedly depending upon the context, use, and reception of their sound. A bell calling a community to prayer was thus not simply “marking” the hours; it was summoning and producing the spiritual community, and its voice could be contested and even on occasion rejected!

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

You owe me five farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells of Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells of Shoreditch.

When will that be?
Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,
Says the great bell of Bow

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Comments are closed.