Edgar Heard the Bells, All Right

xmas bells

by Erin Abernethy,
with apologies to Mr. Longfellow and Mr. Poe

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play.

YA’LL HUSH FOR TWO MINUTES AND PLAY NICE!
AND QUIT MAKIN’ THE DOG PEE ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE!

Hear the loud alarum bells–
Brazen bells!
What a tale of terror, now their turbulency tells!

MAMA! MAMA! MAMA! HE TOOK MY FIRE TRUCK!
YOU PUT THAT DOWN RIGHT NOW!

And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.

WAH! WAH! WAAAHH! WAAAAHHHHH! WWWAAAAAAAHHHHHH!
HUSH, OR I’LL GIVE YOU SOMETHIN’ TO CRY ABOUT!

In the startled ear of night
How they scream out their affright!

DADDY, SHE HIT ME! MAKE HER QUIT!

I thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had roll’d along th’ unbroken song
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.

SOMEBODY TAKE THE DAMN BATTERY OUT OF THE SMOKE DETECTOR!
IT GOES OFF EVERY TIME I OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!

Too much horrified to speak,
They can only shriek, shriek,
Out of tune
In a clamorous appealing to the mercy of the fire

MAMA, THE CENTERPIECE IS BURNIN’!
SISSY KNOCKED THE CANDLE OVER!

And in despair, I bow’d my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,

YA’LL BETTER SETTLE DOWN RIGHT NOW OR AIN’T NONE OF YA GOIN’ TO THE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE WITH ME AN’ MAMMAW!

Oh, the bells, the bells, the bells!
What a tale their terror tells
Of Despair!

IF YOU DON’T GET TO GO TO THE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE, SANTY CLAUS WON’T COME AN’ BABY JESUS WON’T LOVE YOU AND YOU’LL GO TO HELL!

“For hate is strong and mocks the song,
Of Peace on earth, good will to men.”

MAMA SAYS YOU’RE GOIN’ TO HELL, SO THERE!
OPEN THE KITCHEN WINDOW AND CLEAR SOME OF THIS SMOKE OUT!

How they clang, and crash, and roar!
What a horror they outpour

GRAMPAW SMELLS FUNNY, AND HE AIN’T SNORIN’. IS HE DEAD?

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep;
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

WHAT’S A SEIZURE? CAN I HAVE ONE TOO?

And he dances, and he yells;
Keeping time, time, time,
In a Runic sort of rhyme

I AIN’T TAKIN’ NONE OF YA’LL ANYWHERE WITH ME EVER AGAIN–
NOWHERE, NO WAY, NO HOW!

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With Peace on earth, good will to men.”

NOW HUSH AND SAY THE BLESSING!
HURRY UP BEFORE IT GETS COLD!

Keeping time, time, time,
As he knells, knells, knells,
To the tolling of the bells
To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.

AMEN. YA’LL DIG IN.

© Copyright 2004 by Erin Abernethy. Republished 2007, 2011, 2014, 2015.

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