To all the people that don’t know who Rita MacNeil is, well now you will know. She was a Cape Breton native (that’s a place on the East Coast of Canada) where the identity and accent is strong. She wrote the music and lyrics to this next song in 1988, meaning close to my year of birth and therefore a part of my childhood. My dad had the cassette tape, and I would always filch it from the deck without him knowing, and listen to it on repeat on the old cassette player. (for you younglings who don’t know what a cassette tape is, just imagine before the CD, and mini version of the VHS tape in audio format, oh wait I probably lost you with those references too).

This song, which I first saw on a Christmas special, involved watching Barbara Underhill and Paul Martini skate a pairs programme to the rousing music while Rita sings in the background. The only disappointment is that it wasn’t skated by a childhood favourte, Josée Chouinard, but alas we can’t all get what we want.

Her unique voice and the intense accompaniment stirs up some important emotions related to the lyrics, especially the descending bassline on the bass and piano. With references to other Christmas carols, it’s a call to action and a call to light. Now the Bells Ring, the new good news has come; no truer words have ever been spoken. May your ears be blessed with this song, which beyond the borders of Canada is probably never heard. Be sure to make it to the intense bridge, which just sends goosebumps to your arms.

Featuring a child chorus, it adds the lovely touch to this mixture pop-rock song. Now the bells ring…