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From Jingle Bells to Bell Ringer

As I sit in my living room looking at the Christmas tree and the colourful lights that illuminate the little corner reserved for excitement and new memories, my train of thought departs on an unsolicited ride.

It is that time of the year…when everything turns to the shiny, glittery, and nostalgic decorations we all know so well. From our homes to streets to shops. With all that comes Maraiah Carrey and Micheal Bublé who has become synonymous with the festive season but perhaps there is something even more Christmassy…Jingle Bells (James Lord Pierpont). You know it.

Dashing through the snow

In a one-horse open sleigh

O'er the fields we go

Laughing all the way

Bells on bobtails ring

Even Jingle Bell Rock (Dean Saunders, Bobby Helms)

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun Now the jingle hop has begun

Bells. I would think that the most common answer when someone asks you what you think of first in terms of bells, would be the little handheld bells used at Christmas or at reception desks. There are other bells as well and they lead to some serious hearing loss – church bells. I came across a great article. It starts off:

“The term “bell ringer” typically conjures up images of a church bell tower, with a lone figure pulling on a rope to ring the bell. But what many people don’t realize is that, in the past, bell ringers were often exposed to extremely loud noises on a daily basis, which could lead to hearing loss. In fact, some bell ringers did go deaf from the constant exposure to loud noises. The noise level of a bell ringing can reach up to 115 decibels, which is loud enough to cause hearing damage. In addition, bell ringers would often be exposed to this noise for long periods of time, as they would have to ring the bell multiple times a day. Over time, this exposure to loud noise could lead to permanent hearing loss. While it is impossible to say for sure how many bell ringers went deaf from the noise exposure, it is clear that it was a real problem in the past. Thankfully, today there are much better safety measures in place to protect bell ringers from hearing loss. However, it is still important to be aware of the potential risks of exposure to loud noises and to take steps to protect your hearing.”

It is a very informative article and well worth a read. You can find it here.

So, when you’re out and about, observing the elements of this festive season, perhaps allow your train of thought to take you somewhere that makes you curious.

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