Bells in the High Tower

SATB, piano

This vivid arrangement of a traditional Hungarian carol, with a haunting melody, resounding piano part, and new English lyrics, is a poignant reminder that winter's darkness is a necessary step toward renewal.


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Minnesota Center Chorale; J. Michele Edwards, conductor. Collegeville, MN
The Chalice Singers; Glen Thomas Rideout, conductor. First UU Church, Ann Arbor, MI


"Bells in the High Tower is a wonderful example of an accessible choral arrangement made extraordinary by an absolutely delicate and ethereal piano accompaniment. That makes it an entirely different "level" of anthem quality. Fantastic!" Ruth Palmer, Director of Music, Unity Church-Unitarian (St. Paul, MN)

Text Author or Source: 
Hungarian carol (arr.) Singing translation by Howard Box

"Bells In the High Tower"
Lyric by Howard Box

Bells in the high tower, ringing o'er the white hills,
Mocking the winter, singing like the spring rills;
Bells in the high tower, in the cold foretelling
Spring's green upwelling.

Bells in the old tower, bright as morning chatter
From darting songbirds, summerlong they gather;
Bells in the old tower, now the wine is brimming,
New life beginning.

Bells in the stone tower, echoing the soft sound
Of autumn's mill wheel, as the wheat is spun round;
Bells in the stone tower, see, the bread is yeasting
For time of feasting.

Bells in the cold tower, 'midst the snow of winter
Sound out the spring song that we may remember;
Bells in the cold tower, after bitter snowing
Come months of growing.

© 1958 by Howard Box, © 1992 by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Lyric adapted and reprinted by permission of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Reprinted by permission.