THOSE WEDDING BELLS SHALL NOT RING OUT
 
Julie Mackey
 
A sexton stood one Sabbath eve within a belfry grand
Awaiting signal from the church with bell rope in his hand
As in the house of worship stood a young and happy pair
To pledge their troth forever more each other's love to share
The holy man then spake these words, 'Before you're joined for life
As any person aught to say 'gainst you as man and wife?'
Then down the aisle there came a man with quick and easy tread
And pointing to the trembling bride, these words he calmly said

Chorus: Those wedding bells must not ring out, she is another's bride
I saw her at the altar rail; we stood there side by side
She cannot claim another's hand
She dare not break the law's command
A guilty wife you see her stand
Those bells shall not ring out
.

The minister was speechless and the bridegroom stood amazed
The congregation spell-bound sat and thought the man was crazed
The bride had not a word to say, but simply hung her head
'Who is this man?' the preacher asked, 'I know him not' she said
'Then ring the bells' the bridegroom cried - the man knelt to entreat
The sexton swung the chimes aloft; the bells rang clear and sweet
But scarce their music had begun when forth there came a shout
'Stand back! I say, they shall not ring, those bells shall not ring out!'

Chorus: Those wedding bells must not ring out, I swear it on my life
For we were wedded years ago and she is still my wife
She shall not break her vows to me,
She's mine through all eternity
She's mine till death shall set her free
Those bells shall not ring out.


A shriek of woe - a glittering blade - a lurch - a flash - a dart
And like the lightning's stroke, the blade had reached her trembling heart
'You've killed his bride -Oh God' they cried. He swung the gleaming knife
And pierced his own heart as he gasped, 'Nay, not his bride - My wife'
Two forms lay cold within the aisle, the husband and the bride
As once in life he claimed they stood in wedlock side by side
His vow was kept, the bells had ceased, and with his dying breath
These words once more he murmured ere his lips were closed in death

Chorus: Those wedding bells must not ring out, I swear it on my life
For we were wedded years ago and she is still my wife
She shall not break her vows to me,
She's mine through all eternity
She's mine till death shall set her free
Those bells shall not ring out.

 
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Based on the earlier song 'The Fatal Wedding' by Gussie L. Davis
Written and composed by Monroe H. Rosenfeld - 1896
Performed by Julie Mackey (b. 1893)
Performed by Gus Edwards (1879-1945)
Performed by Helene Mora (1861-1903)
Performed by Arthur Reece (1870-1964)
 
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