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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
SharonA Origins: White Coral Bells/White Choral Bells (116* d) RE: Origins: White Coral Bells/White Choral Bells 10 Jun 11

Logging in to say hello and to refresh this thread! I have a gig tomorrow to play campfire songs for 9-year-old girls and, never having done it before, I have been surfing the 'net for songs remembered from my own 9-year-old-ness. Count on good ol' Mudcat to have a thread about "White Coral Bells"! It's been a pleasure to read through it and learn so much about the song (and the plant) (and the rattle)!

I come down on the side of those who feel that "white coral bells upon a slender stalk" is simply a poetic description of the Lily-of-the-Valley blooms. The blooms are white, they're delicate like coral (not coral-pink in color, since they're white!), and they look like bells. I don't believe that any reference to a second plant variety (Heuchera) was intended, and I would suggest resisting the urge to over-analyze the song in a way that would include this second plant in it. After all, the blooms of the Heuchera plant mentioned in this thread don't resemble little bells that one would wish to hear being rung by fairies... but the blooms of the Lily-of-the-Valley plant do! Therefore, this being a very short song/poem, I believe that the author was "staying on topic" by discussing only ONE plant variety.

I'm intrigued by the sub-topic of the colonial-era baby's rattle! I had no idea that coral was used for teething tots back then. I wonder if people soaked the coral in cold water to make it more soothing for baby, just as some of today's teething toys are meant to be refrigerated for baby's comfort.

I love Animaterra's poison-ivy parody of WCB! I will teach it to the kids tomorrow. Thanks, Allison!

(not lurking much these days, but still coming to Mudcat for information about music as needed!)

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