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The Bell In The Sea

Introduction: Steve Hogarth wrote on Marillion.com: "Legend has it that many years ago, a ship was transporting a huge church bell from the foundry where it was struck, to the Abbey at Whitby. In bad weather the ship was wrecked and the bell tore itself free to lie on the sea-bed. On stormy nights, the bell rolls on the sea floor and tolls under the water to mourn the passing of sailors. In Whitby there are those who say they have heard her ghostly moaning." Thanks to J. M. ten Napel for sending that to us.

The Whitby Guide gives a slightly different take on the story - the bells were actually being transported to London following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII. Loaded in good weather, the ship was passing a small island called Black Nab, in Saltwick Bay, when it sank; this was ascribed by the locals to the bells not wanting to leave Whitby. Supposedly, if you whisper your beloved's name from a nearby coastal landmark, you will hear their name on their wind and  bell chimes in response.

In Suffolk, England, there is a hole in the coast where a village by the name of Dunwich used to be. It was swept into the sea, where it remains. Local legend tells that you can still hear the church bell toll on stormy nights. A similar tale is told in Cromer, Norfolk. You can't keep a good story down, it appears!

Lyrics: Steve Hogarth & John Helmer

Songs with a link have explanations.

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2 comments:

  1. Given the band name, could there also be any correlation between 'The Bell in the Sea' and J R R Tolkien's poem, 'The Sea Bell?'

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    Replies
    1. I think it's unlikely, though it is possible. John Helmer wrote the original lyric, and h modified it, and I'm not sure either of them is into Tolkien.

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