The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

These Christmas Bills!

William Hone, The Every Day Book, 2 Vols. London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827.

Volume 2

Entry from February 3

To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.


Perhaps the following parody of Moore's beautiful melody, “Those Evening Bells,” ... may be acceptable to your readers, at a time like the present, when a laugh helps out the spirits against matter-of-fact evils.

I do not think it necessary to avow myself as an “authority” for my little communication; many of your readers will, no doubt, be able to furnish feeling evidence of the truth of the lines. Hoping you, sir, may read them without participating in the lively sensibility that the author felt, I remain,
    Your admiring reader,
        and regular customer,
            A Small Bookseller!

City, Jan. 1826

These Christmas Bills!

A Commercial Melody, 1826

These Christmas bills, these Christmas bills,
How many a thought their number kills
Of notes and cash, and that sweet time
When oft' I heard my sovereigns chime.

Those golden days are past away,
And many a bill I used to pay
Sticks on the file, and empty tiles
Contain no cash for Christmas bills.

And so 'twill be – though these are paid,
More Christmas bills will still be made,
And other men will fear these ills,
And curse the name of Christmas bills!

Editor's Note:

The original poem: Evening Bells

Those evening bells, those evening bells,
How many a tale their music tells,
Of youth and home, and that sweet time
Since last I heard their soothing chime.

Those joyous hours are passed away,
And many a friend that then was gay,
Within the tomb now darkly dwells,
And hears no more those evening bells.

And so ‘twill be when I am gone,
That tuneful peal will still ring on,
While other bards shall walk these dells,
And sing thy praise, sweet evening bells!

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