RING THEM BELLS
PERFORMANCES SINCE 1999



1999.11.08,
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND

1999.11.13,
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY

2000.05.12,
HANNOVER, GERMANY

2000.06.15
PORTLAND, OREGON

2000.07.28,
CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY

2000.09.13,
DUBLIN, IRELAND

2001.03.09,
FUKUOKA, JAPAN

2001.03.20,
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA

2002.10.29,
AMES, IOWA

2004.04.03,
WASHINGTON, D.C.

2004.04.06,
NORFOLK, VIRGINIA

2004.04.10,
COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA

2004.06.05,
UNCASVILLE, CONNECTICUT

2004.06.22,
NEWCASTLE, ENGLAND

2004.11.02,
OSHKOSH, WISCONSIN

2005.04.17,
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

2005.04.24,
ATLANTIC, NEW JERSEY

2005.11.06,
ERFURT, GERMANY



Ring them bells for the chosen few who will judge the many when the game is through.

RING THEM BELLS



Ring them bells, ye heathen

From the city that dreams,

Ring them bells from the sanctuaries

Cross the valleys and streams,

For they're deep and they're wide

And the world's on its side

And time is running backwards

And so is the bride.

Ring them bells St. Peter

Where the four winds blow,

Ring them bells with an iron hand

So the people will know.

Oh it's rush hour now

On the wheel and the plow

And the sun is going down

Upon the sacred cow.

Ring them bells Sweet Martha,

For the poor man's son,

Ring them bells so the world will know

That God is one.

Oh the shepherd is asleep

Where the willows weep

And the mountains are filled

With lost sheep.

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf,

Ring them bells for all of us who are left,

Ring them bells for the chosen few

Who will judge the many when the game is through.

Ring them bells, for the time that flies,

For the child that cries

When innocence dies.

Ring them bells St. Catherine

From the top of the room,

Ring them from the fortress

For the lilies that bloom.

Oh the lines are long

And the fighting is strong

And they're breaking down the distance

Between right and wrong.







This brilliant gem of a song has been performed very rarely over the years. Two appearances it had in November 1999 (the first ones since June 1996 in Luxembourg), before Bob chose to sing it four times in 2000.

My wife and I had set out on a ten-gig-holiday in September, and I was actually expecting Bob to pull out rare nuggets at Dublin’s Vicar Street club show. I was surprised that "RING THEM BELLS" remained one of the two rare nuggets of the evening (the other one being the only 2000 performance of "'TIL I FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU").

But almost five and a half years after his previous concert in the Republic of Ireland Bob did pull out "RING THEM BELLS" in Dublin’s fair city again (as he did in April 1995), singing the “chosen few who will judge the many when the game is through” verse twice again (as he did in April 1995). I had the strong impression that he probably still believes it.

Bob has performed this beautiful song only twice in 2001, during his first tour of the year, in Fukuoka, Japan, and in Adelaide, Australia. After that "RING THEM BELLS" did not appear for more than 19 months, before in Ames, Iowa, in October 2002, Bob chose to perform it as the second song of the show, on the piano.

Then again this gem did not appear for another 17 months, before in April 2004, in Washington, an utterly beautiful "RING THEM BELLS" was performed as song number four; with an interesting lyric change:
"... the world's on its side
And there’s nowhere to run
And there’s nowhere left to hide"

Three days later "RING THEM BELLS" appeared in Norfolk, in the same set as "I BELIEVE IN YOU". Four days after that, in Columbia, "RING THEM BELLS" shared another show with "I BELIEVE IN YOU", and this time also with "TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN".

During the second show in June 2004, in Uncasville, "RING THEM BELLS" was performed in the same set as "EVERY GRAIN OF SAND". During the European tour, which started later that month, "RING THEM BELLS" appeared in Newcastle, England.

Later in the year, during the fall tour, "RING THEM BELLS" was performed in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on November 2nd, the night of the US election. Bob also played "MASTERS OF WAR" that night, and "THIS WHEEL'S ON FIRE".

The first performance of "RING THEM BELLS" in 2005 was in April, during the third Boston show, was performed in the same set as "A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL", "TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN", "GOD KNOWS", and "I BELIEVE IN YOU".

On the following Sunday, in Atlantic City, "RING THEM BELLS" appeared in an even finer setlist, together with "GOD KNOWS", "TRYIN' TO GET TO HEAVEN", "I BELIEVE IN YOU", "A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL", and "MISSISSIPPI".

In the fall of 2005, Bob performed "RING THEM BELLS" only once, in Erfurt, Germany, as part of one of the finest sets of the tour, during his second of five Sunday concerts that fall, which also included "GOD KNOWS", "SEÑOR", and "A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL". My wife and I had the pleasure to stand at the rail during this fine performance of "RING THEM BELLS" which was performed for the third time only in 2005 (and as both earlier appearances in April also in the same set as "GOD KNOWS" and "A HARD RAIN'S A-GONNA FALL").

The fine Erfurt version was Bob Dylan's 31st ever "RING THEM BELLS" performed on stage, and it was definitely the high point of the entire show. It was only the 8th time Bob pulled this one out in Europe, and only the 2nd time he ever sang it in Germany (after Hannover in May 2000). The version in Erfurt was as good as it gets, with Bob Dylan singing these beautiful lyrics with authority and conviction. As mentioned above, my wife and I had the pleausure to see "RING THEM BELLS" already once before, more than five years earlier, during a small club performance in September 2000 at Dublin’s "Vicar Street" venue.






video - Ring Them Bells - Vicar Street - Dublin - 2000-09-13






Biblical references:


~ Matthew 22 ~


For many are called, but few are chosen.


~ 1 Corinthians 6 ~

Do you not know that the saints will judge the world?


~ Jeremiah 50 ~

My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold.