The Beatles and Handbells?

Posted By Derek Nance on Feb 27, 2013 | 1 comment


I have always loved The Beatles.  In fact Abbey Road is currently spinning on my record player as I write this post. Due to my lack of anything better to do, my day has been filled with searching the internet for fun handbell information – and the perpetual flipping of Beatles records.
Paul McCartney as a child ringing bells

The HRGB (Handbell Ringers of Great Britain) has a very interesting post on a celebrity playing bells at an early age. Apparently Sir Paul McCartney at the age of 10 had handbells involved in his musical education.

Based on this fact, there have been some interesting claims that handbells have been included in songs by The Beatles.

According to Beatlesbible.com there is a handbell used in “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except for Me and My Monkey”. Listen to this recording and see if you think the bell sound (starting at 0:17) is a handbell.

There are also rumors of handbells used in Penny Lane, according to Grammy.com.  I know the song by heart and had never heard a handbell, but after listening to it again there is a bell tone at 2:14; however, this sound does not appear to be a handbell, but more like tubular chimes.

Whether or not these tones are actually handbells or not we will never know. Can you find any other bells used in Beatles music?

However, this means that one of the foremost musicians on the world had handbells involved in their music education, and that education went on to affect the world of pop music forever.