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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 349
Mon, Dec 31, 2012

“Ding Dong”
George Harrison

1974

“♫ Ring
out the old/
ring in the
new/ ring
out the false/
ring in the
true
♫”

When we were growing up my parents seemed to always have X-mas gatherings and New Years Eve parties. I remember they would last till late, lots of food, spirits and the music, how I loved the music. My Mami said that she knew where to find me because I would be the one sitting right by the huge stereo speakers in the family room. One of my favorite ‘end of the year’ holiday rock numbers that was always spun during our fiestas was penned by George Harrison.

George once claimed, that of all the songs, ““Ding Dong” was the quickest one I ever wrote. I was just sitting by the fire, playing the guitar and I looked up on the wall, and there it was written, carved into the wall in oak: “Ring out the old, ring in the new” on the left, and on the right of the fire: “Ring out the false, ring in the true.” I thought, “God it took me five years of looking at that, before I realized it was a song.” He admitted to Bill Harry in The George Harrison Encyclopedia, “[“Ding Dong”] is very optimistic, Instead of getting stuck in a rut, everybody should try ringing out the old and ringing in the new.

Harrison discovered a veritable plethora of great sayings inscribed all along his Friar Park manor. Engravings like “Keep on the Grass,” “Yesterday, Today was Tomorrow,” and “Tomorrow, Today will be Yesterday.” It turns out some peculiar solicitor Sir Frank Crisp designed Friar Park with all it’s eccentricities in 1896. Harrison immortalized Crisp in his 1971 song “Let It Roll” from All Things Must Pass.

Harrison reminded us of the lesson that every artist, with or sans guitar should realize that you need to write what about “you know.” Our personal universes are filled with little accidents and minor miracles, like those inscriptions that Harrison discovered in his unusual mansion, that seem trivial at first but on the page or as a song lyric will transform into something magically as delectable like “Ding Dong.”

Rediscover the joy of this end of the year classic that brings me back to our family’s old Año Nuevo fiestas. This Dark Horse single will light up your party night with this gloriously imperfect groove; ring out the old and ring in the new with George Harrison’s New Years classic “Ding Dong.”

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