This morning, I heard an old Christmas song playing a store: Bobby Vinton singing “The Bell That Couldn’t Jingle.” His recording was released in 1964, but it was written by Burt Bacharach in 1957.
This is a corny Christmas song with a moral, which was a popular genre in the 50’s and 60’s. It is in the musical style of the song factory writers of that era.
But today, a line at the end of the first verse caught my attention: “The bell that couldn’t jingle: it had nothing there inside.” It’s an interesting thought. Most bells have a clapper or a ball to create noise. The poor bell in the song had nothing inside.
How are you jingling as a leader?
Is there something there inside? You may have noticed that at times there truly is “nothing left inside.” Can you recognize when that happens?
How can you regain your lost jingle?
In the song, Santa has Jack Frost freeze the little bell’s teardrop and put it in the bell so that our hero could jingle happily on Santa’s sleigh.
Here are some suggestions.
- Reevaluate and update your goals. If your goals are dated or unrealistic, they can cause you to lose your jingle. Current, relevant goals that are meaningful to you can help bring back some of your jingle.
- Reevaluate your motivations in life. This ties in with looking at your goals. Why do you do what do? Is it enough to ring your bells?
- Seek feedback from trusted colleagues or a supervisor. Sometimes a second or even a third pair of eyes can help you find out why your bells aren’t jingling. Sometimes your spouse or significant other can chime in and help.
- Take time to recharge. Everyone needs a break to regain perspective. Whether you are in search of your lost shaker of salt or your jingle, you won’t find it if your nose is always to the grindstone.
- More cowbell. Just kidding. Or maybe not. Sometimes your bell has to be struck from the outside. There are days when we need external help to make our noise.
If you recognize that your jingle isn’t jingling, take the necessary steps to get your jingle back. Don’t be a ding-a-ling about it.
A good leader can jingle all the way.
 Other recordings include Bobby Helms (1965), Burt Bacharach himself (1967?), and Herb Alpert (1968). Vinton’s was the B-side of Jingle Bell Rock.
 I have nothing against Bacharach. His songs are timeless, and he was a good composer with a distinctive sound. But his was among the music that our parents listened to in the 60’s. Need I say more?
 I am not referring to the times when the jingling gets annoying.
 See, I did say it was corny. And because I live in Southern California, that bell would lose its jingle again when Santa gets here.