Ding Dong Bell

“Ding Dong Bell”, also known as Ding Dong Dell is a popular nursery rhyme with an educational theme against animal cruelty.

Its origin dates back to the 16th century England. The Ding Dong Bell rhyme was first recorded in 1580 by the organist of Winchester Cathedral, John Lant.

The expression Ding Dong Bell was used by Shakespeare in several of his plays. However most of those works were published only in 1623 in the First Folio (years after his death) and the exact use or meaning of this rhyme is uncertain.

The song was later converted for children, as they tend to take the words explicitly and there was concern they may be tempted to put the cats in the wells, or they could be affected by the violence of the word “killed”.

“Ding Dong Bell” Lyrics

Recommended version for kids:

Ding dong bell,
Pussy’s at the well.
Who took her there?
Little Johnny Hare.
Who’ll bring her in?
Little Tommy Thin.
What a jolly boy was that
To get some milk for pussy cat,
Who ne’er did any harm,
But played with the mice in his father’s barn

“Ding Dong Bell” Modern Version

Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Green.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To try to drown poor pussy cat,
Who ne’er did him any harm,
But killed all the mice in the farmer’s barn

“Ding Dong Bell” Original Version

First recorded version:
Jacke boy, ho boy newes,
the cat is in the well,
let us ring now for her Knell,
ding dong ding dong Bell