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White Coral Bells (Lyrics) by Anon

White coral bells 
Upon a slender stalk 
Lilies of the valley 
Deck my garden walk 
Oh, don’t you wish 
That you could hear them ring. 
That will happen only when the fairies sing.

This traditional campfire song is popular sung in rounds by Girl Scouts throughout North America, and maybe elsewhere.

The beautiful white flowers of Convallaria magalis (from the family Liliaceae) are shaped like tiny bells and hang down the stem in a long row - somewhat hidden between dark green oval leaves. They have a magical fragrance. Plants and flowers are expensive to purchase but once established will spread and produce more and more until you are giving them away. They grow in full sun to shade and tolerate diverse conditions of moisture. To pick the flower pull straight up on the stem with a gentle, firm pressure.

The flowers make a wonderful “play toy” flower of children. I remember the large patch in my childhood neighborhood where we played tea party with little cups from Lily of the Valley flowers and little spoons from the seed pod of the weed Shepherd’s Purse.

harmonica tabs are available on these pages (just in case you don’t know the tune)

photo with clear view of the “bells” plus leaves.

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