Local musician writes cool song about bell ringing

John Del Vecchio plays guitar

One night last Christmas season, John Del Vecchio (pictured) pulled into the parking lot of Oxendale’s Market on the west side of Saint Paul. It was dark and cold, and he was going through a hard time in his life.

When he stepped out of his car, he heard the distinct jingle of a Salvation Army bell. He heard something else, too: a female bell ringer, singing.

“When I heard her voice, I felt something in my heart, in my gut,” Del Vecchio said.

He approached the woman and dropped some loose change into the red kettle.

Carlene Jones portraitThe bell ringer, Carlene Jones (pictured right), stood, staring straight out, singing from her heart. It was then that Del Vecchio realized Jones is blind.

The encounter stirred something deep in Del Vecchio. As he walked away from Jones that night, a song began to form in his head.

That song would go on to become “Kettle Bell Ringer,” the second track on a Christmas album that Del Vecchio and his band, Jahny D. Occurrence, released this year. The song is sung by none other than Jones herself. Listen to the song.   

It only took Del Vecchio one week to write Kettle Bell Ringer.

“That’s unheard of – it can take me a year to write a song,” he said. “That’s just evidence that this song is something special.”

The song is about how Christ came to earth and left His spirit with us, which gives everybody a reason to have a merry Christmas.

“I wrote this song because I wanted something that’s beyond the stereotypical Christmas songs,” Del Vecchio said. “I wanted something original.”

Del Vecchio has been a general attorney for 30 years, and he writes and performs music on the side. He is a big fan of The Salvation Army and supports its mission.

“I became a fan of the Salvation Army from the moment I saw my first bell ringer,” Del Vecchio said.

Del Vecchio attributes Kettle Bell Ringer to The Salvation Army. He says he never would have written this song if not for Carlene, and he never would have met Carlene if not for The Salvation Army.

Poverty is an everyday battle that families don’t always win. Thankfully, there is an army of loving people like you who fight on their behalf. Your generosity puts food on their table, presents under their tree, and joy in their hearts. Learn more about how The Salvation Army fights poverty in your community.

Read more stories