Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sound of Switzerland - Urdorf's Cow Bells (VIDEO)

I had to do a video of these melodious bovines because I love them to bits. I run past them and always take off my headphones because their cow bells make such lovely music on their own.

Now, I have no idea why cows wear cow bells, but I have a few ideas:
  1. So that the farmer can find the cows in a blackout
  2. Because it makes them look so pretty
  3. The cows kept asking 'Does my neck look big in this?' a la 'I Feel Bad About My Neck' so they decided to make a super huge bell to disguise their wobbles... oh or perhaps because
  4. I heard that some Stateside cows watch HD TV - so that they're less jittery when it comes to random noises around the barnyard - so this is probably the Swiss equivalent.
It's definately all of the above.

But...since I know my guesses won't satiate my readers, and to set the record straight, I looked it up on wikipedia, and in the 14th and 15th century the cow bell was worn by the leader of the flock, in order to show the other cows the way, and in the 16th century it became cow bling, worn by the prize cow. Nice...

There's more, and you can find the full story here. I really like what they say about the Trychel, the Swiss German name for the bell, being a prized possession:
"Swiss folklore reflects a period when a great Trychel was a rare and much-coveted item. Thus, a legend of the Simmental tells how a young cowherd strays inside a mountain, and by a beautiful woman is offered the choice between a treasure of gold coins, a golden Trychel, and the fairy herself chooses the Trychel (Meinrad Lienert, Schweizer Sagen und Heldengeschichten, Stuttgart 1915." (Wikipedia)
But for God's sake, if you remember anything about this post, make sure you get the spelling right.
  • 'Cowbell,' one word, is the percussion instrument, whereas,
  • 'Cow bell' is the bovine accessory.
But you wouldn't get that wrong now would you? ;)

Enjoy the video! Let me know how you liked it and leave a comment!

PS. Thanks to Ms. Tina Roth Eisenberg for featuring this video on her fabulous blog, SwissMiss!


MattFM said...

Lovely video. I ended up just listening and gazing out of my window at the view I have to put up with (British suburbia), wishing I was there. That sound IS Switzerland for me. Can't wait to go back.

Jessica said...

Thanks, MattFM! I had a fun time making it.

Do you think that they use different sized bells on the cows so that they get a different pitch from each bell? I listened to it a few times and all the bells are different. If you watch a few other cow bell videos on youtube (yes, there are more!) you get a feeling that there are a lot of different pitches... I wonder if it's regional.

Ok, perhaps I'm thinking about this too much... I just should sit back and relax and listen to the cow bells - I can hear them in the distance now! ;)

Anneliese Mostert said...

It does sound beautiful. I can just imagine Heidi walking around there.. But don't you think the cows might get headaches from that sound so close to their ears all day? Would make me eat less or just nibble gently! Thinking about it now, I'm sure I'd be able to manage chocolate without making a noise! But yes, it is a lovely sound :-)


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