Sprawl

Silver Bells: A New Take on an Old Classic

By Ryan McGreal
Published November 17, 2005

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the suburbs
Ring-a-ling, cell phones ring
In grating ringtones that they play

Empty sidewalks
Missing sidewalks
Lots of wide, high-speed lanes
In the air, there's a stink of exhaust fumes

Children sitting
In the back seat
Stuck for mile after mile
And there are no street corners to hear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the suburbs
Ring-a-ling, checkouts ring
The promise of more bills to pay

String of brake lights
Traffic stoplights
Flashing red more than green
As the huge neon billboards pass slowly

Here the tires crunch
Mickey D's lunch
With a styrofoam sheen
Inside three-car garages you'll fear

Silver bells, silver bells
It's Christmas time in the suburbs
Ring-a-ling, alarm clock rings
The rest of your life starts today

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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