The Song of the Bell (German: “Das Lied von der Glocke”) is a poem that the German poet Friedrich Schiller published in 1798. It is one of the most famous poems of German literature and with 430 lines also one of the longest. In it, Schiller combines a knowledgeable technical description of a bell founding with points of view and comments on human life, its possibilities and risks.
As a small boy Schiller came in contact with the trade of bell founding because Georg Friderich Neubert, the son of the Ludwigsburg bell founder, was a classmate at his Latin school and the Schiller family lived only a few doors away from the casting house. It is also considered to be certain that Schiller visited the Neubert family again during his stay in Ludwigsburg 1793/94. More than ten years passed between the first basic idea for the poem and its completion. During this time Schiller closely observed the sequence of operations in a bell foundry. In the family of the Rudolstädt bell founder Johann Mayer it was related from generation to generation, "how Schiller repeatedly visited the casting works and interrogated the casting master, who was at first was not pleased about this disruption to the work, and how the pale scholar considerately took a seat at the wall in a high-backed chair in order not to disturb the work."