FYI: "Jingle Bells" history
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Dec 14 15:32:52 UTC 2005
The search engines don't seem to add much more information, but someone can
try. I thought the Boston Globe would help on this.
"Jingle Bells", originally "One Horse Open Sleigh", is one of the best known
and commonly sung secular _Christmas songs_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_song) in the world. It was written in _1857_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1857) by _James Pierpont_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Pierpont)
(1822–1893) to be sung at a _Thanksgiving_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving) program at his church in _Boston_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston,_Massachusetts) , and was repeated at _Christmas_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas) due to its instant popularity.
As originally published, the song had a different melody as its _chorus_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorus) part, which was less joyful and more
_classical_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical) , _Mozart_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mozart) -like sounding. It is unknown who replaced the chorus with
its modern version.
The song does not mention Christmas. The first verse and _chorus_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorus) are the most often sung (and remembered) parts of
Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open _sleigh_
O'er the fields we go, laughing all the way.
_Bells_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bells) on Bob-Tail (see note below)
ring, making spirits bright,
What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way!
O what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Note: Contrary to a common misunderstanding, "Bells on Bob-tail" (not
bob-tails) refers to the actual horse pulling the said "open sleigh", who is named
Bob-tail. It is not referring to animals with bobbed tails.
Although less well known than the opening, the remaining verses depict
high-speed youthful fun. In the second verse the narrator takes a ride with a girl
and loses control of the sleigh:
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We ran into a drifted bank
And there we got upsot
In the next verse he falls out of the sleigh and a rival laughs at him:
A day or two ago
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow
And on my back I fell
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh
He laughed at me as I there lay
But quickly drove away
In the final verse, he picks up some girls, times a horse, bets on it, and
then takes off at full speed:
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young
Take the girls along
and sing this sleighing song
Just bet a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh and crack!
You'll take the lead
In spirit – "Go it while you're young" – the song anticipates the themes of
songs about girls and cars of a century later like _Chuck Berry_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Berry) 's "Maybellene" or the _Beach Boys_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beach_Boys) ' "Fun Fun Fun".
* _1 "Jingle Bells" in space_
* _2 Parodies_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle_Bells#Parodies)
* _3 Pronunciation_
* _4 Media_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle_Bells#Media)
* _5 External link_
"Jingle Bells" in space
"Jingle Bells" was the first song broadcast from space, in a Christmas-themed
prank by _Gemini 6_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gemini_6) astronauts _Tom
Stafford_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Stafford) and _Wally Schirra_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wally_Schirra) , _December 16_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/December_16) , _1965_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1965) .
Contacting Mission Control with a report
"We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south,
probably in polar orbit... I see a command module and eight smaller modules in
front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit..."
The astronauts then produced a smuggled harmonica and sleighbells and
broadcast a rendition of "Jingle Bells" (_Smithsonian Magazine_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smithsonian_Magazine) December 2005 pp25ff).
Like many simple, catchy, and popular melodies, "Jingle Bells" is often the
subject of _parody_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parody) .
Numerous parodies start out with the line,
Jingle bells, shotgun shells
Another version that has been common among _elementary school_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_school) children throughout the English-speaking
world since the late 1960s at least, is of unknown origin.
Jingle bells, _Batman_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman) smells,
_Robin_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_(comics)) laid an egg,
(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=The_Batmobile&action=edit) lost a wheel
and _Joker_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Joker_(comics)) got away.
The song has appeared in the _1993_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993)
comedy film _Look Who's Talking Now_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Look_Who's_Talking_Now&action=edit) as well as the first _Simpsons_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Simpsons) Christmas special (arguably the first
episode). It first appeared in a Batman-related media on an episode of _Batman:
the Animated Series_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman:_the_Animated_Series) , where, fittingly, it was sung by the Joker as he escaped from Arkham
Asylum. _The Flash_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Flash) also uses it in
reference to Batman on an episode of _Justice League Unlimited_
An "instrumental" version of Jingle Bells heard every year (much to the
annoyance of many listeners) has the melody rendered by means of dog barks for
each note. Attributed to the "Singing Dogs," it was put together by a Danish
recorder of bird songs who had removed the barks from his bird tapes, although
there are allegations that the sounds were edited to make them on pitch.
Ethnic comedy singer _Yogi Yorgesson_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Yogi_Yorgesson&action=edit) , perhaps better known for the _Dr. Demento_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Demento) favorite, "I Yust Go Nuts at
Christmas", also recorded this song from the point of view of a theoretically
hardy Nordic type, who finds that riding in the open air in winter can be
Yingle Bells, Yingle Bells,
Yingle all de vay;
I should have vorn long undervare,
In dat one-horse open sleigh
_Stan Freberg_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stan_Freberg) references bits
of many secular Christmas songs in his _1959_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959) part-song, part-prose "Green Chri$tma$" parody of the
over-commercialization of Christmas, including this segment which refers to another famous
Christmas song, takes a shot at 1950s cigarette ads, and segues in and out of a
version of the song, also referencing the other meaning of "_Jingle_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingle) " as an advertising tune:
(Say, Mother, as sure as there's an "X" in "Christmas", you can be sure
those are TINE-EE-TIM Chestnuts roasting... etc.)
Tine-ee-Tim, Tine-ee-Tim Chestnuts all the way!
(Tine-ee-Tim's roast hot, like a chestnut ought! And they are mild...
Jingles here, jingles there, jingles all the way!
Dashing through the snow
In a 50-foot coupé
O'er the fields we go
Selling all the way
The version by Da Yoopers begins this way:
Dashing t'rough da snow
In my rusty Chevrolet
Down da road I go
Sliding all da way
A slightly off-kilter instrumental reference to the song precedes the
otherwise original music and lyrics composed by _Ray Stevens_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Stevens) for his novelty song, "Santa Claus is Watching You!"
(He's everywhere! He's everywhere!)
Likewise, the tune is used as instrumentl intro to _Elmo and Patsy_
(http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Elmo_and_Patsy&action=edit) 's irreverent
novelty song, Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.
Another Dr. Demento favorite is "Laughing Jingle Bells", consisting entirely
of an overly-cheerful man doing the song entirely as different kinds of
laughs, only speaking at the end when he says "Merry Christmas!" in a laughing
_Norelco_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norelco) once advertised their
newly-designed electric razors with a jingle that went something like this:
Floating heads, floating heads,
Floating all the way
* In most modern versions, the word "Jingle" is pronounced
"JING-gull". In _Bing Crosby_ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bing_Crosby) 's 1940s-era
recording, which is still available and still gets occasional airplay, Crosby
pronounces it "JING-ull".
James Lord Pierpont
The colorful James Pierpont was the author of "One Horse Open Sleigh" which
was first published in 1857. In 1859, he reissued the song under a new name:
"Jingle Bells." It was a "sleighing song" which was a popular topic of the
time and had nothing to do with Christmas, or for that matter, Thanksgiving.
... (Worth reading in full.)
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