Jingle Bells – A Song Heard Around The World

Although it was written in the United States, the song  Jingle Bells can be heard today in many countries around the world. Since the song is most often sung at Christmastime, you might be surprised to know that Jingle Bells was actually composed for Thanksgiving Day. In fact, if you listen to the lyrics carefully, you can see there are lots of references to fun and snow and celebration – but none to Christmas. Once you hear the story behind the song you’ll understand why.

The song was written by an American minister named James Lord Pierpont in 1850 and was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh”. Pierpont had written the song for a Thanksgiving service, however it became such a favorite that people insisted he perform it again at Christmas. From that time forward, the song grew in popularity and was most commonly associated with Christmas.

The song was written in the Simpson Tavern in Medford, Massachusetts. The original lyrics published in 1857 are a bit different then the ones heard most popularly today. They talk more about sled races and sleigh riding as it occurred in that area – a popular pastime especially for young people who were courting. No one knows for sure who replaced the original words with the new ones, but you can check out both sets of lyrics below. You can also listen to a version with Japanese lyrics and one with Russian lyrics below showing how this song has gained popularity around the world as a holiday favorite.

If you’d like to check out my new music video – it shares Jingle Bells along with holiday wishes in 18 different languages – hope you enjoy as you jingle all the way!

Daria’s Rockin’ Jingle Bells
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DARIA’s cd of songs for Merry Multicultural Mirth
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Videos
Jingle Bells in Japanese

Jingle Bells in Russian

Jingle Bells in Serbian http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJcUIMCSciQ

Modern Lyrics
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh

Dashing through the snow
In a one horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bob tails ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight

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 got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot


Original Lyrics – Copyrighted by James Pierpont in 1957
Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the hills we go
Laughing all the way.

Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight.

|: chorus :|

Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way!
O what joy it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago
I thought I’d take a ride
And soon Miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side

The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And we – we got upsot

|: chorus :|

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 as there I sprawling lie
But quickly drove away

|: chorus :|

Now the ground is white
Go it while you’re young
Take the girls tonight
And sing this sleighing song

Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty is his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! You’ll take the lead.

|: chorus :|

3 thoughts on “Jingle Bells – A Song Heard Around The World

  1. Pingback: Jingle Bells in Japanese :: Multi Kids Music Vids

  2. Pingback: Celebrating Holiday Traditions With Song! | Making Multicultural Music

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