“Jingle Bells” is one of the most widely recognized Christmas carols. It is often considered to be the first secular Christmas carol, which paved the way for many others. There is a widespread belief that “Jingle Bells” relates directly to Santa’s sleigh. However, the history of this song is quite different from the modern perceptions.
Who composed Jingle Bells?
The song was written by American songwriter and composer James Lord Pierpont in 1850. It was first published in 1857 with the title “One Horse Open Sleigh.” The name was revised in a 1859 reprinting and “Jingle Bells” was born. It was originally written as a song for Thanksgiving, but was mistaken for a Christmas song because it became very popular. People continued to sing the song for Christmas and the tradition stuck.
Interesting facts about Jingle Bells
- “Jingle Bells” was the first song performed in space. The astronauts smuggled a harmonica and bells aboard and played the song to Mission Control. The instruments are now on display at the National Air and Space Museum.
- The French and German version of “Jingle Bells” borrows the tune, but contains different lyrics.
- Some of the original words to the song were changed, but it is unknown who made these changes.
- Due to the worldwide fame of the song, James Lord Pierpont was included into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
- The song was first recorded in 1898 and has since been recorded by many famous artists.
- There are many alternate versions and parodies of the song. “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” is probably the most common parody of the song. It has also served as the inspiration for other songs such as “Jingle Bell Rock.”