Jingle Bells’ is one of the most commonly known Christmas songs in the world yet its history tells us that is not specifically a Christmas song. Known today as a fun and laughter filled Christmas song and it is popular as the main topic of parody. James Lord Pierpont originally wrote the song in 1857 and it was copyrighted at that time as ‘One Horse Open Sleigh’. The song was reprinted in 1859 using the revised title of Jingle Bells Lyrics. Pierpont wrote the song for a Thanksgiving program at a church in Savannah, Georgia in the united states where he was the resident organist.
The tune of ‘Jingle Bells’ has been used in German and French songs to celebrate winter fun. Lyrics are completely unrelated to the ones we all know and love. For example, Francis Blanche wrote french song ‘Vive Le Vent’ meaning ‘Long Live the Wind’ with references to new year’s day.
In 1898 ‘Jingle Bells’ was recorded by the Edison Male Quartette in the united states. It has since been recorded by many people great artists including Bing Crosby as well as the Andrew Sisters. In 2006 when Kimberley Locke sang it, it became a primary hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.
Here is a fun fact. In 1965, December 16th ‘Jingle Bells’ was the very first song broadcast from outer space. Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford, the astronauts aboard Gemini 6 played a prank. They relayed to mission control which they saw a UFO with eight smaller UFO’s in front. Their reports followed the pilot within the larger command module UFO was wearing a red suit. The prank concluded with all the astronaut duo playing ‘Jingle Bells’ over a harmonica associated with sleigh bells that they had smuggled aboard. Today on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum both instruments have display. Interestingly, they are seen as the first musical instruments to be played in space!
‘Jingle Bells’ has also been the topic of parody. The most effective known homage for the original song is ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ by Bobby Helms. Within the 1960’s children in the us commonly sang the verse ‘Jingle bells, Santa smells, Easter’s on its way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a beat up Chevrolet.’ The following is another parody of ‘Jingle Bells’, a verse which children and adults alike loved and continue to want to sing while going for a few laughs along the way ‘Dashing with the snow, on a pair of broken skis, crashing into trees, and some moldy cheese Ha Ha Ha, the snow is turning red, I believe I’m almost dead, please rush me towards the hospital before I lose my head. Ha Ha Ha.’
‘Jingle Bells’ is still a Christmas favorite song whether sung in their original form or whether by parody, it is actually still popular all over the world today. A song that can bring families and communities together sharing good cheer and holiday fun at Christmas time every year! Christmas Sheet Music is usually as with any other kind of sheet music except for one thing; due to the popular melodies it is actually more open to re-harmonization. What does that mean exactly? Well, simply by virtue of the fact that everybody knows the melody it’s easier for your piano accompanist to adopt more harmonic chances.
Christmas songs like Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night and Joy around the world are extremely entrenched within our consciousness that not many people even need to consider the words or perhaps the melody. It simply comes naturally eqnjwd most of us, at the very least in western culture, to sing the lyrics and melodies with no thought at all.
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