Play Jingle Bells on our online piano.
Jingle Bells is the most famous American Christmas Carol.
Written by church organist James Lord Pierpont, it was published as One Horse Open Sleigh.
Jingle Bells was originally created for Thanksgiving!
One mystery is where Pierpont composed the song. A memorial plaque in Medford, Massachusetts claims to be the birthplace of Jingle Bells, where Pierpont wrote the song in 1850 at the Simpson Tavern. The song was apparently inspired by the city’s popular sleigh races.
Mrs. Otis Waterman, one of the author’s associates, called the song a merry little jingle, which became part of the name when published as Jingle Bells in 1859.
Jingle Bells was often sung at parties: people would jingle the ice in their glasses as they sang the chorus. In the 1800’s, a sleigh ride gave a couple a rare chance to be together, unescorted, in distant forest and fields.
Here are some of the lesser known verse lyrics:
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
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.
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.