Christmas Songs

By: Gail Cohen & Gilbert DeBenedetti

'Jingle Bells'

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.

Some songs are known for their appeal to adults; others for their popularity with children. "Jingle Bells" enchants both audiences, but it might surprise you to know that the original music, composed by Boston Sunday school teacher James Pierpont, was conceived as a Thanksgiving song in 1857.

Originally titled "The One Horse Open Sleigh," the song was taught by Pierpont to his pupils for a performance and was delighted to find that all 40 of them learned its lyrics almost immediately. Declared "a merry jingle" by a close friend, this holiday carol was fine-tuned and performed again at Christmastime, and quickly became a Yuletide classic.


"Jingle Bells" Lyrics

1. Dashing through the snow,

in a one-horse open sleigh,

O'er the fields we go,

Laughing all the way.

Bells on bobtail ring,

Making spirits bright,

What fun it is to ride and sing

a sleighing song tonight!

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way!

Oh what fun it is to ride

in a one-horse open sleigh!

2. 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 then us got upsot!

Oh! Jingle bells ...

Christmas sheet music: "Jingle Bells"

There are many stories that speculate about the origins of the Christmas tree, but just one song exists that honors the beauty of the trees we decorate every holiday season. On the next page, we provide an overview of "O Christmas Tree."