Serene Sunday: Jingle Bells

I know you’re thinking, “Judiang, Christmas is OVER!”  But wait – Jingle Bells is not a holiday song.  There’s nothing in it about Christmas.  It describes fun while dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh with an iffy horse.  According to my pal Wiki, James Lord Pierpont published the song in 1857 as “One Horse Open Sleigh.”  Over the years, it came to be associated with Christmas.  However, this is a winter ditty to be enjoyed all season especially with snow on the ground.  Here are the original 1857 lyrics; nobody knows when the modern verses were introduced.

Dashing thro’ 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;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

A day or two ago
I tho’t 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 bob-tailed bay
Two forty is his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack, you’ll take the lead.
|: chorus 😐

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of taking a sleigh ride since childhood.  City folk don’t do sleigh rides down State Street (unless there’s a Great Blizzard).  I’ve been been on a sleigh or I even a sled for that matter.  So, take my love of snow, a sleigh, and add very warm clothes and it should be heaven, right?  I suggested this to my suburban friends who looked at me blankly, then sighed as if to say, “where do city folk get these ideas?”  They didn’t nix the idea, so I’m hopeful.

Here’s a jazzy rendition by Michael Buble.  Enjoy.

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4 thoughts on “Serene Sunday: Jingle Bells

  1. Funny you should write about sleigh rides and winter songs. It’s always been my thought that Jingle Bells has nothing to do with Christmas. It’s a snow song. 😉

    I’ve wanted to go on a sleigh ride for as long as I can remember, too. There is something magical about horses and snow together. When hubby and I were much younger (before having children LOL), my uncle hooked us up with a horse trainer near his home in northeastern PA. We went riding in the February cold, through the woods, across the meadows and over the creeks around his farm, on two gorgeous Irish mounts. As we were riding, it began to snow. Not heavy, scary snow. Just enough to give the ride a hint of magic, not to mention a bit of romance, too. All these years later, it’s still something we talk about with great fondness.

    I think each time it snows, I say something to hubby about wanting to take a sleigh ride. I always picture it happening a la Currier and Ives (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/American_Homestead_Winter_-_Currier_and_Ives.png. I used to have this print hanging in our dining area.) It’s definitely a bucket list item.

    *fingers crossed* that you get to have your sleigh ride … and soon!

    By the way, LOVE your musical choice! 🙂

  2. Given that we didn’t get your typical “I am celebrating Christmas for six weeks” posts this year I can even put up with “Jingle Bells.”

    I have also never been on a sleigh ride. I have been on a hayride through snow, on a sled, and — my absolute favorite — sledding on an inner tube.

  3. I just hate having to put away all the Christmas decorations. Good for you for “keeping spirits bright”. It doesn’t have to be just at Christmas time. There’s a lot more winter left where I am! 🙂
    I haven’t been on a sleigh ride either. I’m sure I would love it. You sound like way more fun than your friends!

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