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Jingle Bells a Brief History

Updated on February 21, 2013

Jingle Bells the song

Jingle Bells is one of the best known and loved Christmas songs in the world. This is a brief history of the song.

Jingle Bells was written some time during the 1850s and was published on September 16 1857 by James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893). Pierpoint originally entitled the song “One Horse Open Sleigh” and when it was written had nothing to do with Christmas or Thanksgiving. Pierpoint played the tune at a church program in Savannah, Georgia where and the song became so popular that it was again sung on Christmas day and since then became one of the most popular Christmas carols.

Jingle Bells is recognised as being the first song to be Broadcast from Space when Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra pulled a prank on Ground Mission control. The Astronauts send mission control the following report

“We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit… I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit…” The pair of Astronauts then produced a harmonica they had smuggled aboard the spacecraft and tore into a rendition of Jingle Bells much to the amusement of the ground crew.

Jingle Bells has been covered by hundreds of artists over the decades and continues to be performed across the world today. The song has also been the subject of many parody versions over the years including a popular variation sung in the 1960s by US school children:

“Jingle bells,

Santa smells,

Easter’s on its way.

Oh what fun it is to ride

In a beat up Chevrolet.”


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  • profile image

    Dowell 5 years ago

    christmas isn't a season...

  • profile image

    kim 6 years ago

    christmas is my favorite season and this is my favorite christmas carol!!!!!!

  • profile image

    Angel 6 years ago


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    daisyjae 8 years ago from Canada

    I like this hub! One of my favorite Christmas songs.