Two weeks ago, I was folding clothes and listening to one of my Pandora stations. My roommate came in my room and chastised me. “Are you listening to ‘Jingle Bells’? Before Thanksgiving?” It is true, I was. And usually my friends have a right to criticize my unseasonal behavior, as I start listening to Christmas music much earlier than most (I allow myself to start on June 25. That’s when the countdown begins for me. 6 months ’til Christmas!!!). I recognize that this is abnormal behavior, which is why I do it privately. Alone. In my car. Or in my bathroom. I try not to subject others to my Christmas obsession until it is seasonally appropriate. But this time I was in the right. It is perfectly acceptable to listen to “Jingle Bells” in early November. “Why is that, Kristen?” you may ask. Are you ready to be blown away by this trivia gem? As I was listening to “Jingle Bells” on November 16th, I was not actually celebrating Christmas. I was celebrating Thanksgiving, the holiday for which the song was intended.
Written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont, who was the uncle of financier giant J.P. Morgan, “Jingle Bells” was originally titled “One Horse Open Sleigh” and was penned for the last Thursday of November, American Thanksgiving.
Nowadays, the song is world famous and is mostly associated with Christmas. But now you, dear friends of Refinersfire, know the truth. Take this info with you and impress a friend or two at a cocktail party this season. Oh, one other interesting fact: “Jingle Bells” was the first song to be broadcast from space. It truly is universally known! Learn more about this great tune here.
Check out this great list of all of the artists who have recorded “Jingle Bells.”
Here are some of my personal favorites:
Frank Sinatra Sings “Jingle Bells”
Andrea Bocelli and The Muppets
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters
Michael Buble and the Puppini Sisters
Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Diana Ross, Placido Domingo, José Carreras
Duke Ellington Orchestra
Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and José Carreras
Jimmy Fallon as Bob Dylan
Animals of YouTube sing “Jingle Bells”
Did I neglect to include one of your favorite performances of “Jingle Bells”. Leave me a comment below. And don’t forget to come back every Friday for more “A Thing or Two About a Tune or Two”.
Let the countdown continue! (26 days until Christmas!!!)