“Jingle Bells” is one ofthe most widely sung tunes in the world, although its lyrics vary from country to country. It was written by one-hit-wonder James Lord Pierpont (for Thanksgiving) in remembrance of the sleigh races in his hometown of Medford, Massachusetts. He published it as “One Horse Open Sleigh” in 1857 during a decidedly unsnowy fall in Georgia! It became a perennial classic, as evidenced by the fact that:
- It was one of the first songs ever recorded for the newly invented Edison Gramophone in 1889 (no copies exist today).
- In December, 1965, it became the first song ever played from space during the Gemini 6 mission.
- Its popularity may have inspired the modern use of the term “jingle” to describe a catchy, commercial melody.
Here’s a delightful rendering of 20 Different Versions of Jingle Bells, performed by the relentlessly clever pianist and singer Tony DeSare. Enjoy!