JINGLE BELLS LYRICS

written by James Lord Pierpont Print Version

Title: Jingle Bells, originally titled "One Horse Open Sleigh"

The writer portaitAuthor: James Lord Pierpont (1822-1893) wrote the song in 1857. The said song was meant for a Thanksgiving program at a church in Savannah, Georgia where Pierpont was organist. The song was so well accepted that it was again sung on Christmas day and since then became one of the most popular Christmas carols.

The first verse and chorus are the most well-remembered sections of "Jingle Bells":


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!
(chorus)

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Although less well-known than the opening, the remaining verses depict high-speed youthful fun. In the second verse, the narrator takes a ride with a girl and loses control of the sleigh:-

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.

|: chorus:|

In the next verse (which is often skipped), he falls out of the sleigh and a rival laughs at him:


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:|

In the last verse, after relating his experience, he gives equestrian advice to a friend to pick up some girls, finds a faster horse, and take off at full speed:

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed?bay
Two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.
|: chorus:|

Sheet Music
Jingle Bells Sheet Music Jingle Bells sheet music
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Original lyrics


The 1857 lyrics differed slightly from those we know today. It is unknown who replaced the words with those of the modern version.


Dashing through 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!
O what joy it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
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 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 bobtailed bay
Two forty is his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! You'll take the lead.
|: chorus :|