What are the lyrics to ‘Jingle Bells’?

'Jingle Bells' might be a Christmas classic but did you know its origins and who composed it - or even all of its lyrics?

What are the lyrics to 'Jingle Bells'?

When was ‘Jingle Bells’ written and composed?

Instantly recognisable ‘Jingle Bells’ was written by James Lord Pierpont Massachusetts in 1857 and was originally called ‘The One Horse Open Sleigh’. Although not written as a Christmas song it started to become associated with the festivities in the 1860s and today Christmas would be unthinkable without a rousing edition of ‘Jingle Bells’.

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When was the first recording of ‘Jingle Bells’?

Will Lyle was the first to record ‘Jingle Bells’ in 1889 using an Edison cylinder, and since then it has been recorded by many stars including Glenn Miller in 1941 and Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters in 1943. More recently, in 2006, Kimberley Locke had a No. 1 hit with it.

What are the lyrics to ‘Jingle Bells’?

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bob tail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!

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.

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 

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 as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you’ll take the lead.

chorus 

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Did you know…?

… ‘Jingle Bells’ was the first song to be broadcasted from space? Using a smuggled  harmonica and sleigh bell astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra performed a version in 1965 while up in space.