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Do you know 'Jingle bells"?(15) Options
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017 10:47:01 AM

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The song "Jingle Bells" was originally written as a Thanksgiving song.
Akkuratix
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017 3:13:55 PM
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In Finland we use it as a christmas song, ( kulkuset, sleigh-bells).
NKM
Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017 5:48:59 PM

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In the U.S. Jingle Bells is generally thought of as a Christmas song, even though Christmas is not mentioned in any of its verses.

Some other popular "Christmas songs" that don't mention Christmas: Jingle Bell Rock, It's a Marshmallow World and Winter Wonderland.

And the traditional Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly mentions "the blazing yule" but nothing actually about Christmas per se.

Sarrriesfan
Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:21:06 PM

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NKM wrote:
In the U.S. Jingle Bells is generally thought of as a Christmas song, even though Christmas is not mentioned in any of its verses.

Some other popular "Christmas songs" that don't mention Christmas: Jingle Bell Rock, It's a Marshmallow World and Winter Wonderland.

And the traditional Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly mentions "the blazing yule" but nothing actually about Christmas per se.



'Deck the Hall does mentions 'Yule Tide treasures as well', it can be argued that Yule is a slightly archaic term for Christmas, that derived from an older pagan festival.

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/yule
mactoria
Posted: Sunday, January 22, 2017 2:43:38 AM
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The American Music Preservation site and the History Channel site both "Jingle Bells" may have first been a Thanksgiving song for a church choir to sing, though some doubt about what were considered 'racy' lyrics in the 1850s (original version includes 'upsot' which is variation of 'upset' meaning drunken or drunkard). Some evidence that it was actually first performed publicly at a minstrel show by someone in 'black face' which if true is really weird. "Jingle Bells" was first known as "One Horse Open Sleigh," which isn't that unusual of a change or origin...America's national anthem's melody was originally an old English-Colonial drinking song. Which is a little to understand because of the high notes that make it hard for most people to sing correctly, but maybe if you're drunk it's easier.....
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:01 AM

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mactoria wrote:
. . . because of the high notes that make it hard for most people to sing correctly, but maybe if you're drunk it's easier.....

If you're drunk you don't notice that you miss the note! Whistle

Hi Ashwin! Maybe I should really ask the Americans, but - is it really cold and snowy enough at Thanksgiving to ride a sleigh?

Hi Akkuratix!
Welcome back - JJ has been working on teaching us Finnish, occasionally.

We (in Britain) associate the cold weather with Christmas and bells with church - though, as Sarrriesfan says, decorating with holly or other evergreen trees, and Yule are much older than Christianity.
Eoin Riedy
Posted: Monday, January 23, 2017 12:36:08 PM

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One problem with the Thanksgiving idea is that American national Thanksgiving didn't become fixed on a late November date until 1863, and Jingle Bells was published in 1857.
The bigger problem, however, is that the lyrics have absolutely nothing to do with giving thanks. It's all about driving fast with your girlfriend.
mactoria
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:10:44 AM
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DragO: re your question about late November (Thanksgiving time in US) being cold enough for snow. Not in most normal years, except maybe at the higher elevations which aren't that populated. Some areas close to Canada may occasionally have early snow, but not as a rule. As Riedy indicates, the late November date for Thanksgiving didn't happen till after the song was first copyrighted. So seems likely it was written with snow and a sleigh ride in mind, then was adopted later as a Christmas song. However, I couldn't find anything on internet that was reputable that was definitive about its origin. Interesting to talk about and research though, a kind of low-key controversy compared to more serious stuff.
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 4:41:36 PM

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Not sure how far I'd trust a Californian to know about seasonal snow …!  Whistle

There's an old Thanksgivin song, remembered from my grade-school days:

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
the horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Actually, I remember that we said "Grandmother's house" rather than "Grandfather's", but hereabouts we always expected to have snow on the ground before the middle of November, and those words made perfect sense to us.

(As for the horse "carrying" the sleigh, that bit needed some explanation, as we youngsters weren't familiar with that rather archaic, more generalized usage.)

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 4:38:47 AM

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NKM wrote:
hereabouts we always expected to have snow on the ground before the middle of November

That's wild.

You're just north of Algeria and Egypt - the most northerly point of the contiguous states (omitting Alaska and Hawaii) is the same latitude as Spain, Italy and Turkey.
I'm on the same as central Newfoundland.

Just goes to show the differences caused by being on the Eastern side of a continent and the Western, and the effect of wind & waves.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 5:02:42 AM

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This map tells a lot:


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