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Thursday, 17 September 2015

Jingle Bells

The words and music for this Christmas classic were written by James Pierpont, a popular American composer with the title of "One Horse Open Sleigh." It was copyrighted on September 16, 1857.

Pierpont was a member of a staunch Unitarian Church family, and his father was a minister. "Jingle Bells" was originally written for a local Sunday school entertainment on Thanksgiving Day in Savannah, Georgia. Its catchy tune was soon taken up by Christmas revelers.

James Lord Pierpont was the uncle of the financier and banker  J. P. Morgan.

Some of the many artists to record versions of this song include Jim Reeves, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, Lawrence Welk, Andy Williams, Michael W. Smith and Kimberley Locke.

One of the more unusual versions is by The Singing Dogs, which was created by a Danish man named Don Charles and featured four dogs barking out the tune. It was originally released in 1955 as a medley with "Pat-A-Cake" and "Three Blind Mice," but in 1970 the song got some attention and was re-released with just "Jingle Bells."

"Jingle Bells" was the first song to be sung in space, On December 16, 1965 the Astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra crooned the tune accompanied by a harmonica to Mission Control during a pre-Christmas mission aboard Gemini 6.

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