Words & Music: James Pierpont (1857)

Lyrics

Verse
Dashing thro’ 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.
O! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
O! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Optional 2nd Verse
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 we, we got upset.
[to Chorus]

Background

According to the Medford Historical Society (of the town in which the song was written), the song was inspired by the town’s popular sleigh races during the 1800s. However, even though it is commonly thought of as a Christmas song, it was actually written and sung for Thanksgiving.

Performances

Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby with a playful little rendition from Happy Holidays with Bing & Frank:

And here is Bing with the immortal Andrews Sisters: