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It Wasn’t Supposed to be a Christmas Song!

When James Lord Pierpont wrote his famous song, it wasn’t intended to be a Christmas song, and now it’s a seasonal favorite. 

 

The song we know as “Jingle Bells” was originally named “(The) One Horse Open Sleigh” and, according to most sources, performed at a Thanksgiving service. Some argue this point, saying the words, especially to several verses, would not have been appropriate for a church program.

 

Pierpont wrote the words and the music in the 1850s.  A native Bostonian, he became organist and music director of a church in Savannah.  His nephew was financier J. P. Morgan.

 

By the way, “Jingle Bells” was the first song played from space.  That was in December 1967 from Gemini 6; astronaut Wally Schirra played the tune on the harmonica while Tom Stafford accompanied him on sleigh bells. 

 

 

 

       Sources:  www.cnn.com, www.history.com, www.hymnsandcarolsofChristmas.com