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.