Jingle Bells

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The original 1857 “Jingle Bells” had a slightly different chorus featuring a more classical -style melody. The “I V vi iii IV I V I” chord progression is a common theme in classical music, except for the final two chord changes, the melody as originally written follows the same pattern as Pachelbel’s Canon, resembling the tune Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, which appeared about fifty years after “Jingle Bells”.The “Jingle Bells” tune is used in French and German songs, although the lyrics are unrelated to the English lyrics. Both celebrate winter fun. The French song, titled “Vive le vent” (“Long Live the Wind”), was written by Francis Blanche and contains references to Father Time, Baby New Year, and New Year’s Day.

There are several German versions of “Jingle Bells”, including the popular Roy Black versions of Christkindl and Christmastime.

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