People are just realizing that Jingle Bells was a Thanksgiving song with a different name before it became a Christmas staple

The iconic Christmas tune Jingle Bells has a mysterious history that may link it with yet another holiday.

First published in 1857 under The One Horse’s Open Sleeve, Jingle Bells was written as a Thanksgiving song before it became a Christmas staple.

Jingle Bells Was Written as a Thanksgiving Tune Before It Became a Christmas Staple


Jingle Bells Was Written as a Thanksgiving Tune Before It Became a Christmas Staplecredit: Getty

Jingle Bells is attributed to Medford, Massachusetts, resident James Lord Pierpoint.

The young man wrote the song after being inspired by a one-horse open-sleigh race in Salem in 1850.

It makes sense how the songs might be associated with the winter Christmas season, but one theory says otherwise.

Many believe Pierpoint wrote the song for a Thanksgiving program at his father’s Sunday school, American Music Preservation reported.

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When you look closely at the lyrics, you’ll notice that there are no direct references to Christmas.

While some say the holiday ditty was written in a Massachusetts tavern, Georgia residents say otherwise, as it was copyrighted in 1857, when he was living in Savannah.

Born in 1822, the songwriter had an exciting history.

While he was born into a New England Unitarian family that took a strong stand against slavery, he fought in the Confederate Army against his will.

He joined the war after he had moved to Georgia to work as an organist at a church.

While in the army, he wrote several songs supporting the cause, including Strike for the South and We Conquer or Die.

Although the song is said to have been written in 1850, it took a while to gain popularity.

In 1864, the Salem Evening News printed a story about what was now being called Jingle Bells, leading Pierpoint to claim ownership.

The first recordings of the tune were documented on music boxes and other mechanical musical instruments.

In 1898, the Edison Male Quartet was the first singing group to record the song.

More singers performed the song in the early 20th century, but not until 1943.

Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters made the recording, eventually becoming the iconic version most Americans know and love today.

Although the Thanksgiving Sunday school theory is one of the most popular, it has been criticized by some experts.

Margaret W. Debolt, a Savannah historian, claimed that the lyrics were too raunchy to be performed in a church in the 1850s.

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According to Snopes, “references to courtship that would not have been allowed in a Sunday school program of the time, such as ‘Go While You’re Young,'”.

Despite the obscure history, nearly everyone agrees that the nostalgic picture of riding through snowy fields with Christmas on the horizon makes it a true staple of today’s holiday season.

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