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Jingle Bells - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Is Jingle Bells a Christmas Carol or a Christmas song?  Well, it depends on how you define a carol, and in particular it depends on whether or not you think - as we tend to these days - that a carol has to be overtly religious (which Jingle Bells obviously isn't).  In early medieval days, a Carol was simply a lively song used to accompany a dance.  The association with religious festivals, and Christmas in particular, came later.  In either case, Jingle Bells was initially published as 'One Horse Open Sleigh' in 1857, and was credited to the American, James Pierpont.  It appears to have been intended to be sung at Thanksgiving.  The words to the first verse and the chorus are fairly ubiquitous, but verses two and four are strangers to most people, and verse three, which I have omitted here, is rarely sung.

Chords

1st Verse 

G

Dashing through the snow

                                   C
In a one-horse open sleigh,

                               D
O'er the fields we go,

D7                        G
Laughing all the way.

G
Bells on bobtail ring,

                         C
Making spirits bright.

                           D
Oh what fun to ride and sing

D7                            G         D7
A sleighing song tonight!  Oh!




Chorus

G                

Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

        A7                       D          D7
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!

G
Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

       
D                D7    G
In a one-horse open sleigh.



2nd Verse 

G

A day or two ago

                                   C
I thought I'd take a ride,

                                       D
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright

         D7                  G
Was seated by my side.

       G
The horse was lean and lank -

                                        C
Misfortune seemed his lot.

                        D
He got into a drifted bank,

       
D7                      G        D7
And then we got upsot.     Oh!





Chorus

G                
Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

        A7                       D          D7
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!

G
Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

       
D                D7    G
In a one-horse open sleigh.





3rd Verse 

G

Now the ground is white -

                                C
Go it while you're young,

                             D
Take the girls tonight

        D7                           G
and sing this sleighing song;

        G
Just get a bobtailed bay,

                             C
Two-forty as his speed,

                            D
Hitch him to an open sleigh

        
D7                               G        D7
And crack! you'll take the lead.  Oh!





Chorus

G                
Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

        A7                       D          D7
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!

G
Jingle bells, jingle bells,

G
Jingle all the way.

C                       G
Oh what fun it is to ride

       
D                D7    G
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Lyrics

Dashing through 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.
Oh what fun to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!  Oh!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

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 then we got upset.  Oh!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Now the ground is white -
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay,
Two-forty as his speed,
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.  Oh!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.  Hey!
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

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