Jingle Bells

 

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 What fun it is to ride and sing A sleighing song tonight! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way. Oh! what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh. Jingle bells, jingle bells, Jingle all the way; Oh! what fun it is to ride In a one-horse open sleigh.

Although less well-known than the opening, the remaining verses depict high-speed youthful fun. In the second verse, the narrator takes a ride with a girl and loses control of the 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 up sot.[a] |: chorus 😐

One Horse Open Sleigh

Title page

First half of the chorus

Second half of the chorus and other verses

Musical notations of the original version

In the next verse (which is often skipped), he falls out of the sleigh and a rival laughs at him:

A day or two ago, The story I must tell I went out on the snow, And on my back I fell; A gent was riding by In a one-horse open sleigh, He laughed as there I sprawling lie, But quickly drove away. |: chorus 😐

In the last verse, after relating his experience, he gives equestrian advice to a friend to pick up some girls, find a faster horse, and take off at full speed:

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[b] Hitch him to an open sleigh And crack! you’ll take the lead. |: chorus 😐