09 December 2009

Jingle Bells

The most insidious ear worm of them all.  Maybe.  Jingle Bells was written by a Boston Sunday School teacher named James Pierpont who just happened to hit on one of those mythic melodies that resonates with everyone.  Never knew the second verse, though.

Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh
Over 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 
O 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 upsot 

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.

Of more interest to me would be some kind of study about how the alternate version spread from kid to kid until every kid in the country knows it.  Its weird, and so American.

Here's some versions from Rob Weir's blog:

Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg
The Batmobile lost a wheel
and the Joker got away

Other reported versions include:

Shotgun shells, Santa smells,
Rudolf ran away,
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a beat-up Chevrolet!


Jingle bells, shotgun shells,
Santa Claus is dead,
Rudolf got a .22
and shot him in the head.


Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells,
BB's in the air.
Oh, what fun it is to ride
in Santa's underwear!"


Jingle Bells, Batman smells
Robin laid an egg,
The Batmobile lost a wheel,
and the Joker joined ballet , Hey!