Friday, November 29, 2002

It's recently come to my attention that Jingle Bells was originally a song for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. According to Reader's Digest:
James Pierpont wrote it in 1857 for a Thanksgiving program at the large Boston church where he taught Sunday school. He titled his song "The One-Horse Open Sleigh" and made the rhythm so jaunty and the words so catchy that his 40 little Sunday schoolers learned it almost instantaneously. * * * The children's first performance was such a success that they were asked to repeat it at Christmastime, whereupon the sleigh apparently took on the identity of Santa's sled, and "Jingle Bells" became a Christmas song forever.
Which is totally unfair. We Americans don't have any good Thanksgiving songs. And it's not like Christmas needs any more songs anyway. Return Jingle Bells to Thanksgiving where it belongs!


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