Day 5: Jingle Bells

Barbra Streisand with the most intense version of Jingle Bells these ears have ever heard combined with a ridiculous amount of Christmas lights = CHRISTMAS MANIA!!!!!

Jingle Bells is one of the most flexible Christmas tunes and its incarnations are legion. Everyone knows both the proper words and the deliciously silly grade school alternate text. The Aussies have even adapted it to fit by swapping out the one horse open sleigh for a rusty Holden ute.

Rather unusually for Christmas songs, we know the exact date of birth for Jingle Bells. On 16th September 1857, American organist James Pierpont copyrighted the song ‘One Horse Open Sleigh’.

According to a source no less august than the Smithsonian Magazine, Jingle Bells was the first song broadcast from space, in a Christmas-themed prank by Gemini 6 astronauts Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra on December 16, 1965. They sent Mission Control this report:

We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit… I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit…

The astronauts then produced a smuggled harmonica and sleighbells and broadcast a rendition of “Jingle Bells”

Here is the tune used a little more….uh…judiciously in a 1933 cartoon called Christmas Night.

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