Jingle Bells – Unterseher

Two Part upper or lower voices, or SATB, piano

Everybody’s favorite Christmas song, in a bright and snappy arrangement for every choir. Score sample below.

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PROGRAM NOTES

Although this song has come to be one of the world’s most favorite and familiar Christmas songs, it was originally written for Thanksgiving. It has no specific reference to either holiday, though, and is just the story of folks having a wonderful time joy-riding out in the snowy fields in a horse-drawn sleigh, pulled by a fast horse. “Two forty as his speed” refers to making a mile in two minutes and forty seconds, a little over 22 miles per hour. Jingle Bells also has the distinction of being the first song broadcast from space, by the Gemini 6 astronauts Wally Schirra and Tom Stafford in 1965.

NOTES ON PREPARATION AND PERFORMANCE

Note that the word “upsot” is a vague reference to being somewhat tipsy. Give yourself permission to sing this piece with abandon, verve, and glee.

This piece is also part of the set “Christmas Joy,” this version sold separately and laid out with consideration for two-part choirs, either upper or lower voices. The Piano 4 hands version of the accompaniment matches up very well, and especially if you invite the audience to sing along on the chorus, it balances the forces more effectively.

TEXT

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 laugh 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.
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 there we got upsot.

Oh, 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.

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

This entry was posted in Children's chorus, Choral, Christmas, Difficulty Level, Easy, High school, Middle school, Piano, SA & SSAA chorus, SATB accompanied, Secular, TB & TTBB chorus and tagged by Reginald Unterseher. Bookmark the permalink.

About Reginald Unterseher

Reginald Unterseher is Music Director and Composer-in-Residence at Shalom United Church of Christ, Richland, Washington. His works are published by Oxford University Press, Walton Music, and through NW Choral Publishing at www.reginaldunterseher.com. He is the Washington State Music Teacher’s Association’s “Composer of the Year” for 2013. Mr. Unterseher’s compositions are regularly performed throughout the world and have been featured at ACDA and MENC conventions in the US as well as at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He currently serves as Repertoire & Standards Chair for Men’s Choirs for the Northwest Division of the American Choral Director’s Association, and is in demand as a choral and vocal adjudicator and clinician. Mr. Untereseher is a past Artistic Director of Consort Columbia (now Mid-Columbia Mastersingers), founder and past Chorus Master of Washington East Opera, and an active member of Male Ensemble Northwest.