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Music historian James Fuld notes that "the word jingle in the title and opening phrase is apparently an imperative verb." In the winter in New England in pre-automobile days, it was common to adorn horses' harnesses with straps bearing bells as a way to avoid collisions at blind intersections, since a horse-drawn sleigh in snow makes almost no noise.The rhythm of the tune mimics that of a trotting horse's bells.He stayed on in the city even after the church closed due to its abolitionist leanings.The double-meaning of "upsot" was thought humorous, and a sleigh ride gave an unescorted couple a rare chance to be together, unchaperoned, in distant woods or fields, with all the opportunities that afforded.
Some area choirs adopted it as part of their repertoire in the 1860s and 1870s, and it was featured in a variety of parlor song and college anthologies in the 1880s.
Another popular spoof of the song is "Pumpkin Bells," a "Pumpkin Carol" which celebrates Halloween and the "Great Pumpkin." It originated in The Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols, Dashing through the bush, in a rusty Holden ute, Kicking up the dust, esky [thermal cooler-box] in the boot [trunk], Kelpie [an Australian sheep herding dog breed] by my side, singing Christmas songs, It's Summer time and I am in my singlet [undershirt], shorts and thongs [sandals] "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms pays homage to "Jingle Bells", directly referencing the source song's lyrics, but with a different melody.
Originally recorded and released by Helms in a rockabilly style, "Jingle Bell Rock" has itself since become a Christmas standard.
It is an unsettled question where and when Pierpont originally composed the song that would become known as "Jingle Bells".
A plaque at 19 High Street in the center of Medford Square in Medford, Massachusetts commemorates the "birthplace" of "Jingle Bells," and claims that Pierpont wrote the song there in 1850, at what was then the Simpson Tavern.
In 1935, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra reached No. 1 hit on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart with a recording of the song.