Music

'Jingle Bell Rock': The Story Behind the Feel-Good Holiday Song

Some Christmas songs are so synonymous with the season that it's hard to even imagine a time before hearing them on the radio or in your favorite holiday films. Pretty much since it was first released in 1957, "Jingle Bell Rock" has been a holiday classic, covered by everyone from Reba Mcentire and Blake Shelton to Hall & Oates. But it's Bobby Helms that helped turn the song into what it is today with his original recording.

 

The song was written by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe, two men who worked in Public Relations and the advertising industry. Though Helms later claimed that he wrote the song along with guitarist Hank Garland who also played in Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree." The two men claimed that the initial song they received was titled "Jingle Bell Hop" and that numerous edits were made to make the song what we know today. They maintained this claim until they both passed away though they never did receive writing credits. 

Read More: "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer": The Story Behind the Song

Inspired by the classic Christmas tune "Jingle Bells" and popular '50s bops at the time, such as "Rock Around the Clock," the song is as full of holiday cheer and it's the perfect tempo to dance to. It's sure to put you in a festive spirit. Between Garland's electric guitar and backup singing from the Anita Kerr Quartet, it's no wonder the song hit the top 10 on the charts despite being released just 2 days before Christmas. Though Helms had a couple of country music hits including "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel," he would always be best known for "Jingle Bell Rock." The song charted on the billboards multiple times over the years especially after appearing on the soundtrack for popular holiday films like Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, and Jingle All The Way.

"Jingle Bell Rock" Lyrics

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock

Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring

Snowin' and blowin' up bushels of fun

Now the jingle hop has begun

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock

Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time

Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square

In the frosty air

What a bright time, it's the right time

To rock the night away

Jingle bell time is a swell time

To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh

Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet

Jingle around the clock

Mix and a-mingle in the jinglin' feet

That's the jingle bell rock

Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock

Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time

Dancin' and prancin' in Jingle Bell Square

In the frosty air

What a bright time, it's the right time

To rock the night away

Jingle bell time is a swell time

To go glidin' in a one-horse sleigh

Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet

Jingle around the clock

Mix and a-mingle in the jinglin' feet

That's the jingle bell

That's the jingle bell

That's the jingle bell rock

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'Jingle Bell Rock': The Story Behind the Feel-Good Holiday Song