As the cold snow wistfully falls, I dream of romantic horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park in New York City. Thick, soft blankets and some steaming, hot chocolate add to the ambiance. The horses appear happy trotting down the paved walkway sparkling in Christmas lights. But, some of these animals are better suited for a faster track, like sledding in the streets. For example, the ever-popular horse racing in the 1800s. The Massachusetts resident, James Pierpont wrote about the sport in his tune, “One-Horse Open-Sleigh,” later known as Jingle Bells in 1850.
Portrait of James Lord Pierpont, courtesy of New England Historical Society
Enjoy James Pierpont’s tune, “Jingle Bells”, sung by Bing Crosby
As this story tells, he wrote it in the Simpson’s Tavern, a boarding house, on the only piano in town. An unproven detail is he wrote his winter song for his father’s Sunday School class for Thanksgiving…