Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

“The story I must tell”: Jingle Bells in the Minstrel Repertoire


The narrative works extremely hard to convince through evidence: we have a date, an eyewitness, and the events that inspired the song's conception. Since it is written in bronze and mounted on stone, the story seems fixed and immovable. However, cracks have begun to form in the beloved “Jingle Bells” narrative, and as with many such sentimental stories, we find there is always more to uncover. This essay confronts one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time: “Jingle Bells; or, The One Horse Open Sleigh,” whose history has usually been told in relation to a singular event—“Where was it first written?” The answer depends on where you ask, since both Medford, Massachusetts and Savannah, Georgia lay claim to being the song's city of origin. Commemorative plaques can be found in both cities, and this musical North–South discord carries on to this day.

Corresponding author
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Theatre Survey
  • ISSN: 0040-5574
  • EISSN: 1475-4533
  • URL: /core/journals/theatre-survey
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 5
Total number of PDF views: 9 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 102 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 10th August 2017 - 25th September 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.