One Horse Open Sleigh, The (Pierpont)

(2 customer reviews)

From $3.00

This arrangement features the original melody and harmonies in the chorus that were sung in 1857, not the melody everyone is familiar with today! It’s a great educational experience for everyone to hear how the melody was originally intended to be sung!


SKU: AJM16047 Category: Tags: , ,


James Pierpont copyrighted and published The One Horse Open Sleigh while he was living in Savannah, Georgia in 1857. It may have been composed in 1850 in Medford, Massachusetts, or later in Georgia. In 1859, it was republished with the additional title, Jingle Bells. It has become, by far, the most popular secular Christmas piece worldwide, even though the lyrics never mention Christmas.

The original melody in the chorus was transformed fairly quickly into the melody most people are familiar with today, but sources are not sure exactly when this took place. This particular arrangement by James L. King III uses the original melody, harmonic progressions and lyrics as published in 1857. It sounds surprisingly fresh while still being traditional: the accompaniment uses typical Alberti bass patterns in common use during the period of time. It is an effective simplification of the original.

Key: Ab Major

Mood: happy, festive

Pedagogy: Alberti bass, staccato

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2 reviews for One Horse Open Sleigh, The (Pierpont)

  1. Anonymous

    I like the piece because it is not real simple, but it is also not too hard. Many Christmas music seems to be one or the other and not good for those students that are in the middle. This will be great for those students!

  2. Anonymous

    Great resource! Loved that this doesn’t just provide you with the music, but also a little history and the lyrics of this much beloved song! So neat to hear the original melody/harmonies and fun to share with others!

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