Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Comparing the Best 'Jingle Bells'

MUSIC
President Obama made headlines recently for singing "Jingle Bells" during the tree lighting ceremony at the White House just a few days ago. The performance was less than spectacular, but nobody seemed to care.

The first Christmas carol you ever learned to sing, next to "Away In a Manger," was probably "Jingle Bells." (Or if you grew up in my grandmother's Sunday School class, you were taught "Gospel Bells" to give the song a Christian meaning.) It's an instantly recognizable tune and one that has been give many different treatments over the years. While Obama's version won't go down in history as one of the best, here is a collection of some that will:


Lauren Daigle
The most recent version has a sound as if it was written many years ago.


Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters
Recorded in 1942, this is probably the most classic version of tune.





Barbara Streisand
Barbara Streisand her version of the song titling it, "Jingle Bells?" in 1967.


Amy Grant
Amy Grant then recorded Streisand's version in 2008 for her "Christmas Collection" album.


Kay Thompson
Kay Thompson sang her version of "Jingle Bells" back in 1945.


Andy Williams
Andy Williams preferred Thompson's version and recorded his own take on the song in 1963. I'm not sure when this video was made but the song still sounds pretty good, but the dancers, not so much.


Michael W. Smith
In 1998, Michael W. Smith also did his take of Andy William's take on Kay Thompson's "Jingle Bells" in 1998.


Brian Setzer
For a rockin' version, try out Brian Setzer's version.


Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra tweaked the beginning of the tune to make it his own with "I love those j-i-n-g-l-e bells"


Evie Tornquist Karlsson
Though not really a version of "Jingle Bells," Evie wrote "Come On Ring Those Bells" in 1977 and for many Christian family homes, it was just as popular. Here is a video of her singing the song in 2012.


Kristen Chenoweth
Ironically, also in 2012, Kristen Chenoweth released her own Christmas album that featured Evie's song with a large country twang.


Bare Naked Ladies
Perhaps the most unique version of "Jingle Bells" comes from the Bare Naked Ladies (complete with the line "Batman smells...) recorded in 2008.


Schroeder
But the very best belongs to Schroeder.