Thursday, 10 December 2015

J is for...

Jingle Bells.

A popular Christmas song written by James Lord Pierpont, Jingle Bells was originally published under the title 'One Horse Open Sleigh' in 1857. It was originally written for Thanksgiving and it was said to be a drinking song. It had racy lyrics for the time, certainly unsuited to an audience of children. It implied that during a sleigh ride through the snowy woods an unchaperoned couple could get up to all sorts shenanigans.

Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

(Although less well-known than the opening, the remaining verses depict high-speed youthful fun. In the second verse, the narrator takes a ride with a girl and loses control of the sleigh.)

A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon, Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot.*
|: chorus :|

*upset, as in capsized, but also slang for drunk.

(In the next verse he falls out of the sleigh and a rival laughs at him.)

A day or two ago,
The story I must tell
I went out on the snow,
And on my back I fell;
A gent was riding by
In a one-horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.
|: chorus :|

(In the last verse, after relating his experience, he gives equestrian advice to a friend to pick up some girls, find a faster horse, and take off at full speed.)

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bobtailed bay
Two forty as his speed[b]
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack! you'll take the lead.
|: chorus :|

So Jingle Bells is a bawdy drinking song**. Who knew?

**This information was taken from wiki, so season to taste.

and judging a book by its cover. 

You know we've all done it. Come on, admit it. There's one publisher where I wait for the new release email, not to see what is coming next, but to see how bad the covers are. I try not let that influence whether I buy that book or not though. In that regard I'm more likely to be swayed by the author and my friend's recommendations.

I've been really lucky with my cover art over the last year. I've had one cover from Paul Richmond and one
from Garrett Leigh  

and two covers from Meredith Russell.

These covers are all brilliant in their own ways and I love them all for different reasons.

Don't ask me to pick one, but I can ask you.
Which one is your favourite?


  1. You know you can rely on me to Judge a Book by its Gay Cover! My favourite is Theory Unproven, but for emotional impact both Lovers entwined and Resonance are very effective. Or maybe simply that New lease on life is the only one I haven't bought. Sadly, the book budget elf is to blame for that one. J is for ....

    1. Indeed. In fact it may have been you that inspired that 'j is for' :)

      The two Meredith Russell covers really do tell a story in pictures, I think. And Resonance has a certain wow factor.
      You'll find New Lease of Life tells the story too. I know Christmas Day is an awkward time to spend money on yourself (I can't decide if it's a good or bad day for a new release, especially when it isn't a Christmas story) but everyone deserve a little treat at Christmas.

  2. I love Jingle Bells and I HAVE heard the whole song LOL. And you're right, it does sound like a bawdy drinking song.

    ARGHH I can't pick one, but honestly? I would have to say Resonance because it is just so unique and beautiful and I just love the blue color of it. And I agree, the two Meredith Russell covers really do tell a story and they are perfect for their stories!