When Jeremy and I decided to talk about “Jingle Bells” on Monday, I was prepared to complain.
Then, I read an article in Atlantic Magazine, by William Weir, published in December 2010, and I have changed my mind completely. Weir explains that the Nazis guarded their magnetic tape recording capabilities, and when the war ended, there was a frenzy of experimentation. In the early 1950’s, Danish ornithologist Carl Weismann used the new recording techniques to catalogue bird sounds. According to Weir, the recordings were often marred by the sound of angry dogs.
He spliced together the barking, mixing the sounds together and alternating playback speeds to change the pitch. The resulting Jingle Bell dog song was released in the United States in 1955. Today, with the applications we have available on the computers, the same editing would take an easy few minutes.
I checked, and to be sure, there are about a million versions of barking dogs on YouTube, but the Dr. Demento cd has the original version. I also checked out meowing Jingle Cats. There are several, but the quality and variety of their meowing voices leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t see the Jingle Cat versions becoming best sellers next Christmas (thank goodness). One version of “Holly Jolly Christmas” posted in 2010 is not too bad. Believe it or not, people love these meowing and barking pets. It has spawned a company, jinglecats.com with entire albums of beastly Christmas music. Check it out.
Cats or dogs? Which make better singers?