Song of the Week #13- Silver Bells

Silver Bells is another great holiday song.  This is another tune that is all about the season and not at all about Christmas, the holiday, itself.  Not a hymn or carol, just a great timeless holiday classic.  The song was written in 1950 by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans.  These writers also wrote Mona Lisa, Que Sera Sera, and the theme songs for Bonanza and Mr. Ed.  The song was first used in a movie, The Lemon Drop Kid, sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell.  The film follows a down on his luck con-man who decides to dress as a store front Santa and ring his bell to gain some much-needed money.  In addition to the version from Hope and Maxwell in the film, Bing Crosby and Carol Richards made the first recorded version also out in 1950.  This was so well liked by the public that the movie version was re-recorded to be a greater spectacle before its release in 1951.  Originally the song was titled “Tinkle Bell”.  Livingston quickly realized this had to be changed when he got home and told his wife about the song.  She reminded him that tinkle has another meaning!  The re-titled Silver Bells has gone on to become one of the most highly covered Christmas songs with nearly 500 versions made over the years.  Check out some of the more interesting I found in my search, just click the links below:

Film Version– This is a clip from the original film.  Check out the first Santa, looks a lot like Fred Mertz!
Crosby & Richards– The original recorded version
Perry Como– A performance from his Christmas special, featuring Diahann Carroll
Twisted Sister– An odd cover from the metal guys
Elvis Presley– A recording from his earlier days
Ray Conniff Singers– Just because Natalie needs this one!

 

 

 

 

 

One comment on “Song of the Week #13- Silver Bells

  1. Natalie says:

    The clip from the movie is amazing and awful at the same time. I was attracted to your Fred comment, but Bob Hope’s beard and his slipper stealing during the song are what makes this memorable. Yuck. I checked out the Ray Conniff Singers. Maybe a classic, but not my style.

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