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Origins: The One Horse Open Sleigh / Jingle Bells

DigiTrad:
AUSTRALIAN JINGLE BELLS
DASHING THROUGH THE SKY
FARNESOL
JINGLE BELLS
JINGLE BELLS (Australian)
JINGLE BELLS (Vietnam)


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masato sakurai 19 Nov 02 - 08:57 AM
Genie 19 Nov 02 - 09:03 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Nov 02 - 09:26 AM
IanC 19 Nov 02 - 10:57 AM
Genie 19 Nov 02 - 11:21 AM
MMario 19 Nov 02 - 11:31 AM
CapriUni 19 Nov 02 - 01:18 PM
Genie 19 Nov 02 - 01:25 PM
masato sakurai 10 Dec 02 - 12:01 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 10 Dec 02 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,D_hand 11 Dec 02 - 10:39 AM
Wolfgang 11 Dec 02 - 11:50 AM
Haruo 11 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM
masato sakurai 11 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM
Snuffy 11 Dec 02 - 07:01 PM
Sandy McLean 12 Dec 02 - 12:41 PM
GUEST,Q 12 Dec 02 - 02:07 PM
Haruo 12 Dec 02 - 03:09 PM
Sandy McLean 12 Dec 02 - 03:52 PM
Susan-Marie 17 Dec 02 - 12:36 PM
Haruo 02 Jan 03 - 12:01 AM
Jim Krause 02 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM
Uncle_DaveO 03 Jan 06 - 10:50 AM
CapriUni 03 Jan 06 - 11:11 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 06 - 02:34 PM
CapriUni 03 Jan 06 - 07:53 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 03 Jan 06 - 09:27 PM
CapriUni 03 Jan 06 - 11:30 PM
GUEST,Guest 24 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM
GUEST 17 May 13 - 10:00 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 08:57 AM

JINGLE BELLS in the DT is said to have been composed by John Pierpont in 1859. The original, however, was written and composed by "J[ames]. Pierpont", titled "The One Horse Open Sleigh", and published in 1857. There're some differences in lyrics & melody. Here's the sheet music from the Levy collection (also HERE at American Memory).

Title: The One Horse Open Sleigh. Song and Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Written and Composed by J. Pierpont[typo corrected].
Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 277 Washington St., 1857.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Dashing thro' the snow in a one horse open sleigh
First Line of Chorus: Jingle bells, Jingles bells, jingle all the way; Oh! what joy it is to ride
Dedicatee: To John P. Ordway, Esq.
Plate Number: 18200
Subject: Sleds & sleighs
Subject: Transportation
Subject: Courtship & love
Subject: Accidents
Call No.: Box: 062 Item: 044

THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH
(J. Pierpont) [James Pierpont]
(MIDI from Public Domain Music: 19th Century American Popular Music)

1.
Dashing thro' the snow,
In a one horse open sleigh,
O'er the hills we go,
Laughing all the way;
Bells on bob tail ring,
Making spirits bright,
Oh what sport to ride and sing
A sleighing song to night.

CHORUS:
Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.
Jingle bells, Jingle bells,
Jingle all the way;
Oh! what joy it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.

2.
A day or two ago
I tho't I'd take a ride
And soon miss Fannie Bright
Was seated by my side,
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seem'd his lot
He got into a drifted bank
And we, we got upsot.

(CHORUS)

3.
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)

4.
Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls to night
And sing this sleighing song;
Just get a bob tailed bay
Two forty as his speed,
Hitch him to an open sleigh
And crack, you'll take the lead.

(CHORUS)

Robert DeCormier Singers & Ensemble (on A Victorian Christmas) sing "The One Horse Open Sleigh" based on the original (HERE is their sound clip). The song was published later as "Jingle Bells, or, The One Horse Open Sleigh" in 1859.

Title: Jingle Bells, or, The One Horse Open Sleigh. Song & Chorus.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: By J. Pierpont.
Publication: Boston: Oliver Ditson & Co., 277 Washington St., 1857*.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: Dashing thro' the snow, In a one horse open sleigh
First Line of Chorus: Jingle bells, Jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh! what joy it is to ride
Plate Number: 23488
Subject: Sleds & sleighs
Subject: Snow
Subject: Transportation
Subject: Courtship & love
Call No.: Box: 062 Item: 029

*The date should have been "1859", according to Richard Jackson (Popular Music of Nineteenth-Century America, Dover, p. 272) and James J. Fuld (The Book of World-Famous Music, p. 313).

"The song is said to have been originally written for a local Sunday-school entertainment. [...] James Pierpont was born in Boston in 1822, became a composer and died in Winter Haven, Fla., in 1893. James Pierpont was a son of John Pierpont, the grandfather of John Pierpont Morgan, the banker and founder of The Pierpont Morgan Library. [...] The earliest known printing of the familiar chorus was in Students' Songs, published and arranged by Harvard Students, and copyrighted June 9, 1880,..., and there is a comma after 'Jingle'" (James J. Fuld, The Book of World-Famous Music, 4th ed., Dover, 1995, pp. 313 & 680). The titles (now with the familiar chorus) in The Most Popular College Songs (Hinds, Hayden & eldridge, 1904, 1906, pp. 74-75) and Carmina Princetonia: The Princeton Song Book (G. Schirmer, 1914, 1927, p. 121) are "Jingle, Bells!" and "Jingle, Bells" respectively (with no mention of the composer).

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 09:03 AM

Arigato, Masato!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 09:26 AM

"The song is said to have been originally written for a local Sunday-school entertainment."

I have heard that the occasion for the entertainment was Thanksgiving, not Christmas. In other words, what is probably the most popular (at least in the U.S.) Christmas song was originally written for another holiday.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: IanC
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 10:57 AM

In its original form it was not regarded as suitable for the children of the age, so I'm told.

The lyrics don't suggest it would be entirely appropriate subject matter for a 19th Century sunday school, though a church choir might be OK. It has a sort of vaudeville/music hall feel to it, though, to my mind.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 11:21 AM

Well, BWL, whenever folks chide me for singing "Jingle Bells" after Christmas, I remind them that the song has nothing to do with Christmas!

(In one of the Jewish retirement homes where I do music, "Jingle Bells" is taboo for group programs, because there are a few residents who can't get over its association with Christmas. The fact that it's really only a sleighing song doesn't matter to them.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: MMario
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 11:31 AM

Of course it was not suitable for children. Especially since the "gentleman" took a lady UNESCORTED into the intimacy of his sleigh.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: CapriUni
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 01:18 PM

"Of course it was not suitable for children. Especially since the "gentleman" took a lady UNESCORTED into the intimacy of his sleigh."

And the sleigh tipped over, and (presumably) they were stuck together for sometime, after tumbling on top of one another...

Now that I think about it, I have to wonder whether it really was that poor bob tail's fault... reminds me of more modeern gents that take their ladies out for a drive and "accidentally" run out of gas in some secluded spot... ;-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Genie
Date: 19 Nov 02 - 01:25 PM

... And somebody was "sprawling" in the snow, too! (What IS this world coming to?)


Masato, if you haven't already, please PM Dick G. to show him your corrections on this song and its author. He's going to revise the DT this spring and welcomes corrections.

Genie
    It's all right, Genie - we'll pick it up. Songwriter attribution corrections should be posted in the attribution permathread. Other information gets picked up in the normal harvesting process. If it's posted at Mudcat, you can consider it submitted to the Digital Tradition.
    Note, however, that it may take a long time for things to show up in the DT. Since things are already available to those who search Mudcat, we see no reason to rush the editing of the Digital Tradition.
    -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 12:01 PM

French-Canadian "Jingle Bells" is "C'est Noël."

Two recordings (by Odilon Rochon, 1930; and by André Lamarre, 1943) are HERE.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 10 Dec 02 - 09:31 PM

I remember reading in the Reader's Digest Christmas Songbook, that it was written for Thanksgiving, and I am sure it said James as well.

Thanks Masato for the corrections.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bel
From: GUEST,D_hand
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 10:39 AM

I remember my sister singing this verse:

'Hang your stocking up,
Hang them in a row,
then jump quickly into bed,
and off to sleep we go,

Parhaps they just made it up


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 11:50 AM

Schlittenfahrt im Schnee (German version) makes a pure christmas song out of it (as so often I prefer the original).

Wolfgang

Note from Joe Offer: Wolfgang's link is dead. I found these lyrics that are reportedly from a recording by Roger Whittaker.

    SCHLITTENFAHRT IM SCHNEE


    Chor:
    Schlittenfahrt im tiefen Schnee,
    weiße Felder, weiße Tannenwälder,
    überall ist Fröhlichkeit,
    denn es ist ja Weihnachtszeit.

    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Schlittenfahrt im Schnee.
    Alle Wege sind verschneit,
    zugefror’n der See.
    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    silbernes Geläut.
    Hört ihr wie es singt und klingt,
    Weihnachten ist heut.

    Überall in jedem Haus,
    sieht’s hell und friedlich aus.
    Im Fenster brennt ein Licht
    und gibt uns Zuversicht.
    Warme Decken bis zum Kinn,
    so fahren wir dahin
    und treffen heute irgendwann,
    vielleicht den Weihnachtsmann.

    O Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Schlittenfahrt im Schnee.
    Alle Wege sind verschneit,
    zugefror’n der See.
    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    silbernes Geläut.
    Hört ihr wie es singt und klingt,
    Weihnachten ist heut.

    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    Schlittenfahrt im Schnee.
    Alle Wege sind verschneit,
    zugefror’n der See.
    Jingle bells, jingle bells,
    silbernes Geläut.
    Hört ihr wie es singt und klingt,
    Weihnachten ist heut.

    Hört ihr wie es singt und klingt:
    O schöne Weihnachtszeit!


Source: http://www.lyrics85.com/ROGER-WHITTAKER-SCHLITTENFAHRT-IM-SCHNEE-LYRICS/133939/


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Haruo
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM

Tintilaro is the usual Esperanto version. Not specifically a Christmas (indeed, in Oz this would be more appropriate in July); fairly close translation of Pierpont's first two stanzas and the chorus.

Zamenhof's Birthday is this coming Sunday (Seattle Esperanto Society meeting at 1 pm for lunch at The Old Spaghetti Factory); the good Doctor will be 143, and I'm sure we'll sing the hilarious "zambankanzono" (approx. = "Zamenhof's birthday carol") Feliĉegan Naskiĝtagon to the "Jingle Bells" tune.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: masato sakurai
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 12:23 PM

Where did Pierpont write the song? In Savannah, Ga.? See these articles:

"Bells on Bob-tails Ring": James L. Pierpoint and Jingle Bells


Savannah: The Jingle Bell city, right?


A Savannah church, a Christmas song, a Beaufort minister

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 07:01 PM

Not made up at all, D hand. We learned as kids:

Christmas Eve is here
And we go off to bed
As we climb the stair
Nods each sleepy head
Hang our stockings up
Hang them in a row
Then jump quickly into bed
And off to sleep we go

WassaiL! v


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Sandy McLean
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 12:41 PM

Strange not to be able to sing Jingle Bells in a Jewish nursing home.
What about White Christmas? Was Irving Berlin not Jewish?
Good music should be enjoyed by all! Sometimes these pollitically correct ideas are rather stupid.
                   Sandy


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 02:07 PM

Just what are jingle bells? They are round, cast bells with a jinglet inside. This site describes them and gives the sizes. Jingle Bells


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Haruo
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 03:09 PM

Sandy, who said you can't sing "Jingle Bells" in a Jewish nursing home? Whether the original occasion of its creation was Thanksgiving or otherwise, it's clearly, in its original form, a winter song with no religious content. Now, I can see why some of your more straightlaced Jewish religious types might object (for the same reasons that it was not originally deemed suitable for children or taliban), but that's another story. At those nursing homes (if they exist) there're a heck of a lot of traditional Yiddish folksongs that would also be taboo.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Sandy McLean
Date: 12 Dec 02 - 03:52 PM

Haruo, see old posting on this thread: Genie nov.19 11:21.
            Sandy


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Subject: Lyr Add: Something Smells (Jingle Bells parody)
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 17 Dec 02 - 12:36 PM

SOMETHING SMELLS (Jingle Bells)
(Rex Fowler)

Oh you know I love to fish, and to play one on my line
To me there is no greater thrill or way to pass the time
Beside a babbling brook, in a river or a lake
Don't get one near my nose, my dear, oh no, for goodness sake
Oh, something smells, something smells, something smells like fish
Something smells, and I can tell 'cause it's right here on my dish
Oh, something smells, something smells, something smells like fish
someThing more vile than a pile of something that goes squish

I know it may sound strange that I could hate the smell
Of something that I love so much and that I do so well
Oh I can bait my hook even when it squirms
But there is only one thing worse than a can of rotten worms
Oh, something smells, something smells, something smells like fish
Something smells, and I can tell 'cause it's right here on my dish
Oh, something smells, something smells, something smells like fish
someThing more vile than a pile of something that goes squish

copyright 1999 Rex Fowler


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Jingle Bells Christian eo-karaoke
From: Haruo
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 12:01 AM

Two days before Christmas a guy who has an Esperanto version of the Coventry Carol for me informed me of a website in Brazil that has a lot of Esperanto karaoke files for download; one of which is a version of Jingle Bells that starts out from David Richardson's version based on the Pierpont original but adds (in the refrain) Christian/Christmas elements; and Miss Fanny Bright has been bowdlerized into a wife and kid!:

Kristfest' Sonorilo
Sinos de Belém - Jingle Bells
Esperanto: Kar Vasenlow
Kristnaska kanto

Glitante sur la neĝ'
malantaŭ solĉeval'
Rapide iras ni
sur kampo kaj en val'

Gliding on the snow / behind a single horse
Rapidly we go / through vale and field [of gorse
                     - just to make it rhyme! I'll stop.]
Sur la ĉevala vost'
gajigas tintilar'
Glitrajdo kaj kantado estas
Ĝojego sen kompar'
Upon the horse's tail / tinkle bells make merry
Sleighing and singing is / a joy beyond compare
Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Jam naskiĝis Di' infan'
Por bono de homar'
Jingle-bells jingle-bells / jingle on the way
God is already born a child / for the good of humanity
Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Benon de dia favor'
Portu de koro al kor'
Jingle-bells jingle-bells / jingle on the way
A blessing of divine favor / carry from heart to heart.
Semajnon antaŭ nun
glitrajdi iris ni
Edzino kaj filin'
kaj tutapude mi
A week ago / we went sleighriding
Wife and daughter / and me right beside them
Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Jam naskiĝis Di' infan'
Por bono de homar'

Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Benon de dia favor'
Portu de koro al kor'

Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Jam naskiĝis Di' infan'
Por bono de homar'

Tintilar' tintilar'
tintu sur la voj'
Benon de dia favor'
Portu de koro al kor'

Ho! ho! ho! ho! ho!

A bit bizarre. Wish I had a machine that did karaoke files.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Jim Krause
Date: 02 Jan 03 - 11:58 AM

To quote Cheech Marin, "Far out, man!" Loses a bit in the translation, don't you think?
Jim


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bel
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 10:50 AM

In the second half of the third verse, the following is given above:

A gent was riding by
In a one horse open sleigh,
He laughed as there I sprawling lie,
But quickly drove away.


That should be "lay".   Not only is "lay" the grammatical form that'sappropriate, but it is clearly right by the rhyme scheme.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 11:11 AM

Dave --

But "lie" does not not fit the rhyme scheme. Overall, scheme of the song is: A/B/A/B-C/D/C/D. "Lie" would make it A/B/A/B-C/D/D/D.

But yeah grammatically, "lay" is correct. It would be a bit wierd, but you could fix the grammar by switching the second half of that verse to the present tense:

"A gent comes riding by,
in a one-horse open sleigh.
He laughs as there I, sprawling, lie,
and quickly drives away!"

(finally, truth in advertising about all this "winter wonderland" stuff!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 02:34 PM

"He laughs as there I sprawling lie" is the sentence in the 1857 sheet music.
Lie is right in present tense which was the way the composer wrote it.

The next verse has the expression 'go it,' which meant do it, exuberantly. I heard the expression many years ago in Georgia, and my wife tells a story using it, but I think it has now dropped out of usage. Anyone heard it recently?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 07:53 PM

Just realized my typo: in the phrase "Lie" would make it A/B/A/B-C/D/D/..." I meant to type "Lay."

And, to answer your question, Q -- no, I've not heard "Go it," but I have heard "go to it!" (and, until you mentioned it, I had thought "Go it while you're young" was a typo).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 09:27 PM

Digression-
'Go' has several old uses that are seldom heard now. I just looked in "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," by J. E. Lighter, and found these:
'He (it) is all the go.'
Broad-brim hats are all the go.'
a 'go-shop' - a place where gin and water is sold.
'It's a go.' A bargain, an agreement, let's do it.
'Go.' A prize-fight.
'I just can't go that cold slop.' I can't abide, or can't stand.
'I am disposed to go it,' 'go it strong.' To do it exuberantly or forcefully.
'go,' or 'goes.' Says or answers.

Plus a whole passel we still use- go the limit, go for it, go down, no-go, etc., etc., etc.

Getting back to lie and lay, sit and set.
A style manual I have says "These two pairs of irregular verbs are often bothersome." Further, it says "the distinction between the verbs in the two pairs continues to be carefully observed in written English, though not always in speech."
"Lie and sit are always intransitive, which means that they cannot take objects or occur in the passive voice. Lay and set are always transitive and therefore must either have objects or be in the passive.

Problems with folk- correct the grammar or sing what was sung?

Set yo' selves down, boys, an' listen to me-

Lay(?) down little dogies, lie(?) down.

Lay (lie) up nearer, brother, nearer, for my limbs are growing cold, ("The Dying Californian")

"Lay your head over, hear the train blow." (almost always sung correctly.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: THE ONE HORSE OPEN SLEIGH (Jingle Bells)
From: CapriUni
Date: 03 Jan 06 - 11:30 PM

I said, earlier, that switching tenses in the middle of the last verse was a bit odd. But as I thought about it, I realized it wasn't, really. It's just conversational:

"You know what happened the other day? I slipped on the snow and (get this), this guy comes riding up, and he just laughs at me as I lie there, sprawling on the ground, and drives away!"

---

(And I'd always heard that last line as: "Hang your head over, hear the wind blow," which avoids the whole lay/lie issue.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: YINGLE BELLS (Yogi Yorgesson)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 11:57 AM

YINGLE BELLS
(Yogi Yorgesson)

My wife says to me
Let's not drive the old coupe
Hitch up once again
The one-horse open sleigh.

The horse was awful mad
If he could talk he'd say
You'll be sorry you hitched me to
A one-horse open sleigh.

Yingle Bells, Yingle Bells
Yingling all the way
It ain't fun like it used to be
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Yingle Bells, Yingle Bells
Yingling all the way
I should have worn long underwear
In that one-horse open sleigh.

Hear the rest at:
http://www.stinalisa.com/YogiYorgesson.html


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Subject: RE: Origins: The One Horse Open Sleigh / Jingle Bells
From: GUEST
Date: 17 May 13 - 10:00 AM

"From:GUEST,D_hand
Date: 11 Dec 02 - 10:39 AM

I remember my sister singing this verse:

'Hang your stocking up,
Hang them in a row,
then jump quickly into bed,
and off to sleep we go,

Parhaps they just made it up "

LOL, No I remember singing this in infant school, Myself and my two mates used to crease up when singing this verse in assembly and try not let the teacher see us.   So So funny, but lovely memories.


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