Yes, you heard that right. I often wondered about the meaning of the song, Silver Bells. It turns out to be the most delightful story of Paramount Pictures in the making of a movie called, “The Lemon Drop Kid.”
The producers were insistent that the composers, Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, write a Christmas song for the movie. Both Ray and Jay were nervous about their contracts with the production company and were concerned that a new hit song for Christmas an impossible feat.
As behind every good man is a better woman, the original song was called Tinkle Bells. When Jay told his wife the name of the song she suggested that he was out of his mind! Jay was not thinking of the double meaning of what tinkle referred to. I wonder how the song would sound today and if it would bring a chuckle!!!
The inspiration behind the song came from a bell sitting on their desk. They began to think of the Salvation Army volunteers starting the season with their bells soliciting donations on street corners. I must say those volunteers will bring joy to my heart and “ring” in this season with plenty of Joy and “tinkle” to my ears!
The song was debuted in 1951 and was sung by one of my favorites, Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. Bring on the Silver bells and place your donations in the red bucket today. Try singing the song tinkle bells and see if it doesn’t bring a smile and laughter.
Wiki suggests “One theory to explain the choice of 25 December for the celebration of the birth of Jesus is that the purpose was to Christianize the pagan festival in Rome of the Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means “the birthday of the Unconquered Sun”, a festival inaugurated by the Roman emperor Aurelian (270–275) to celebrate the sun god and celebrated at the winter solstice, 25 December. According to this theory, during the reign of the emperor Constantine, Christian writers assimilated this feast as the birthday of Jesus, associating him with the ‘sun of righteousness’.” And since Jesus is the “Son” of God I found this interesting.
Many popular customs associated with Christmas developed independently of the commemoration of Jesus’ birth, with certain elements having origins in pre-Christian festivals that were celebrated around the winter solstice by pagan populations who were later converted to Christianity. These elements, including the Yule log from Yule and gift giving from Saturnalia, became syncretized into Christmas over the centuries.
The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336AD, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine (he was the first Christian Roman Emperor). A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on the 25th December.
Love history, the research on this was endless. It is non the less a day to celebrate Christianity, love of God and his only Son, Jesus, and all he brings to this earth. AMEN