American English Podcast

135.2 - The Story of "Jingle Bells"

December 15, 2022 Shana Thompson Season 3 Episode 135
American English Podcast
135.2 - The Story of "Jingle Bells"
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Show Notes Chapter Markers

In today’s lesson you’re going to hear the story of the creator of Jingle Bells, his questionable character and we’ll  go through the lyrics of the song so if you want to sing it in English, you can.

This is Part 2. In Part 1, we spoke about  the common English expression Bells and Whistles.


In December of 1965, a spacecraft called Gemini 6 was flying in outer space, looking back down at earth. The crew members on board were on call with Mission Control when they announced the following alarming message: “We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He’s in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south and has a very high climbing ratio. It looks like it might even be a … Very low….” 

After a few more details, sleigh bells started to jingle and the familiar tune Jingle Bells  passed from Gemini 6 to Mission Control. With a harmonica and sleigh bells, Wally Shirra (Walter M. Shirra Jr.) and Tom Stafford, played the first live song from space: Jingle Bells. 

You heard me. The popular Christmas song, Jingle Bells was the first song ever played live from space.

And yes, the astronauts were playing a joke on Mission Control;  they were in fact pretending to see Santa. 


Premium Content: This episode is part of Season 3. By purchasing Season 3 transcripts, you'll be able to access the full episodes, the full PDF transcripts for episodes 101 - 150, an Mp3 download  and the premium podcast player to work on your pronunciation.  


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Jingle Bell Lyrics