Jingle Bells – for English Learners

Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi, EnglishClub’s music man, recorded a new holiday song for you to enjoy. If you are familiar with Jingle Bells, you’ll have no trouble singing along to this rock n’ roll version.

What is a “bobtail”?

You’ve probably heard the line “bells on bobtail ring” in the traditional Jingle Bells song. Have you ever wondered what a “bobtail” was? We have, and we did a little research during the production of this video to sort out the meaning of this line. It turns out “bobtail” is not the name of the horse in this song, and therefore does not need to be capitalized. A bobtail refers to a dog or horse’s tail that has been cut short. In the 1800s, when Jingle Bells was written, bells were often added to the animals’ tails so that the sleighs weren’t so quiet in the snow. Since there were no traffic lights, the jingling bells prevented accidents at crossroads.

What part of speech is “jingle”?

You might think that “jingle bells” were a special kind of bells (adjective + noun). However, this is not the case. In this song “jingle” is an imperative verb. “Jingle bells” means, Make a loud sound, bells. We want everyone to know that we are coming through!

Find more songs for English learners on our YouTube channel. You can also download the songs as podcasts.


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