Jingle Bells by Cimorelli just has a total 2020 vibe to it. Performed in a minor key, it is projected as a dark version of the song, one that forever works with a twinkle in the eye:
Cimorelli is just parroting a trend in recent years by some creative musicians to put a dark spin on traditional carols of Christmas. In some instances the effect is so good that you think they should have been written that way in the first place.
But Jingle Bells, which ranks right up there with Happy Birthday as one of the most well-known and popular songs ever, comes off especially dark and, thus, especially ironic in a year like 2020. This is pure musical satire, folks, and if you can’t laugh at it you aren’t looking at it right.
The other thing you need to notice about this song is that singing in a minor key in harmony can be pretty difficult. These girls pull that off nicely.
Knowing the background of the song may help. These days the origins of the song are claimed by two cities in which its composer, James Pierpoint lived during his lifetime. One version of the creation of Jingle Bells claims it was written for a Church celebration of Thanksgiving (Christmas is nowhere mentioned in the song). The other version says it was written in a pub and it was intended to be a drinking song.
At the end of the day, if you give an honest assessment of the original lyrics, Jingle Bells is all about driving fast and picking up girls.
But should it be dark?
Well, of course not, and that’s hardly the point here.
Jingle Bells is and always has been a crowd pleaser. Many are the 19th century stories where it has been used with great delight in Christmas gatherings of all kinds. Loved by old and young alike, the song is easy to learn, hard to forget and easy to draw a smile from.
This Cimorelli spin on it is much the same.
Lighten up. It’s Christmas.