Songwriter's Corner|

With Christmas time upon us, I thought we’d dissect one of the more popular Christmas songs of all time, “Jingle Bell Rock”.

At a first glance this lyric seems extremely simple and almost corny but let’s take a look under the hood and see what’s really happening here.

The first thing that I love about this lyric is the use of “jingle bell” relentlessly. The first and second verses start out saying it three times. So right off the bat you’ve got the title and hook with a catchy, simple melody. It immediately puts you into the flow and direction of the song.

In this case repetition is a good thing, it makes the song extremely memorable. So in all I count 17 times the words “jingle bell”, “jingle bells”, “jingle” or “jingling” are used. And that doesn’t account for the fact that the verses and chorus repeat.

If I called up one of my songwriting buddies and told him / her that I wrote a song that repeated a phrase 17 times, they would be suspect. They certainly wouldn’t dismiss it because every great songwriter knows that repetition is a good thing, as long as it’s done right…and this song is done very right.

Also the use of inner rhymes is genius in this song. “Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring”, “Snowing and blowing”, “Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time”, “Dancing and prancing”.

Then the chorus uses an extremely crafty trick. In the 1st and 3rd lines it uses an inner rhyme followed by the same word, “time”. So “bright time, right time” and “bell time, swell time”. And then it rhymes the 2nd and 4th line, “away” and “sleigh”. The way it sings seems so simple and effortless, but this is extraordinary lyric writing. Lyric crafting doesn’t get any better than this.

Combine all these crafting tricks with a catchy melody and a story that’s fun and engaging and you have yourself a Christmas classic. And as I’ve mentioned before Christmas standards are some of the biggest money makers. Study the lyric below and you will be a better lyric writer for it.

“Jingle Bell Rock”

Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun

Jingle bell jingle bell jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in jingle bell square
In the frosty air

What a bright time, it’s the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time, is a swell time
To go gliding in a one horse sleigh

Giddy up jingle horse pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet
That’s the jingle bell rock

I hope everyone has an awesome Christmas and feel free to enter our free monthly lyric contest. -Jim Cristaldi

Nashville Song Service
PO Box 210831, Nashville, TN 37221

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