Jingle Bell Rock: non-holiday songs with bells
December 24, 2010 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to come up with a list of songs that include a jingle bell-like sound but aren't Christmas/holiday songs. For example, "Kiss Me On The Bus" by the Replacements (the bells kick in at about 2:14).

I keep stumbling on songs like this and forgetting to make note of them. I want to make a playlist that includes them. Please keep in mind that my musical taste runs to alternative/1980s college radio/power pop (hence the Replacements example above).

I know sometimes that the jingle bell sound is actually a tambourine. Please use your best judgement for whether it sounds enough like jingle bells. Thanks, all!
posted by litlnemo to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
The second half of Fuck and Run definitely has jingle bells (at about 1:50 and 2:40).
posted by otolith at 12:04 PM on December 24, 2010

I once tried to do a 'Non-Christmas Christmas album' with songs like this... of course I did'nt keep a list handy....

I do remember The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog (which I think started it)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:11 PM on December 24, 2010

I'm not entirely sure if The way we get by by Spoon uses jingle bells or just a tambourine, but think it definitely has the sound you're looking for.
posted by sarastro at 12:27 PM on December 24, 2010

While googling around and trying to verify that yes, indeed, those are sleigh bells in the intro of Radiohead's Airbag, I found this article which may be of interest to you.
posted by aparrish at 12:29 PM on December 24, 2010

Wilco - Radio Cure. Very much not a Christmas song - totally has bell tones.
posted by jander03 at 12:35 PM on December 24, 2010

Seen How Things Are Hard by Elliott Smith.
posted by emelenjr at 12:40 PM on December 24, 2010

Best answer: Our local independent radio station does a daily theme. This happened to be their theme on Wednesday. They pick the "three best" and play them in the afternoon, and then generally post a bonus one on their Facebook page.
posted by librarianamy at 12:42 PM on December 24, 2010

"They" by Jem sounds like it should be very much what you're looking for. I've always associated it with the holidays due to the intro even though it's not a holiday song.
posted by 1901gunner at 12:43 PM on December 24, 2010

Snowman by XTC.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:45 PM on December 24, 2010

"Selfless, Cold & Composed" by Ben Folds (not 'til about 45 seconds from the end.)
posted by emelenjr at 12:47 PM on December 24, 2010

Tori Amos — Cornflake Girl.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2010

Response by poster: These are great so far! Thanks!

I've had this question in my mind as a potential AskMe for several years now and never got around to posting it before. I'm amused to see that other people have been thinking about the topic too.
posted by litlnemo at 1:30 PM on December 24, 2010

Oh, man, wait until I get to somewhere I can use my iTunes — I made a whole mix centered around those sounds.

First off, Alice Coltrane's Ptah the El Doud is full of them.
posted by klangklangston at 1:41 PM on December 24, 2010

"Back From Somewhere" by Hüsker Dü.
posted by dfan at 1:48 PM on December 24, 2010

Bjork - Gling Glo
posted by chrisulonic at 1:53 PM on December 24, 2010

"You Didn't Have to Be So Nice" by The Loving Spoonful
posted by dhens at 2:02 PM on December 24, 2010

Jingle bells as instruments originated, as far as I can work out, from the bells fitted to decorative Russian troikas like this. Listen to this one go past for the original sound (and note how when they say "dashing through the snow" they are not kidding - these things really moved!) The bells would come out if you were going to pimp your troika for a special event like a race meeting or a wedding. That, I think is what Prokoviev was trying to capture in this (originally non festive) piece.

This link to Raymond Scott's Siberian Sleigh Ride might qualify - in terms of not being something you get blasted at you each Christmas.

Morris Dancing music is driven by Sleigh bells - like this.
posted by rongorongo at 2:35 PM on December 24, 2010

The Christmas Song by The Raveonettes! (yeah, obviously it is a Christmas themed song, but not a traditional nor a carol ... would fit the bill for what you describe)
posted by mannequito at 3:48 PM on December 24, 2010

"Bicycle Race" by Queen
posted by SisterHavana at 4:55 PM on December 24, 2010

The first movement from Mahler's 4th symphony -- from the very first bar! (about one minute into the video)
"Victorian Ice" by British Sea Power (sounds much more like jingle bells in higher quality)
posted by clorox at 7:43 PM on December 24, 2010

The last part of the chorus of The Ramones' Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.
posted by Rykey at 1:19 PM on December 25, 2010

Charlie Freak, by Steely Dan.
posted by troywestfield at 6:15 PM on December 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Wrens - I Guess We're Done (there's an offhand reference to Christmas in the bridge, but otherwise has nothing to do with any holiday).
posted by anthom at 7:20 AM on December 28, 2010

Alone This Holiday - The Used w/ Kelly Osborne....AMAZING!!!
posted by TeachTheDead at 2:30 AM on January 7, 2011

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