The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Jingle Bells - Bob Tail was the horse!

    In the song, Jingle Bells there is a line that says: "Bells on bob-tail ring" The Bob Tail should be capitalized because that is the horse's name.

    I heard this. I'm finding out if it is true. Song was written in 1857.

    Apparently, this song was written by a pastor for his family and his horse's name was called Bob Tail. He had no idea of the longevity of this song.

    I do know what a bob tail is but the bells were on a horse called Bob Tail. I will find out the real scoop and check back in!

    This is a super trivia question!
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,168

    Default

    The "bobtails" refers to the bobbed tails on the horses pulling the sleigh.

    Driving horses in that era commonly had their tails docked or bobbed to avoid long hairs flying in the driver's face or tangling in the traces.

    edited to add: oops - did not read for comprehension, I have no idea if your version is true or not
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Hay

    Yes, I know about the tails.

    But if you think back to when horses were simply a vehicle to some people. They didn't name their horses Beasley or something endearing, they may have named the horse after an attribute the horse had. Lop Ear or a Bob Tail or Two Socks or whatever....I'm finding out and will let you know.

    I've had several people on facebook agree with me but I want to find out through research that this is true. Certainly interesting.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2005
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    7,894

    Default

    From Wikpedia, which is not often a stellar source, but this time provides a link to a scan of original lyrics at Lib. of congress:

    http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage...0))&linkText=0


    a: The horse's name is not "Bobtail" or "Bob". As can be seen from the linked scan (above) of the original from the Library of Congress, the horse is described as "bob tail" or "bob tailed." This refers to the tail as being "bobbed"—cut shorter or docked, which was commonly done to the tails of carriage horses to keep them neat and reduce the chance of the tail getting caught in the reins.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
    Posts
    9,362

    Default

    Pierpont (I think I spelled it correctly) had to sell his horse (which I believe was a mare) when he was stuck here without money in snowless savannah for Xmas, far away from home and family.
    His horse was not named "Bob" anything.

    Because he was so miserable ( it rains here every Xmas except in 1989 when we had 6 inches of snow on the ground!) he wrote "Jingle Bells" about his old home in New England.
    Last edited by cloudyandcallie; Dec. 24, 2009 at 03:22 PM. Reason: typo



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
    Posts
    3,788

    Default

    I really doubt it was the horse's name. It was likely just taking poetic license with grammar. To name a horse Bobtail in those times would have been kinda like naming your son Boy or your daughter Girl.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2009
    Location
    In a barn
    Posts
    967

    Default

    Actually, I have relatives with the name "Boy." Two separate relatives who were raised by their German-speaking Grandparents, and who could not understand a word of English. Really. I'm not making this up.

    So, I'm buying the Bob Tail horse name. (not really)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2008
    Location
    Goshen NY
    Posts
    2,639

    Default Hay

    Okay, it looks like my information might not be correct and if I find out anything I'll let you know. But if you do go to the link Angela provided and you go to page 4, they refer to a bob-tail bay so I think you are all right.
    Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
    One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
    Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    AridZona
    Posts
    2,874

    Default Camptown Races!

    I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag
    Somebody bet on the gray

    Oh, the long tailed filly and the big black horse,
    Doo-da, doo-da
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2002
    Location
    East of Dog River
    Posts
    6,028

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EponaRoan View Post
    I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag
    Somebody bet on the gray

    Oh, the long tailed filly and the big black horse,
    Doo-da, doo-da

    The bob-tailed nag was Flora Temple, the longtailed filly may have been Goldsmith Maid, the black was Dexter and the grey may have been Hero.

    Jingle Bells is also about ice or snow racing -
    Just get a bobtailed bayTwo forty is his speed. That refers to a trotted mile in two minutes and forty seconds, quite respectable in those days. hooked to a cutter or small sleigh.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    9,189

    Default

    A "bob-tail" means horse with a docked tail - think of the clydesdales sp? ( the beer horses for Bud )or hackney horses. Hackney ponies have their tails docked- cut off if they grow over 50" then they are hackney short tail ponies as opposed to hackney harness ponies with long tails. Just like docking a dog's tail - dobe or like aussies have bobbed or docked tails.
    Last edited by Zu Zu; Dec. 25, 2009 at 08:23 PM. Reason: spelling
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    11,211

    Default

    This even came up in Dear Abby recently, and she also debunked the idea it was the horse's name. The horse is a bob-tailed horse. Bob Tail is not its name. In a later verse they even sing "get a bob-tailed bay/two-forty for his speed/then hitch him to an open sleigh/and crack! you'll take the lead." It's just an adjective referring to the horse's tail, not it's name.



Similar Threads

  1. I want jingle bells UPDATE: I want these!!!
    By buck22 in forum Driving
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: Dec. 13, 2010, 12:01 AM
  2. Jingle Bells on the Luge Course?
    By dressagetraks in forum Off Topic
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Feb. 15, 2010, 12:38 AM
  3. Giddy Up Jingle Horse...Everybody Sing Along!
    By Barbara_F in forum Off Course
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Dec. 24, 2009, 06:44 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Oct. 15, 2009, 08:43 PM
  5. bear bells
    By FuManSlew in forum Endurance and Trail Riding
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: Feb. 23, 2009, 04:51 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness