Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Silver Bells, written in 1950 by the composer Jay Livingston (1915-2001) and his partner, the lyricist Ray Evans (1915-2007),   

was created for the Paramount picture "The Lemon-Drop Kid." The picture takes place in New York at Christmas and the studio wanted a Christmas song for it. The song writing duo responded to their request with a song entitled "Tinkle Bell" based on department store Santa's and Salvation Army workers tinkling their bells on New York street corners (and they were also inspired by a tiny bell Livingston and Evans had on their work desk).  The title was changed to "Silver Bells" after Jay Livingstone was reminded by his wife about the children's slang associated with the word "tinkle." The verse and chorus of this song were composed so that they could be sung at the same time (a form in music termed counterpoint). This added a fuller dimension to the music and helped make it a successful song. "Silver Bells" became a huge hit when Bing Crosby recorded a duet of the song with Carol Richards.