Hello,I’ve to be asked to uncover the meaning of “bobtail” in the Christmas carol solder Bells. The prevailing guess: v is the steeds pulling the sleigh have actually bobtails to which the solder bells space fastened. The human who wants to understand thinks the bells are fastened onto a bobtailed sleigh. I have searched the Web, electrical library, Britannica Online, the American Memory section of the Library of congress On-Line to no avail. Deserve to anyone help?Thanks in advance,Harper Wood

My guess would be the the steed does have actually a bobbed tail, however that the bells space attached to its harness, no to the tail itself. I’ve seen harnesses v bells on lock in parades.

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You’re right, mostly. The “bob-tail” refers to the horse, no the sleigh. The bells to be fastened come the harnesses, though, not the steeds tail.

“Bells top top bob-tails ring” does sound much better than “bells on the harnesses of whacked tail horses ring”.

The overwhelming bulk of civilization have much more than the average (mean) number of legs. – E. Grebenik

Robert “Bob” Tail to be the sleigh driver.


“Bells ~ above bob-tails ring” does sound better than “bells ~ above the harnesses the whacked tail steeds ring”.Oh, ns don’t know…I think it’s sort of catchy. And what other opportunity can we have to use words “whacked” in a Christmas song?

Actually, the verse is as follows:“Bells top top Bob’s tail ring”Bob is the name of the horse, and there room bells on his tail.

-At the very least that to be the way it was defined to me.

-Dragwyr“If God had meant for male to eat waffles,he would certainly have offered him lips prefer snowshoes”-Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

I constantly thought the city went:

“Bells on Bobtail ring”

and Bobtail to be the name of the horse. Seems prefer I check out that somewhere…

Try this link: www.cs.ruu.nl/pub/MIDI/SONGS/CHRISTMAS/jingle.html

This web page from the computer system Sciences room at Utrecht college in The Netherlands offers ALL the lyrics to “Jingle Bells,” composed by john Pierpont in 1859.

From the first stanza: “Bells top top bob-tail ring”

From the fourth stanza: “Just bet a bob-tail bay”

A “bay” is a reddish-brown horse. Unfortunately, the lyrics carry out not say where those bells to be affixed.


The explanation:When ours hero asked miss Fanny bright to fulfill him because that a sleigh ride, she answered “I’ll it is in there through bells on!” for this reason a renowned expression and a Christmas carol were at the same time born.

Quand les talons claquent, l’esprit se vide.Maréchal Lyautey

Okay, my understanding, based upon what I recognize of horses, yet with no cites to back it up:

“Bob-tails” were and are horses that have had actually their tails gathered up and tied right into a knot, often seen this days in dressage events. The objective of knotting up the horse’s tail (sorta prefer a bun) is that it keeps the steed from whacking the sleigh or carriage driver in the face with the tail. (In dressage, it permits the judge a much better view that the horse’s performance and leg-work.)

Bells, as in solder bells, deserve to be attached come the horse’s harness (occasionally bridle also but not regularly as countless horses don’t favor belled bridles). The harness passes throughout the shoulders and/or whithers the the steed (depending on the harness). The doesn’t incorporate the tail, which has actually an evident lack that pulling power.

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Given this, my expertise was always that “bob-tail” referred to the horse, generically, and the line was about how “bells on (a) bob-tail (meaning, sleigh or carriage horse) ring.” This appears to jibe with exactly how much funny it is come ride in a one-horse open sleigh.