December is suddenly here, and that can only mean one thing — for all it’s worth, the holidays are just around the corner. Christmas is coming, and we might as well prepare for it. Whether you wear Christmas sweaters all December or can’t be bothered to even get a Christmas tree, downloading a few Christmas ringtones on your phone is just the trick to get you in a holiday mood and help you survive the season.
With this in mind, here is a selection of eight well-known Christmas ringtones with little-known past to get you inspired!
8 Christmas Ringtones with Funny Origin Stories to Officially Kick-Off the 2019 Holiday Season
1. Jingle Bells
We all know, love, and roll our eyes at this one — it really is everywhere during the holiday period. However, as trite as this tune is, there is a little-known piece of trivia that might completely change the way you see it: it was written and composed by none other than billionaire J.P. Morgan’s uncle!
However, there is a lot more to songwriter James Lord Pierpont’s biography than the connection to his illustrious nephew. His life was one of numerous adventures and questionable choices.
Born in 1822, he ran off from school aged 14 to work on a whaling ship for almost a decade. He later left his wife and children and joined the California Gold Rush in 1849. During the Civil War, he was a fervent Confederalist and even wrote several Confederate anthems.
When Pierpont wrote Jingle Bells, he likely never intended it to be a Christmas song; there are no references to Christmas in the lyrics. Rather, it seems that the song is really about picking up girls and high-speed snow racing!
The less popular second half of the lyrics describe the protagonist picking up a certain Miss Fanny Bright, dashing through the snow, and crashing the sleigh over a drifted bank. The final verse then urges to “go it while you’re young” and “take the girls tonight.” Now that’s some holiday spirit!
2. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
This one starts rather politely by wishing you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year, only to then go on and demand that you bring some figgy pudding, tea, and breakfast — and bring them right here!
We were puzzled, so we researched the tune and discovered that it is based on a sixteenth-century English folk song. Back then, carolers would go door-to-door singing songs in exchange for treats, and they wouldn’t leave until they got some!
3. Silent Night
Silent Night was originally an Austrian Christmas song composed in 1818 by Franz Haver Gruber. It was first sung in the parish church in Oberndorf, a small village in what was then the Austrian Empire. The song was originally written for guitar accompaniment as the local river had flooded and damaged the church organ.
Eventually, the song became wildly popular all over the Empire and traveled from the village church to the palace halls. Artists performed it in front of Franz I of Austria, Alexander I of Russia, and Frederick William IV of Prussia, who reportedly delighted in it.
The song continued gaining popularity throughout the twentieth and twenty-first century to the point that UNESCO pronounced it an intangible cultural heritage in 2011!
4. Let It Snow
You may not have guessed it by its title, but Let It Snow came into being during the California heat wave of July 1945. On what was probably the hottest day of that year, lyricist Sammy Cahn suggested to composer Jule Styne to hit the beach together. Styne replied that a much more effective way to cool off would be to write a winter song, and that’s how Let It Snow was born!
5. Baby, It’s Cold Outside
It gets even funnier with this one: Baby, It’s Cold Outside was created in 1944 by Frank Loeser for the sole purpose of singing it with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their housewarming party. The song was meant to signal to their guests that it was — ahem, clears throat — time to leave!
Little did they know that the song would become an instant success after its very first performance. Garland later claimed that people would invite the duo to perform the song at all the top parties for years. The song was such a smashing hit that hosts organized their entire parties around it.
Baby, It’s Cold Outside eventually won the 1949 Academy Award for Best Original Song in the rom-com Neptune’s Daughter.
6. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Songwriters Haven Gillespie and J. Fred Coots wrote this holiday classic on a scrap of envelope while traveling on the New York subway in 1933. The song was originally targeted at children, but it was the adults who went crazy for it. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town became the undisputed Christmas radio hit of 1934 and was a big commercial success. Thus, a single stroke of inspiration and only a few minutes of work on his commute turned Haven Gillespie into a millionaire.
7. Last Christmas
Everyone’s holiday-season guilty pleasure, Last Christmas was written by George Michael for his ultra-successful pop duo Wham! in 1984. The song quickly rose to the top of the charts all over Europe and beyond. It even remained the most-played Christmas song of the century in the U.K. as late as 2015.
More importantly, however, Wham! donated all their earnings from the song to the Ethiopian famine of 1983-85. Say what you will about 80s music artists and their questionable hairstyles, but at least they had their priorities straight.
8. All I Want for Christmas Is You
“Oh dear. Not again.” Yes, we all think that as we enter literally any shopping mall from early November to late December. However, we can’t deny that this tunehas magical holiday dust sprinkled all over that works its charms on pretty much everyone.
One of the most popular and highest-grossing Christmas ringtones, All I Want for Christmas Is You was written by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff in 1994. The song was part of Carey’s Christmas album, which followed the hugely successful Music Box. However, her managers thought that releasing a Christmas-themed album at the height of her fame was career suicide.
Nevertheless, Carey and Afanasieff persisted and started working on the album in August 1994. To immerse herself in the holiday spirit, Carey even put up Christmas decorations all over her home in the peak of summer. She probably took them down pretty soon, though, as the duo wrote All I Want for Christmas Is You for a total of fifteen minutes!
Christmas ringtones are a great way to welcome the new holiday season and add some of its magic into our daily lives. These old but beloved tunes can truly make even the most die-hard Grinch as excited as a child about to unwrap a Christmas gift!