Silver Bells

Recording History
101 Strings Orchestra, 2003
Clay Aiken and Kimberly Locke, 2003
Al Caiola and his Orchestra
Ronnie Aldrich
Allegro Handbell Ensemble
Alvin and the Chipmunks, 1962
America, 2002
The Ames Brothers, 1957
The Andrews Sisters with The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir
David Arkenstone, 1998
Asleep at the Wheel
Chet Atkins, 1961
Atlantic Starr, 1992
Bill Augustine and Malcolm Cecil
Gene Autry
The Belltones
Karen Benjamin and Alan Chapman
Tony Bennett, 2008
Big Tiny Little
Booker T and The MGs, 1966
Pat Boone
The Boston Pops, 1990
The Brady Bunch, 1970
Jim Brickman
Bright Eyes
Garth Brooks, 1999
Paul Brooks, 1996
Michael Bublé, Christmas (The Special Edition), Reprise, 2011
Byron Olson and his Orchestra
Canadian Brass
Henson Cargill
The Carpenters
Steve Curtis Chapman, 2005
Kristin Chenoweth, 2008
Kenny Chesney, 2003
The Clark Sisters, 2009
Rosemary Clooney
Nat King Cole
Judy Collins, 1997
Perry Como, 1968
Harry Connick, Jr., 2003
The Country Gentlemen, 1998
Billy Crash Craddock, 2006
Floyd Cramer
Dan Crary, 1997
Bing Crosby and Carole Richards
David Cullen, 2001
Lucy J. Dalton
Vic Damone
Danny Parks, Joe Caverlee and Matt McGee
John Davidson, 1969
Danny Davis and The Nashville Brass, 1970
Doris Day, 1950
Antonio Castillo De La Gala
Jimmy Dean
Jack DeMello, 2003
John Denver, 1975
Destiny's Child, 2001
Charlotte Diamond
Neil Diamond, 1992
Fats Domino
Mike Douglas, 1967
The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Dulcimer Dan and The Blue Skies Band
Candy Dulfer, 2003
Bob Dylan, 2009
Eaken Piano Trio
Eddie Howard and his Orchestra
Buddy Emmons
Trudy Erwin
Gloria Estefan, 1993
Kevin Eubanks
Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra , 1987
Merle Evans
Percy Faith, 1966
Michael Feinstein, Livingston & Evans Songbook, Concord Records, FCD-3101-2, 2002
Ferrante & Teicher , 1966
Brandon Fields
The Fontaine Sisters
The Four Aces
Frank DeVol and His Orchestra
Kenny G, 1994
Mike Garson
The Gatlin Brothers
Crystal Gayle, 2006
Bob Geresti
Giant Drag, 2004
Vince Gill, 1998
Mickey Gilley
Vestal Goodman
Danny Gottlieb and Pete Levin
Robert Goulet, 1963
Earl Grant, 1966
Eddy Grant
Larry Groce, 1979
Merle Haggard, 1973
The Hampton String Quartet, 1986
The Happy Hamsters
Larnelle Harris
P.J. Harvey
Reid Hashiro, 2005
Bobby Helms and Johnny Paycheck
Heritage Singers
Al Hirt
Don Ho, 1967
Gary Hoey
Holly Players Orchestra
Delores Hope
Jim Horn
Taylor Horn, 2005
Jim Hudson and Sydney Martin
Engelbert Humperdinck
William Hung, 2004
Ferlin Husky
Billy Idol, 2006
Burl Ives, 1965
Alan Jackson, 2002
Mahalia Jackson, 1990
Sonny James
George Jones and Gene Watson, 1985
Jack Jones, 1969
The Jordanaires, 2001
The Judds
Led Kaapana, 2000
Sammy Kaye
Ben Keith
Toby Keith, 2007
Royal Wade Kimes, 2005
Andre Kostelanetz
Dave Koz, 1997
Erich Kunzel, 2006
Christy Lane, 2006
Brenda Lee
Renee Lee
Living Strings
Living Voices
Kimberly Locke
London Sound 70 Orchestra
Lord Inventor and the Caribbean Rhythm Band
Patty Loveless, 2002
Norman Luboff, 1964
Loretta Lynn, 1966
Barry Manilow, 2007
Mannheim Steamroller, 2001
Dean Martin, 1966
Al Martino, 1964
Masters of Harmony
Johnny Mathis, 1958
Marilyn Maxwell, 1999
Bob McGrath
Jimmy McGriff and Hank Crawford
Brian McKnight, 2008
Jo Dee Messina, 2002
Michel'le, 1996
Glenn Miller
Jacob Miller
Mitch Miller, 1961
Ronnie Milsap
The Mistletoe Dance Band
Al Morano
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, 1994
Gary Morris
Anne Murray
Sean Na'auao, 2003
Jim Nabors, 1972
Nashville Superpickers
Wayne Newton
Olivia Newton-John
Joe Nichols
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, 1997
The Northwest Boys Choir
Daniel O'Donnell, 2002
The Oak Ridge Boys
The Osmond Family
Patti Page, 1965
Brad Paisley, 2006
Sandi Patty
Regis Philbin, 2005
Wilson Pickett, 1987
The Plantation Orchestra
The Platters
Elvis Presley, 1971
Ruth Price
John Prine
Gary Puckett, 2001
Boots Randolph
Lou Rawls, 1993
The Ray Charles Singers
The Ray Conniff Singers, 1959
The Raymond Lefèvre Orchestra
Jim Reeves, 1963
Relient K, 2008
Reverend Horton Heat, 2005
Don Rich, 2000
Riders in the Sky
Jeannie C. Riley, 2004
Marty Robbins
Marcus Roberts
The Roches, 1990
Kenny Rogers, 1989
Diana Ross
Sandler & Young, 1968
Deborah Sasson
John Schneider
Marilyn Scott
Martin Sexton, 2005
Ricky Van Shelton
Vonda Shepard, 2000
Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, 1963
Kiri Te Kanawa, 1984
Jerry Vale
Billy Vaughn
Roch Voisine
Jon Weber, It's Never Quite the Same, Mood Records, MD-1111, 1998
Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra
Andy Williams
Boxcar Willie, 1996
CeCe Winans
Stevie Wonder

  • Written for the 1951 Paramount Pictures film The Lemon Drop Kid, starring Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell.
  • When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10, 000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it's Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to party with money for the right cause.
  • Original tagline: "Bob Hope makes those "Silver Bells" ring out...With all the wonderful guys and gals of Damon Runyan's Broadway!"
  • First performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwel in the film The Lemon Drop Kid, filmed in July and August of 1950, released in March of 1951.
  • The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards, released by Decca Records in October of 1950. Their recording became so popular, Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell were called back into the studio to re-film a more elaborate production of the song for the film before it was released.
  • Originally written as "Tinkle Bells", the song was changed after Jay Livingston's first wife informed the songwriters that the term "tinkle" was a term used by children to refer to urination.
  • One of the few urban Christmas songs since it takes place in a city center and not in the countryside.
  • Lux Radio Theater broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 10, 1951 with Bob Hope reprising his film role.
  • Bob Hope made "Silver Bells" his Christmas theme, performing it every year on his annual Christmas television special. He usually sang the song as a duet with the lead female guest. Over the years he teamed up with Olivia Newton-John, Shirley Jones, Barbara Mandress and his wife Delores Hope.
  • Among the most performed ASCAP standards 1979-1989.
  • Charted in the UK for the first time in 2009 when a duet by Sir Terry Wogan and Aled Jones recorded for charity reached the Top 40, peaking at no. 27.


Spoken, brightly:
Christmas makes you feel emotional.
It may bring parties or thoughts of devotional.
Whatever happens or what may be,
Here is what Christmas time means to me. 

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas.
Children laughing, people passing,
Meeting smile after smile,
And on ev’ry street corner you hear: 

Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day. 

Strings of city street lights, even stop lights
Blink a bright red and green,
As the shoppers rush home with their treasures.
Hear the snow crunch, see the kids bunch,
This is Santa’s big scene,
And above all this bustle you hear:

Silver bells, silver bells,
It’s Christmas time in the city.
Ring-a-ling, hear them ring,
Soon it will be Christmas day.

SILVER BELLS As sung by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the Paramount Picture The Lemon Drop Kid Paramount Music Corporation, 1950 Music and Words by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans (Special Picture Release)