|Song by Bing Crosby & Carol Richards with John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra|
|Songwriter(s)||Jay Livingston, Ray Evans|
"Silver Bells" was first performed by Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell in the motion picture The Lemon Drop Kid, filmed in July–August 1950 and released in March 1951. The first recorded version was by Bing Crosby and Carol Richards with John Scott Trotter and His Orchestra on September 8, 1950 which was released by Decca Records in October 1950. After the Crosby and Richards recording became popular, Hope and Maxwell were called back in late 1950 to refilm a more elaborate production of the song.
"Silver Bells" started out as the questionable "Tinkle Bells." Said Ray Evans, "We never thought that tinkle had a double meaning until Jay went home and his first wife said, 'Are you out of your mind? Do you know what the word tinkle is?'" The word is slang for urination.
This song's inspiration has conflicting reports. Several periodicals and interviews cite the writer Jay Livingston stating that the song's inspiration came from the bells used by sidewalk Santa Clauses and Salvation Army solicitors on New York City street corners. However, in an interview with NPR co-writer Ray Evans said that the song was inspired by a bell that sat on an office desk shared by Livingston and himself.
- The Fontane Sisters (1953 - B-side of "Kissing Bridge," RCA Victor 20-5524)
- Johnny Mathis (1958 - Merry Christmas)
- Chet Atkins (1961 - Christmas with Chet Atkins)
- Jim Reeves (1963 - Twelve Songs of Christmas)
- The Supremes (1965 - Merry Christmas)
- The Ventures (1965 - from their album The Ventures' Christmas Album) (with Red Rhodes on Vocoder)
- Dean Martin (1966 - The Dean Martin Christmas Album)
- Booker T. & the M.G.'s (1966 - In the Christmas Spirit)
- Stevie Wonder (1967 - Someday at Christmas)
- Elvis Presley (1971 - Elvis sings The Wonderful World of Christmas'
- John Denver (1975 - Rocky Mountain Christmas)
- Engelbert Humperdinck (1977 - from his album Christmas Tyme)
- The Carpenters (1978 - Christmas Portrait)
(in medley with "Winter Wonderland" & "White Christmas")
- Kuh Ledesma (1987 - My First Christmas Album)
- R.E.M. (1993 - Non-album single)
- Kenny G (1994 - Miracles: The Holiday Album)
- Freda Payne & Scherrie Payne (1996 - Christmas with Freda and Friends)
- SWV (1997 - A Special Christmas)
- Anne Murray (2001 - Solo on her album What a Wonderful Christmas), (2008 - Virtual Duet with Elvis Presley's 1971 recording on Elvis' tribute album Christmas Duets)
- Destiny's Child (2001 - 8 Days of Christmas)
(as "Platinum Bells", with modified lyrics and an R&B instrumental track produced by Damon Elliott)
- Kimberley Locke (2003 - with Clay Aiken) (2011 - Solo)
- Jim Brickman (2006 - Christmas Romance)
- Billy Idol (2006 - Happy Holidays)
- Twisted Sister (2006 - A Twisted Christmas)
- Barry Manilow (2007 - In the Swing of Christmas)
- Mindy Smith (2007 - My Holiday)
- Brian McKnight (2008 - I'll Be Home for Christmas)
- Bob Dylan (2009 - Christmas in the Heart)
- Lady Antebellum (2010 - A Merry Little Christmas)
- Deana Martin (2011 - White Christmas)
- Michael Bublé & Naturally 7 (2011 - appears on the Deluxe Edition of Michael Bublé's album Christmas)
- She & Him (2011 - A Very She & Him Christmas)
- Blake Shelton & Xenia (2012 - Cheers, It's Christmas)
- Colbie Caillat (2012 - Christmas in the Sand)
- Eric Bellinger (2013 - from his album Your Favorite Christmas Songs)
- Sarah McLachlan (2016 - Wonderland)
- "The Lemon Drop Kid" in The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures (online database).
- "A Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- "Record Reviews", Billboard, Oct. 28, 1950, p. 40.
- Furia, Philip & Lasser, Michael (2006). America's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley. Routledge. p. 233.
- American Songwriter Magazine. July–August 1988.
We wrote a song called 'Tinkle Bell,' about the tinkly bells you hear at Christmas from the Santa Clauses and the Salvation Army people. We said 'this is it, this will work for the picture,' so I took it home and played it for my wife. She said 'you wrote a song called 'Tinkle Bell'? Don't you know that word has a bathroom connotation?' So I went back to Ray the next day and told him we had to throw the song out, and we did.
- Silver Bells Songfacts
- The Ventures Cover of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/75669/The-Ventures-Silver-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/
- Stav, Steve. "The Ventures A Go-Go in the New Millennium". Internet Archive: Wayback Machine. Archived on 24 August 2011. https://web.archive.org/web/20110824011522/http://pandomag.com/featurestext/ventures.htm
- Engelbert Humperdinck Cover of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/345462/Engelbert-Humperdinck-Silver-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/
- Kuh Ledesma Cover of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/278275/Kuh-Ledesma-Silver-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/
- R.E.M. "1993 Happy Holiday Hoedown Single (Vinyl, 7", Single)". R.E.M. Fan Club/Athens, LLC. 1993. https://www.discogs.com/REM-1993-Happy-Holiday-Hoedown-Single/release/2892718
- Destiny's Child's "Platinum Bells" Sample of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/sample/419762/Destiny%27s-Child-Platinum-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/
- Various Artists. "American Idol: Great Holiday Classics (2 X CD, Compilation)". RCA. 14 October 2003. https://www.discogs.com/Various-American-Idol-The-Great-Holiday-Classics/release/821406
- Kimberley Locke Cover of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/332082/Kimberley-Locke-Silver-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/
- Brickman, Jim. "Christmas Romance (CD, Album)". Compass Productions. 2006. https://www.discogs.com/Jim-Brickman-Christmas-Romance/release/9309297
- McKnight, Brian. "I'll Be Home For Christmas (CD, Album)". Razor & Tie. 28 October 2008. https://www.discogs.com/Brian-McKnight-Ill-Be-Home-For-Christmas/release/5741901
- Eric Bellinger Cover of Bing Crosby and Carol Richards' "Silver Bells". WhoSampled.com. http://www.whosampled.com/cover/405845/Eric-Bellinger-Silver-Bells-Bing-Crosby-Carol-Richards-Silver-Bells/