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The Grim Sarcasm Behind ‘Jingle Bells’

This is the holiday season and there are many Christmas carols, such as the famous “Jingle Bells”, first published 1857. People often sing the chorus, “Oh how fun it is to ride on a one-horse open Sleigh!” At face value. The lyrics are a bit cynical about the sleigh ride. This is an important aspect that’s often overlooked. The song’s chorus is:

Horse was short and lean. 

He was met with misfortune 

He was able to get into a bank that drifted. 

Then we were able to get upsot.

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Next verse (often skipped) describes how the narrator was thrown off a sleigh onto him and laughed at by his romantic rival. While his misfortune may have been minor, it was still quite embarrassing to be thrown from a carriage or horse-drawn sleigh.

Horse-drawn cars were common in the past. Accidents caused many delays, injuries, deaths and inconveniences. Paul Hair, a British historian, called horses “one of the most dangerous tools in man’s arsenal.” Arguments that“It is possible that per unit travel, the horse was more hazardous than the motor car.”

The British registrar general, who noted that in 1865 “street accidents by horsecars kill more people per year than railways,” stated this to be true. In 1874, he estimated that there was a 55-year horse-related death rate for every million. 2020 will see the following: These wereThe United Kingdom has 1,516 deaths from road accidents. Divided by 67.2 million U.K. residents, this translates to a death rate of approximately 23 per 100,000 people from motor vehicle accidents. Modern car travel is twice as safe than Victorian horse carriage rides. Even more car deaths occur. rareNearly everywhere

Unruly or skittish horses can sometimes be a problem for transport. Also, a badly fitted harness can spell doom. Dismounting horses or carriages was also dangerous. Horse kicks can have a force of approximately 2,000 pounds per square inch, and a speed of around 200 miles an hour. One famous study Find itIn the period 1875-1894, horse kicks claimed at least 280 Prussian cavalrymen who were highly-trained.

There is no way to protect someone from the danger posed by a carriage ride or horseback. Serving and NobilityBoth were also affected by injuries sustained in a car accident.  

The crown prince of France’s July Monarchy, Ferdinand Philippe d’Orléans, diedAt the tender age of 31, a horse carriage accident caused a skull fracture. Pierre Derbigny (French-born Governor of Louisiana), was born in the United States. diedIn office 1829, when he was forced to jump from a horse-drawn carriage. Thomas Jefferson’s grandson diedIn a horse carriage crash in 1875. Frances Cleveland, the future first lady diedIn a horse carriage crash that year.  

MonumentNew York City celebrates Charlotte Canda who, in 1845, was killed in an accident with a carriage horse. Charlotte was forced to get out of her moving carriage after the horse ran away from her 17th birthday celebration.

The daughter of Charles Dickens, an English novelist and poet from England, is Australia. died in a similar accident in 1878. She was killed when the ponies got scared and ran wild. The accident left her with two young children, one of whom survived but was traumatized from witnessing the death of their mother. Prince Albert of Saxony was born in Germany in 1900. diedAge 25: An open carriage collided and he was thrown into the ditch.

The old newspapers are a treasure trove NumerousEpisodes of hoofed horses running wild, causing havoc on the vehicle they were pulling, and injuring their riders. Many horses were also victims. Victorian streetcar horses lived an average of 4.2 years. Very littleTwo years.

The list of horses-related injuries goes beyond accidents involving horse-drawn carriages. Numerous kings. William of Orange died in 1702 from an illness that was exacerbated when his horse fell on a molehill. He took a 12-mile carriage ride after having his bone fixed. This jolted it out of its place, and required resetting. It must have been horrendously painful.

Instead of romanticizing horse-drawn transport, you can say, next time, “Oh, what fun it’s to ride in an open-sleigh one-horse!” remember that the lyric is somewhat sarcastic—and with good reason. As you journey to visit family for holidays, be sure to take the time to notice the advancements in transport safety.