Now I am a fan of Christmas music this time of year, as long as it starts after Thanksgiving.
So, I have to admit, I was thrilled to hear that cool and quite funky version of the classic ‘Jingle Bells‘ over the Virgin River ending credits last night.
The Christmas-themed song was played on Virgin River, Season 5, Episode 11, “The More the Merrier” end credits, and is performed by the Nashville-based duo Sugar + the Hi-Lows — aka American indie musicians Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup.
It is also a track you could very well have heard on a TV show before, as it has also been licensed for play in the past for Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries and even for use in Starbucks cafes.
When was Sugar + the Hi-Lows’ ‘Jingle Bells‘ released?
The song first came out on the indie duo’s winter-themed six-track EP Snow Angel, which was released in time for Christmas, 2012 on the Ready Set Records label.
It is a fun bluesy version of the traditional Christmas song, with a fabulous bass melody and ever so sweet and addictive vocals.
Sugar + the Hi-Lows also perform the full version of the song as it was originally written (minus a few changes that were made by an unknown someone long ago), and not the shorter versions we often hear nowadays.
The song itself was written by American songwriter James Lord Pierpoint way back in 1857 for a local school choir, although not intentionally as a Christmas song.
The first surviving recording of ‘Jingle Bells‘, however, is from 1898, but the song has been recorded by so many different artists since including Frank Sinatra, it would take a long time to list them here.
Even today, heading towards 200 years since it was written, ‘Jingle Bells’, along with ‘White Christmas‘ and a couple of others, is probably one of the the most famous Christmas songs worldwide.
All I know is, out of the many versions I have heard over the last few decades, the way Sugar + the Hi-Lows’ perform ‘Jingle Bells‘ is a real memory-sticker, isn’t it?
Listen to Sugar + the Hi-Lows’ ‘Jingle Bells‘ as heard on last night’s Virgin River in the video and via their Snow Angel EP.
You can also hear more music from the Virgin River soundtrack on Leo Sigh.