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Snowy Sleigh Bells

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Sleigh bells used in soundtrack to instill an icy atmosphere.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Jubileus57 on Oct 21st 2017 at 6:38:20 AM
Last Edited By:
Jubileus57 on Oct 24th 2017 at 12:13:07 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

One good way to recognize winter-themed musics is the presence of jingly sleigh bells (also known as jingle bells) in the soundtrack.

These little bells were first used on horse-drawn vehicles to warn bypassers about the arrival of the carriage and most importantly the sleighs (hence the name), as the vehicle would otherwise make no sound at all. The relation between these bells and sleighs might be the origin of this trope and is the premise of the most famous Christmas song of them all: Jingle Bells.

Incredibly common in Slippy-Slidey Ice World levels in video games, as well as in Christmas songs.


Examples:

Live-Action TV
  • The Christmas episode of Le Cœur a ses Raisons has sleigh bells during the interludes between the "Christmas at the Montgomery's'' segments. The Christmas episode of "Medical Drama" also features sleigh bells each time Brett says the word "Christmas".
Music
  • A lot of Christmas songs use sleigh bells as a part of their instrumentation, with Jingle Bells as the prime example.
  • Evoked in the opening of "Sleigh Ride" : "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too..."
  • Sufjan Stevens not only uses sleigh bells on many songs from his Songs for Christmas box set, but also writes about them in the liner notes, mentioning that playing them properly isn't as easy as you'd think.
  • Evoked in the Winter Wonderland song with the rhyme "Sleigh bells ring are you listening / In the lane snow is glistening".

Video Games

Western Animation

Feedback: 18 replies

Oct 21st 2017 at 6:43:22 AM

To be honest, I think you already have plenty. How Did We Miss This One?

Perhaps the existence of this trope has something to do with The Coconut Effect.

Oct 21st 2017 at 6:46:03 AM

Yeah, good lot of examples to start off with.

What about songs that mention sleigh bells in the lyrics? Eg., "Sleigh bells ring, are you listening / in the lane, snow is glistening" from Winter Wonderland?

Oct 21st 2017 at 8:31:37 AM

Oct 21st 2017 at 9:25:53 AM

^I can't spot the sleigh bells in those songs...

Oct 21st 2017 at 4:34:29 PM

Music:

  • The winter-themed "Sleigh Ride" opens with "Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring-ting-tingling, too..."
  • Sufjan Stevens not only uses sleigh bells on many songs from his Songs for Christmas box set, but also writes about them in the liner notes, mentioning that playing them properly isn't as easy as you'd think.

Oct 21st 2017 at 6:06:36 PM

Examples that follow the format "X work shows this here," without specifying what "this" is and how it is applied, are Zero Context Examples. Zero Context Examples aren't allowed on the Wiki, so I'm going to try to rewrite some of the examples that follow that format:

You should also correct the first sentence. There's an "a" to describe plural music and it includes a "very" in the first few words that doesn't add anything to the description.

Oct 22nd 2017 at 2:30:40 AM

Oct 22nd 2017 at 2:52:43 AM

^^ Added contexts (I had though the link to the Youtube videos would somehow count as context)

Oct 22nd 2017 at 4:40:46 AM

^OK then. Gotrid of all zero context examples

Oct 22nd 2017 at 5:58:40 AM

The Christmas level on Doodle Jump has sleigh bells playing in the background.

Oct 23rd 2017 at 10:08:18 AM

  • Sonic 3 D Flickies Island: The obligatory ice world in this game was called Diamond Dust, and the Saturn and PC versions of the game had light, jingling bells as part of their soundtrack.

Oct 23rd 2017 at 3:30:11 PM

The connotations of "shivery" with horror may lead to confusion from the title name.

Oct 23rd 2017 at 4:41:29 PM

^Snowy Sleigh Bells then?

Oct 24th 2017 at 2:50:27 AM

Maybe just Sleigh Bell Soundtrack or Sleigh Bell Score? People associate sleigh bells with winter anyway so I dont think there's any need for the Shivery/Snowy. And Soundtrack/Score is to emphasize that its a music trope.

Oct 24th 2017 at 5:20:25 AM

^I would fear that if there are pieces completely unrelated to winter that nonetheless feature sleigh bells; these names would not be indicative enough...

Oct 24th 2017 at 7:12:41 AM

another question, would this be exclusively sleigh bells, or including handbells as well. Hand bells are the subject of songs like Carol of the Bells, and Silver Bells, often associated with Christmas carolers who carry bells with them or Santa's ringing donation bells on street corners etc.

Oct 24th 2017 at 7:45:19 AM

^ I envisoned it as sleigh bells only. I don't think handbells and sleigh bells have the same connotation and are not sounding that similar. Though this is only my opinion.

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