Wait, There Are Two Versions of that Christmas Song?

Children of the ’80s know well that in 1983, Daryl Hall and John Oates remade the classic Bobby Helms Christmas hit “Jingle Bell Rock” … but did you catch on that you’ve been hearing two versions of the song for decades? Even two versions of the music video? Like the Mandela Effect in reverse, every once in a while, you hear an alternative universe version of “Jingle Bell Rock.”

Here’s the one you probably hear most with Daryl on lead vocals, the A-side of the 45.

Then, there’s the flipside of the 45 with John at the mic. Every once in a while, I’ll hear this one slip into the mix on a radio station. Way back when, MTV would play both versions.

They saved money on the videos by having both Hall and Oates keep their mouths shut until about ninety seconds in. That way, they could use all the same footage. Right after Santa appears is when the two videos split off. Jump both versions to 1:30 to see where they go off on their own paths.

For my Orlando friends, that’s Charlie DeChant, aka Mr Casual, holding the toy saxophone. He’s been in the band since 1976, playing both sax and keyboards. Charlie lives in Orlando and if there wasn’t a global pandemic, you could book him and his band, The Kings, for your holiday party.