Roy Black's Version of "Jingle Bells" in German

Learn How to Sing the Popular German Christmas Carol

kids singing Christmas carol
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There are several versions of “Jingle Bells” in German, but Roy Black's 1968 rendition has become a German Christmas standard. The melody of this popular Christmas carol is the same as it is in English yet it is not a direct translation. In fact, the German song title translates to "A little white snowman."

Whether you are a student of the German language or simply wish to fill your home with a classic German carol over the holidays, this is a fun song to learn.

"Ein kleiner weißer Schneemann" Lyrics

Jingle Bells” in German
Melodie: "Jingle Bells" - Volksweise (traditional)
Deutsche Version: Werner Twardy (1926-1977)

This German version of "Jingle Bells" was written by the composer Werner Twardy for German pop singer, Roy Black, who recorded it in 1968. Twardy wrote many songs for Black over his career, including many Christmas songs. One might compare Black and his holiday songs to the American Bing Crosby.

As you look at the English translation, you will notice that the lyrics are not like those we are familiar with. There is no "Dashing through the snow" or "Laughing all the way." Instead, the German lyrics feature a snowman who invites us on a sleigh ride through the woods.

You will also notice that Twardy does not translate "Jingle Bells." If he had, it would be something like 'klimpern Glocken.' The song's German title, "Ein kleiner weißer Schneemann" actually translates to "A little white snowman."

"Ein kleiner weißer Schneemann" LyricsDirect Translation by Hyde Flippo
Ein kleiner weißer Schneemann
der steht vor meiner Tür,
ein kleiner weißer Schneemann
der stand gestern noch nicht hier,
und neben dran der Schlitten,
der lädt uns beide ein,
zur aller ersten Schlittenfahrt
ins Märchenland hinein.
A little white snowman
that stands before my door,
a little white snowman
that wasn't here yesterday,
and next to him the sleigh
that invites both of us
for the very first ride
into a fairytale land.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
klingt es weit und breit.
Schön ist eine Schlittenfahrt
im Winter wenn es schneit.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
klingt es weit und breit.
Mach' mit mir
'ne Schneeballschlacht,
der Winter steht bereit!
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
it rings out far and wide.
A sleigh ride is nice
in winter when it snows.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
it rings out far and wide.
Let's have
a snowball fight,
winter stands ready!
Er kam auf leisen Sohlen
ganz über Nacht,
hat heimlich und verstohlen
den ersten Schnee gebracht.
He came with soft footsteps
quite overnight,
quietly and secretly he
brought the first snow.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
klingt es weit und breit.
Hell erstrahlt die ganze Welt
im weißen, weißen Kleid.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
klingt es weit und breit.
Christkind geht durch
den Winterwald,
denn bald ist Weihnachtszeit.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
it rings out far and wide.
Brightly sparkles the whole world
in a white, white costume.
Jingle bells, jingle bells,
it rings out far and wide.
Kris Kringle's going through
the winter forest,
for soon it'll be Christmas time.
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
klingt es weit und breit...
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
it rings out far and wide...

The German lyrics are provided for educational use only. No infringement of copyright is implied or intended. The literal, prose translations of the original German lyrics by Hyde Flippo.

Who was Roy Black?

Roy Black (born Gerhard Höllerich, 1943-1991) began his career as a pop singer in the mid-1960s with his first big hit song “Ganz in Weiß” (All in White). By 1967, he appeared in the first of several films he eventually made. 

Born in a small town near Augsburg in Bavaria, Black's life was filled with personal and professional problems, despite his hit records and movies. After a brief comeback in a German TV series in 1990, he died of heart failure in October 1991.