Here Comes Santa Claus
|"Here Comes Santa Claus"|
|Song by Gene Autry|
"Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)" is a Christmas song originally written and performed by Gene Autry, with music composed by Oakley Haldeman. Autry's original recording (in which he pronounces Santa Claus as "Santy Claus") was a top-10 hit on the pop and country charts; the song would go on to be covered many times in the subsequent decades.
Autry got the idea for the song after riding his horse in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade (now the Hollywood Christmas Parade) in Los Angeles, during which crowds of spectators chanted, "Here comes Santa Claus". This inspired him to write a song that Haldeman set to music. Autry's lyrics combined two veins of the Christmas tradition, the mythology of Santa Claus and the Christian origin of the holiday (most explicitly in its mention of the nativity promise of "peace on Earth" to those who "follow the light"). A demo recording was made by singer/guitarist Johnny Bond, whose recording made use of ice cubes to mimic the sound of the jingling sleigh-bells. This inspired the use of real sleigh-bells in Autry's own recording of the song.
Autry first recorded the song in 1947; released as a single by Columbia Records, it became a No. 5 country and No. 9 pop hit. Autry performed the song in his 1949 movie The Cowboy and the Indians. He re-recorded it again for Columbia in 1953 and, once more, for his own Challenge Records label in 1957, which released it on more than one album that year.
Other artists to record the song include Doris Day (1949), Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters (recorded May 10, 1949), Elvis Presley (1957), the Ray Conniff Singers (1959), Keely Smith (1960), Alvin and the Chipmunks (1961), Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans (1963), Hank Thompson (1964), in excerpt by The Beach Boys as part of their song "Child of Winter" (1974), Willie Nelson (1979), Glen Campbell, RuPaul, The Wiggles (1997), Billy Idol (2006), Bob Dylan (2009), Mariah Carey (2010), Chicago (2011), the Glee cast (2013), Anna Kendrick (2015), and Pentatonix (2018). In 1988, "Here Comes Santa Claus" was featured in Very Merry Christmas Songs which is part of the Disney Sing Along Songs collection. The song was also featured prominently in the popular Christmas movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation during the climax towards the end of the film. The version of the song used was Autry's 1957 Challenge Records recording.
Chart performance (Gene Autry)
|US Billboard Hot Country Singles||5|
|US Billboard Best Sellers in Stores||9|
|Billboard Global 200||89|
|US Billboard Hot 100||26|
|US Rolling Stone Top 100||22|
- "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)". Geneautry.com. Gene Autry Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
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Gene Autry's Columbia Records Information for Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane): Columbia Records, Recorded August 28, 1947 in Hollywood... Columbia Records, Recorded June 25, 1953 in Hollywood.
- "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Song Information". Geneautry.com. Gene Autry Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
In the Autumn of 1957 in Hollywood, California Gene Autry recorded seven Christmas tracks that were originally released on LP as Christmastime with Gene Autry on his own Challenge record label... All songs had vocals by Gene Autry with accompaniment by full orchestra and chorus condected [sic] by Carl Cotner.
- "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
- "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
- Hughes, Becky (December 24, 2018). "Why We Still Love National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". Parade.com. AMG/Parade. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
When a SWAT team arrives to the strains of Gene Autry’s “Here Comes Santa Claus,” the tone is just right.
- Roberson, Joe (December 5, 2014). "25 Things You Never Knew About 'Christmas Vacation'". Zimbio.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 2019. Retrieved December 5, 2019.
Gene Autry's "Here Comes Santa Claus" scores the scene when the police storm the Griswolds' house. Coincidentally, Randy Quaid is Autry's third cousin.
- "Gene Autry Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
- "Gene Autry Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
- "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 26, 2019. Retrieved December 30, 2020.