I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

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"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"
Song by Jimmy Boyd
LanguageEnglish
Released1952 (1952)
Recorded15 July 1952 (1952-07-15)
Composer(s)Tommie Connor
Lyricist(s)Tommie Connor

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" is a Christmas song with music and lyrics by British songwriter Tommie Connor and first recorded by Jimmy Boyd in 1952[1]. The song has since been covered by many artists, with the most famous cover being attributed to The Jackson 5.[citation needed]

Jimmy Boyd original version[edit]

The original recording by Jimmy Boyd, recorded on July 15, 1952, when he was 13 years old,[1] reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December 1952, and on the Cash Box chart at the beginning of the following year. It later reached Number 3 in the UK Charts when issued there in November 1953. The song was commissioned by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store's Christmas card for the year, which featured an original sketch by artist Perry Barlow, who drew for The New Yorker for many decades.

The song describes a scene where a child walks downstairs from his bedroom on Christmas Eve to see the mother kissing "Santa Claus" under the mistletoe. The lyric concludes with the child wondering how his father will react on hearing of the kiss, little knowing it is in fact his father in the Santa costume.

Boyd's record was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Boston when it was released on the grounds that it mixed kissing with Christmas. Boyd was photographed meeting with the Archdiocese to explain the song. After the meeting, the ban was lifted.[2]

Spike Jones version[edit]

A less successful version of the song was released in 1952 by Spike Jones[3] (with vocal by George Rock in the little boy voice used in Spike's hit "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth"). Jones also recorded a parody for his personal pleasure titled "I Saw Mommy Screwing Santa Claus."[4]

Cover versions[edit]

Popular versions of the song were released by the Ronettes, Molly Bee, Bobby Sherman, Andy Williams, The Beverley Sisters, The Four Seasons, The Jackson 5, Reba McEntire, Homer and Jethro, Amy Winehouse, John Mellencamp, Mitch Miller, John Prine, Sammi Sanchez, Tiny Tim, The Cheetah Girls, Ray Stevens, Bif Naked, Jessica Simpson, Teresa Brewer, Rica Fukami, Secret Chiefs 3 and Dionne Bromfield have also covered it. The Dollyrots recorded a variation (titled "I Saw Mommy Biting Santa Claus") with humorous lyrics. RuPaul and Kip Addotta both recorded versions with changed lyrics titled "I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus." Twisted Sister recorded their own variation of the song onto their album A Twisted Christmas.

John Mellencamp also filmed a music video to promote his recording for the 1987 Special Olympics charity album, A Very Special Christmas.[5]

On December 14, 2019, Saturday Night Live sketch featured a version of I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. It was sung by Cecily Strong portraying a child, it also featured Scarlett Johansson as mother, Beck Bennett as Santa Claus, and Mikey Day as father. In addition, the sketch added extra lyrics that makes the sketch darker.[6]

International versions[edit]

  • Danish: "Jeg så julemanden kysse mor" (Danish text: Susanne Palsbo)
  • Finnish: "Kun joulupukki suukon sai" (Finnish text: Saukki)
  • French: "J'ai vu maman embrasser le Père Noël" (French text: Louis Gasté)
  • Norwegian: "Jeg så mamma kysse nissen" (Norwegian text: Philip A. Kruse)
  • Swedish: "Jag såg mamma kyssa tomten" (Swedish text: Ingrid "Ninita" Reuterskiöld)
  • Mexican: "Hoy vi a Santa Claus besar a mamá" (Spanish text: Anibal Pastor)
  • Icelandic: "Ég sá mömmu kyssa jólasvein" (Icelandic text: Hinrik Bjarnason)

Film adaptation[edit]

A made-for-television movie based on the song was released in 2001.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Top 40 Christmas Oldies Songs". Oldies.about.com. 1952-07-15. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  2. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (March 11, 2009). "Jimmy Boyd: 1939-2009". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 16, 2019.
  3. ^ "This Week's Best Buys". Billboard. 1952-12-06. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  4. ^ Young, Jordan R. (1984). Spike Jones and his City Slickers. ISBN 9780940410732. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
  5. ^ "John Mellencamp - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Video". YouTube. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  6. ^ "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - SNL".

External links[edit]