Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, an Illustrated Song

Posted on: October 22, 2015

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Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Word and Music by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie
Illustrated by Steven Kellogg

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Some great info about the song in the Wiki:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus_Is_Coming_to_Town

For example, I was surprised to learn that this song was written in 1934!  It’s an oldie but a goodie.

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SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
Words by Haven Gillespie
Music by J. Fred Coots

(Lyrics as they appear in the illustration by Steven Kellogg)

I just got back from a lovely trip along the Milky Way
I stopped off at the North Pole to spend a holiday
I called on dear old Santa Claus to see what I could see
He took me to his workshop and told his plans to me.

Oh! You better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He’s making a list and checking it twice
Gonna find out who’s naughty and nice
Santa Claus is coming to town.

He sees you when you’re sleepin’
He knows when you’re awake
He knows if you’ve been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.

Oh! you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.

With little tin horns and little tin drums
Rudy-toot-toots and rummy-tum-tums
Santa Claus is coming to town.

And curly head dolls that tuddle and coo
Elephants, boats and kiddie cars too
Santa Claus is coming to town.

The kids in girl and boy land
Will have a jubilee
They’re gonna build a toyland town
All around the Christmas tree.

Now Santa is a busy man, he’s got no time to play
He’s got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas day
You’d better write your letter now and send it right away
Because he’s getting ready with his reindeer and his sleigh.

So you better watch out, you better not cry
You better not pout, I’m telling you why:
Santa Claus is coming to town.

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The delightful, colorful, incredibly detailed illustration of this song (for which the illustrated narrator is an an adorable teddy bear, warning the children to be good because, “Santa Claus is comin’ to town) has the full set of lyrics from the Coots/Gillespie composition.  I have not yet found a recording which sings all the lyrics.  My amazing friend Paul Raiman (of www.MyRehearsalPianist.com) has created a wonderful sing-along for me to sing it all.  I hope you can join me at a Sing Books performance sometime and we’ll enjoy the whole thing together.

Until then, my favorite version which does contain the fun first verse about a trip around the Milky Way, ending up at the North Pole to visit Santa, is by Ella Fitzgerald from here Christmas album, ELLA WISHES YOU A SWINGING CHRISTMAS:

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Related Posts

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Songs About Santa

For a post dedicated to Singable Picture Books about Santa (with sing-along track suggestions and YouTubes), click here:
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/may-i-suggest-sing-about-santa/

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CHRISTMAS

A Collection of Singable Picture Books that celebrate CHRISTMAS!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/singable-picture-books-for-christmas/

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WINTER

Singable Picture Books for Winter
Some of these are sung at Christmastime, but this is a list of songs about Winter that you can sing all season long!
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/singable-picture-books-for-winter/

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THE ILLUSTRATED SONGS OF HAVEN GILLESPIE
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/the-illustrated-songs-of-haven-gillespie/

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December 2015 Addendum:
Celebrating a Sing-Along for SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2015/12/05/celebrating-a-sing-along-for-santa-claus-is-comin-to-town/

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