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Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (song)

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Comintotown01
Written by: J. Fred Coots
Haven Gillespie
Date: November 1934
Publisher: EMI Feist Catalog Inc.; Gillespie Haven Music
MuppetFamilyChristmas-MuppetBabies

The Muppets view a home movie of their younger selves singing the song in A Muppet Family Christmas.

"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" (sometimes with "Coming" changed to "Comin' ") is a Christmas song that was written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie, and first sung on Eddie Cantor's radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and more than 400,000 copies sold by Christmas. The song is often used to tell children that Santa Claus knows when they've been bad or good and that they should be good.

The song was so popular that Rankin/Bass made it into an animated TV special in 1970. The song itself has been recorded hundreds of times, the most popular versions include those by the Andrews Sisters with Bing Crosby, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Cyndi Lauper with Frank Sinatra in an electronically enhanced duet (Sinatra also sang this solo), the Beach Boys, the Pointer Sisters (covering a Phil Spector-produced version by the Ronettes), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Rachel Crow. A version sung by Mariah Carey was included as a bonus feature in the 2005 DVD release of the Rankin/Bass special.

Lyrics

[Chorus]
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 or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows that you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake
[Chorus]
With little tin horns and little toy drums
Rudy toot-toots and rummy tum-tums
Santa Claus is coming to town
And curly haired dolls that cuddle 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
[Chorus]

Appearances in Christmas specials

Album releases

Album Year Notes
Christmas with the Chipmunks 1961
Pebbles & Bamm-Bamm Singing Songs of Christmas 1965
Christmas with the Brady Bunch 1970
Merry Christmas from Sesame Street 1975 Sung by Grover as part of the second medley
Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along 1984 Sung by Big Bird
Christmas on Sesame Street 1986 Same version as on Sesame Street Christmas Sing-Along
We Wish You a Merry Christmas 1993
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas 1994
A Pooh Christmas 1994
A Sesame Street Christmas 1995 Same version as on Merry Christmas from Sesame Street
Nick at Nite: A Classic Cartoon Christmas 1996
Rudolph, Frosty and Friends' Favorite Christmas Songs 1996
A Flintstones Motown Christmas 1996 Performed by Diana Ross and the Supremes
The Polar Express 2004 Performed by Frank Sinatra
Bob! from Sesame Street: Christmas Sing Along 2006 Performed by Bob McGrath
A Looney Tunes Sing-A-Long Christmas 2006 Sung by Foghorn Leghorn
Phineas and Ferb Holiday Favorites 2010 Sung by Love Händel
Jingle Bell Fun 2012 Sung by Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy
Chipmunks Christmas 2012 Sung by the Chipmunks
Merry Nickmas 2012 Performed by Rachel Crow, this version was featured in A Fairly Odd Christmas. She also performed it at the 2012 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
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