December 20, 2015

Up on the Rooftop

“Up on the rooftop, reindeer pause; out jumps good old Santa Claus”

And so opens the second oldest secular Christmas song, second only to Jingle Bells.  It is considered the oldest yuletide song as Jingle Bells, today associated with Christmas, was originally written as a Thanksgiving song.

This familiar carol was written in 1864 by Benjamin Hanby, clearly influenced by the myths and legends popularized by Clement C. Moore in his poem A Visit From St. Nicholas.

The first stanza and chorus are well known:

Up on the housetop reindeer pause,
Out jumps Good Old Santa Claus
Down through the chimney with lots of toys
All for the little ones, Christmas joys

Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go? Ho, ho ho! Who wouldn’t go?
Up on the housetop, click, click, click
Down through the chimney with old Saint Nick

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

From the Oshawa Community Archives Collection

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