This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. (June 2017)
"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 version 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"). 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 #5 country and #9 pop hit, although in it he pronounced Santa Claus as "Santy Claus". 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.
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 cast of Glee (2013), 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.
|US Billboard Hot Country Singles||5|
|US Billboard Best Sellers in Stores||9|
|US Billboard Hot 100||28|