Sheet Music: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

TitleJolly Old Saint Nicholas
Alternate titlesJolly Old St. Nick
Also attributed toBenjamin R. Hanby (1833–1867)
InstrumentationFlute duet
KeyG major
Time signature2/4
Tempo100 BPM
Performance time0:40
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (45 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (338 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (358 kB)
Date added2009-11-19
Last updated2010-12-15
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 0.3 (not so popular)
Christmas carols, Traditional/Folk


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Saturday 18 December 2010

Tune of the Day: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

Traditional Christmas carol, arranged for flute duet

The origin of “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” is not entirely clear, although it was probably written in the mid-19th century and is one of the first songs in which Santa Claus was a prominent figure. Because of its similarity to “Up on the Housetop”, many people believe it was written by Benjamin Hanby. Others attribute it to Canadian country singer Wilf Carter; however, since the song is mentioned in earlier works (such as Susan Gregg's Christmas Orphans, published in 1916), this attribution is unlikely.

The reason why this carol sounds so familiar lies in the fact that it can be played to the well known chord sequence of Pachelbel's Canon in D.