Tune of the Day: Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
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.