A Little Bit of History: Here Comes Santa Claus

Gene Autry with Engine No. 12 at Tweetsie. Source: Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock NC.
Gene Autry with Engine No. 12 at Tweetsie. Source: Tweetsie Railroad, Blowing Rock NC.

By Kay Whatley, Editor

You hear it on the radio throughout the holiday season, in stores while you shop for gifts, and blaring from parade floats. The song, “Here Comes Santa Claus” started with a parade and continues to be popular .

The lyrics were written by Gene Autry — the Singing Cowboy himself — after he marched ahead of Santa Claus in a 1947 parade. The parade was named the Santa Claus Lane parade and took place in Hollywood, California.

Mr. Autry reportedly observed that the parade watchers were calling out “Here comes Santa Claus!” and paying little heed to Autry and his horse, Champion. Thus inspired, he wrote this song that has become an integral part of Christmas each year.

Visit the Gene Autry website at www.geneautry.com/clubhouse/christmas/geneautry_hcscparade.html to learn more about the 1946 parade that served as Mr. Autry’s inspiration for the song, which is actually titled “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)” after the parade.

You may also listen to Gene Autry on the “Gene Autry Official” YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/channel/UC6i-9Tc0DNmkJ1aLaxXSJNA .

Over the years, many artists have recorded their own versions of Mr. Autry’s song. According to this Music Times.com articles from 2013, performers from Elvis to Bob Dylan, Pat Boone to Alvin & The Chipmunks have sung this holiday song.  Links to various artists’ recordings are included in that 2013 article.

About Kay Whatley 1909 Articles
Kay Whatley serves as Editor and Reporter with The Grey Area News. Kay is a published author with over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. Kay Whatley is wife to Frank Whatley, founder of The Grey Area™ newspaper and The Grey Area News online news website.