The origin of “Jolly Old St. Nicholas” is not entirely clear although it was probably written in the mid nineteenth 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.

Benjamin Russell Hanby (July 22, 1833 – March 16, 1867) was an American composer who wrote approximately 80 songs, the most famous of which are “Darling Nelly Gray” and the Christmas song “Up on the Housetop”.

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