Μusic deals with all kinds of subjects and is influenced by poems that have established imaginary and/or real forms.
The well-known cute grandfather who gives presents to children has many stories and myths.
Depending on the culture and beliefs of the peoples it evolves and changes. But a common point is the gifts he gives generously.
But how was this form established?
The answer is given by Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas” published in 1823.
Santa Claus in his present form became known through this poem.
“A visit from St. Nicholas“, better known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas” was first published anonymously in 1823.
It was later given to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed the property in 1837.
According to many scholars, it is described as “arguably the most famous lyrics ever written by an American.”
Moore is largely responsible for some of Santa’s perceptions from the mid-19th century to the present day.
His lyrics have a huge impact on the history of Christmas gifts.
Before the poem gained great popularity, American ideas varied considerably for St. Nicholas (later Santa Claus).
Moore’s inspiration for the character of St. Nicholas was a local Dutch handyman as well as the historian St. Nicholas.
Later, however, the poem acquired a melody and was recorded by many artists.
Most well-known compositions are:
- Ken Darby (1909-1992),
- Alliene Brandon Webb (1910-1965),
- Alma Deutscher (born 2005).
While in 1953, Perry Como recorded a recitation of the poem for RCA Victor with background music organized and conducted by Mitchell Ayres.
The poem describes the night before Christmas Eve, where a family sleeps when the father wakes up from the noise.
Looking out of the window, he sees Saint Nicholas on a flying sleigh pulled by eight reindeer.
After the sleigh landed on the roof, Saint Nicholas enters the house through the chimney, carrying a toy bag.
The father sees his visitor filling the socks hanging in the fireplace and laughs.
They share a conspiratorial moment before Saint Nicholas goes to the chimney again.
As he flies away, he says: “Merry Christmas and a good night to all.”
The melodies were set to music over the years were mainly Jazz, such as:
- Patricia Snyder – A Visit From St. Nicholas, A Narration
- Rhan Wilson – A Visit From St. Nicholas
- Eddy Arnold – A Visit from St. Nicholas.
But also, more Country / Rock such as:
- Justin Friello – A Visit From St. Nicholas
- Jamie Barrett – ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas (A Visit From St. Nicholas).