There are so many incredible (and a few terrible) Christmas songs that I decided this year to really narrow down my session themes to sub-categories like winter weather, religious Christmas, presents, the sights of Christmas, 12 days of Christmas, etc.
Today our focus was Jolly Old St. Nic. I was actually surprised at how few common Christmas songs I know about Santa but it was a short 30 minute session so it worked out just fine. I of course included the classics “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, and Up on the Housetop.” What I began to notice was that although these are well known songs there is very little repetition and not very many people actually know the words. Seriously…start to sing one of those songs and see how far you get.
I was pretty thrilled to find a Bob Dylan’s “Must Be Santa” which has a lot of repetition and I kind of fell in love with it. I am however partial to the She and Him version (link below).
I used it as a call and response as follows:
ME: Who’s got a beard that’s long and white?
RESIDENTS: Santa’s got a beard that’s long and white.
ME: Who comes around on a special night?
RESIDENTS: Santa comes around on a special night.
ME: Special Night
RESIDENTS: Beard that’s white
ALL: Must be Santa, must be Santa, must be Santa, Santa Claus.
Although I usually have a lot of trouble with call and response exercises in geriatrics, this went very well, which probably has something to do with the fact they did not know the song and their response actually answered my question.
I used visual aides for the bold lines to reinforce the parts.
We chained each of the 3 verses and put it all together at the end.
I had an absolute blast teaching them this song and was so impressed with how they performed! Hope you enjoy this song and can incorporate it into your practice this holiday season!
She and Him Recording: https://open.spotify.com/track/7dZcu2YjvzrK1q9MzHyRp7