There is very little information about the origins of "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas" though it was probably written in the middle of the 19th century. Some suggest that it was written by Benjamin Hanby, composer of "Up On The Housetop" due to stylistic similarities. In modern renditions, the third verse is often slighly different, though I sing the older lyrics in this recording.
In addition to the banjo, which I play in the key of F (tuned fCFAC), this recording includes the first vocals for the Hark! project. I liked the way it turned out, but don't expect much more singing, at least from me.
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas
Performed by Greg Barlow on banjo with vocals
Words and music: Anonymous, 19th century.
Jolly old St. Nicholas, lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul, what I'm going to say;
Christmas Eve is coming soon; now, you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me; tell me if you can.
When the clock is striking twelve, when I'm fast asleep,
Down the chimney broad and black, with your pack you'll creep;
All the stockings you will find hanging in a row;
Mine will be the shortest one, you'll be sure to know.
Johnny wants a pair of skates, Susy wants a dolly;
Nellie wants a story book; she thinks dolls are folly;
As for me, my little brain isn't very bright;
Choose for me, old Santa Claus, what you think is right.