Santa Claus Is Coming To Town chords & lyrics

... so be good for goodness sake

  • Composer: J. Fred Coots
  • Lyrics: Haven Gillespie
  • First Recording: Harry Reser (banjoist) and band on Oct 24th, 1934 with Tom Stacks featuring on vocals.
  • First Performance: November 1934 on Eddie Cantor's radio show. It became an instant hit with over 400,000 copies of sheet music sold by Christmas.
  • Featured Artists: The Coundown Kids from their album - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
  • Music: Key of B♭ Major in 2/2 time at 84 bpm (Minim)
  • Chords in B♭ Major: B♭, B♭7, E♭, E♭m, Gm, Cm, C7, F, F7
  • Easier: Play in A Major - Capo on 1 if playing with the video
  • Chords in A Major: A, A7, D, Dm, F#m, Bm, B7, E, E7
  • See key transpositions below (A Major, B♭ Major & C Major)

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by The Countdown Kids

Capo on 1st fret if playing with video

Intro: 4/4                              (Hold)
   |     A     |    A    |    E    |    E    |

        A            A7          D          
1. You bet-ter watch out___ You bet-ter not cry
    A                       D           Dm
   Bet-ter not pout___ I'm tel-ling you why
    A      F#m     Bm7     E7    A  |   E7    |
   San-ta Claus is co-ming   to town

         A         A7           D           
2. He's mak-ing a list___ And check-ing it twice
    A          A7          D          Dm
   Gon-na find out who's naugh-ty or nice
    A      F#m     Bm7     E7    A    | A  - A7 |
   San-ta Claus is com-ing   to town____

            A7                    D              A7                  D
Bridge: He sees you when you're sleep-ing___ He knows when you're a-wake
            B7                  E7                  F#m       B7        E     E7
        He knows if you've been bad or good___So be good for good-ness sake__ Oh!

        A            A7          D          
3. You bet-ter watch out___ You bet-ter not cry
    A           A7          D           Dm
   Bet-ter not pout___ I'm tel-ling you why
    A      F#m     Bm      E7    A  | A  - A7  |
   San-ta Claus is co-ming   to town

            A7                    D              A7                  D
Bridge: He sees you when you're sleep-ing___ He knows when you're a-wake
             B7                 E7                  F#m       B7        E     E7
        He knows if you've been bad or good___So be good for good-ness sake__ Oh!

        A            A7          D          
4. You bet-ter watch out___ You bet-ter not cry
    A                       D           Dm
   Bet-ter not pout___ I'm tel-ling you why
    A      F#m     Bm      E7    A  |   A    |
   San-ta Claus is co-ming   to town    (Hold)

A Major

Numbered Circles: Chord fingering - number inside circle indicates which finger to use
White Numbered Circles: Optional Notes
Unmarked strings: Play open
X: Don't play string
Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings
R: Root Note

Right Handed Charts:

Left Handed Charts:

Notes:

Santa Claus riding through the snow
  • The song is in the key of B♭ Major which requires a few barre chords. To make the song easy for everyone, we will be using a capo on the 1st fret and play in the key of A Major.
  • There are a few barre chords in A Major, but they are easy ones. Beginners may find this a little testing, but stick with it ... it's well-worth the effort.
  • The fermata or pause symbol Pause Symbol means you hold the note for a duration which is determined by the performer. On the last bar of the Intro you strum the chord and hold it for the duration of the bar. At the end of the song, you strum the chord and hold it... let it ring out.
  • The tempo is set at 84 bpm in half-note or minim time ... beat sounds on every 2nd beat (1 & 3) if you are using a metronome or click track. You can set the metronome at 168 bpm to play on every beat, but it sounds a little busy... the choice is yours.

Transposition if you want to play in the key of B♭ Major: also included the original published key of C Major

Capo: Fret 1 - A Major (Chart) A A7 D Dm F#m Bm7 B7 E E7
Performance: Key B♭ Major B♭ B♭7 E♭ E♭m Gm Cm7 C7 F F7
Original Published Key - C Major C C7 F Fm Am Dm7 D7 G G7
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