Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"A Holly Jolly Christmas" is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and sung by Burl Ives, notably featured at the end of the Rankin/Bass Christmas special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Originally recorded by The Quinto Sisters in 1962, it wasn't until Ives, as the voice of Sam the Snowman, performed the song in Rudolph that it became very popular. He then released it along with "Silver and Gold", which he also sang in Rudolph, as singles for the 1965 holiday season. This version - featuring a guitar and piano instrumental and a small chorus of background singers - is the one usually played on radio stations during the holiday season; it is now considered a holiday "standard" and forever linked with his musical legacy and his performance in the program.

The song has been covered by a few others, most notably country singer Alan Jackson, who recorded it for the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.


Have a holly jolly Christmas
It's the best time of the year
I don't know
If there'll be snow
But have a cup of cheer

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And when you walk down the street
Say "hello"
To friends you know
And everyone you meet

Oh ho the mistletoe hung
Where you can see
Somebody waits for you
Kiss her once for me

Have a holly jolly Christmas
And in case you didn't hear
Oh by golly have a
Holly jolly Christmas this year.

[Instrumental bridge]

Holly jolly
Holly jolly

[Repeat fourth stanza]

Appearances in Christmas specials[]

Album releases[]

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