"Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is a Christmas song written by Johnny Marks and recorded by Brenda Lee in 1958 on Decca 9-30776.


Although Decca released it in both 1958 and again in 1959, it did not sell well until Lee became a popular star in 1960; that Christmas season, it hit #14 on the Billboard pop chart and turned into a perennial holiday favorite. It continued to sell well during the holiday season, hitting #5 on the Christmas chart. Brenda Lee's recording still receives a great deal of airplay. Despite the song's title, its instrumentation also fits the Country genre which Brenda Lee more fully embraced as her career evolved. Despite her mature-sounding voice, she recorded this song when she was only 13 years old. The recording featured Hank Garland's ringing guitar and Boots Randolph's swinging solo sax break.

For decades, Brenda Lee's recording was the only notable version of the song. Radio stations ranging from Top 40 to Adult Contemporary to Country Music to Oldies to even Adult Standards played this version.

An instrumental version of the song appears as background music in the 1964 television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which exclusively featured music written by Marks. It can be heard first when Donner teaches Rudolph, before the Abominable Snow Monster is introduced, and in the scene where Rudolph first arrives at the "Reindeer Games" and meets Fireball.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the Disney Channel aired a DTV music video of the song, set to clips from Mickey's Christmas Carol.

In 2015, the song featured in the BBC Two comedy-drama A Gert Lush Christmas.


Rockin' around the Christmas tree
At the Christmas party hop
Mistletoe hung where you can see
Every couple tries to stop
Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Let the Christmas spirit ring
Later we'll have some pumpkin pie
And we'll do some caroling
You will get a sentimental feeling
When you hear
Voices singing let's be jolly
Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Rockin' around the Christmas tree
Have a happy holiday
Everyone dancing merrily
In the new old-fashioned way

Appearances in Christmas specials

Album releases

Album Year Notes
Have Yourself a Looney Tunes Christmas 1994 Sung by Foghorn Leghorn. This version was reused on Merry Christmas: Animaniacs & Looney Tunes in 1999.
Elmo Saves Christmas: Holiday Favorites 1998 Sung by Elmo.
It's A Hi-5 Christmas 2001 Sung by Hi-5
Disney's Merry Little Christmas 2006
Nick Jr. Winter Wonderland 2006
Acoustic Hearts of Winter 2006 Sung by Aly & AJ.
Disney Channel Holiday 2007 Performed by Hannah Montana.
The Archies Christmas Album featuring Betty & Veronica 2008
Dora's Christmas 2008
Merry Nickmas 2012 Performed by Victoria Justice.
Disney Channel Holiday Playlist 2012 Performed by Bella Thorne.
Jingle Bell Fun 2012 Sung by Randy Crenshaw.
Glee: The Music, the Christmas Album Volume 4 2013 Sung by the cast of Glee.
Christmas is Here! 2018 Sung by Pentatonix.
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