Friday, December 6, 2002

Today in Music (1952): Jimmy Boyd “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” charted

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Jimmy Boyd with Norman Luboff’s Orchestra

Writer(s): Tommie Connor (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 6, 1952

Peak: 12 PM, 12 BS, 11 HP, 111 CB, 51 HR, 7 CW, 3 UK, 13 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.5 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.53 video, 2.70 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was commissioned by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store’s Christmas card for the year. It featured an original sketch by Perry Barlow, who drew for The New Yorker for many decades. WK The song, written by British songwriter Tommie Connor, tells of a child wandering downstairs and seeing his mother kissing Santa under the mistletoe. Unaware that it is actually his father in costume, the boy wonders how Dad will react to the news. WK

Upon the song’s release, some thought the suggestion of a married woman having an affair – even though it is implied that “Santa” is the woman’s husband – was too risqué. Some radio stations banned the song, SF but that didn’t stop it from becoming a major success.

Jimmy Boyd’s version – which was the first recorded and released – broke sales records for Columbia, selling nearly a quarter million copies in one day and more than a million copies before Christmas of 1952. TY1 He told Time magazine, “I like it personally, but I didn’t think anyone would buy it.” SF He was thirteen years old when the song charted. He only charted three more times, all within the next six months. PM

Other chart versions of the song include those by Spike Jones (1952, #4 PM), Molly Bee (1952, #19 PM), the Beverly Sisters (1953, #6 UK), Billy Cotton & His Band (1953, #11 UK), John Farnham (1968, #41 AU), the Jackson 5 (1970, #91 UK), and Reba McEntire (1999, #5 CW). Others to record the song included Teresa Brewer, John Mellencamp, the Platters, the Ronettes, Jessica Simpson, Andy Williams, and Amy Winehouse. SF All versions of the song have sold a combined 11 million copies. TY1 The song was selected to Variety’s Hit Parade of a Half-Century. TY1 The song served as the basis for a 2001 made-for-TV movie.


First posted 12/20/2023.

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