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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Poem and Song: The Famous Poem and Who Wrote it

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and the Night Before Christmas Song.
Here is a fun Christmas song based on the famous Christmas poem “The Night Before Christmas”. Under it are the words to the famous poem.

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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: The Famous Christmas Poem By Clement Clarke Moore

(Or, some suspect, by Henry Livingston. More on that below the poem).

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Who wrote “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

Who wrote the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas”?
In 1823, an anonymous poem appeared in a Troy, New York newspaper. The poem, called A Visit from St. Nicholas was an instant classic. It also changed the image of St. Nicholas from a rather cold man focused on who’s been bad to the big, jolly, merry Santa Clause we think of today. For years no one stepped forward as the author. Finally in 1844, the rather dry, serious poet Clement C. Moore came forward and claimed authorship. The poem was unlike any of his other work, but no one questioned that he wrote the most famous Christmas poem. But some, including English professor Don Foster, have suspected a lesser known poet, Henry Livingston. His poems were more lighter and livelier and fit better the style of Twas the Night Before Christmas. Chances are, we’ll never know for sure. But whoever the author, this Christmas poem has remained a central part of Christmas for nearly 100 years, and shows no signs of losing steam any time soon.

Page topic: The Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and who wrote it?

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