“Up on the Housetop" is a Christmas song written by American composer, Benjamin Hanby
COMPOSER : Benjamin Hanby
ARRANGER : Judith Hayes
“Up on the Housetop" is a Christmas song written by American composer, Benjamin Hanby, in 1864, making the song only a few years younger than Jingle Bells! It tells the story of Santa landing on the roof with his reindeer and delivering his goodies on Christmas Eve. In this arrangement, Santa does have a bit of an accident, but don’t worry, he lands safely in a large snowdrift.
Up on the housetop, reindeer pause,
Out jumps good old Santa Claus.
Down through the chimney, with lots of toys,
All for the little ones' Christmas joys.
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go.
Ho, ho, ho! Who wouldn’t go,
Up on the housetop, click, click, click;
Down through the chimney with good Saint Nick.
First comes the stocking of little Nell;
Oh, dear Santa, fill it well!
Give her a dolly that laughs and cries;
One that will open and shut her eyes.
Next comes the stocking of little Will;
Oh, just see what a glorious fill!
Here is a hammer and lots of tacks;
Also a ball and a whip that cracks!
Flexible scoring: This arrangement for Brass Band is aimed at youth and training bands, and is flexibly scored with four main parts (A-D) plus percussion. Once these are suitably covered, the optional parts can be added to suit the playing forces available. These largely double the main parts until the last verse and chorus, where they add colour (and require higher notes). The MD may choose to omit different instruments at different points in the piece as long as the four main parts are always covered. The sleigh bell part can be treated as a feature, with the player at the front of the stage if desired. The percussion as written before H is for guidance – just make a lot of noise there!
Suggested use of parts:
Part A – Solo and repiano cornet
Part B – 2nd, 3rd cornet, 1st horn (+solo horn and flugel if not playing optional parts)
Part C – 2nd horn, baritones (+ trombones and 1st euphonium if not playing optional parts)
Part D – Bass trombone, EEb and BBb basses (+ 2nd euphonium if not playing optional part)
Optional parts – Soprano cornet, cornet, flugel, horn, euphonium, trombone
Cover design by Belle Clements, Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training Band
Inside cover illustration by Grace Darcy, Bilton Silver (Rugby) Training Band and Evolution Band