Twas the Night Before Christmas

by Ken Darby, arr. Harry Simeone

University of Utah Combined Choirs

Voice part practice (up to Letter I, page 11):

[Men] ‘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;
[Women] The children were nestled all snug in their wee little beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their wee little heads;
[Men] 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 my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters, threw open the sash.

[Women] Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
that I knew right away that it must be St. Nick.
[Tutti] 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, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Dash away! dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

The featured voice is a horn. Tenors and basses both have divisi. Be sure you listen to the correct recording. (tenor 1, tenor 2, bass 1, bass 2)


From Letter I to Letter L:

[Soloist] So up to the house-tops the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, [Women] and St. Nicholas too.
[Soloist] And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
all the clattering noise [Women] of each galloping hoof.
[Men] All bundled in fur, from his head to his foot,
[Women] His clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
[Soloist] I drew in my head and was turning around,
[Tutti] When down the chimney he came with a bound!
A bag full of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a little old peddler just op’ning his pack.

The baritone soloist sounds like a harp. The featured voice is a horn. Sopranos and altos have divisi. Be sure to listen to the correct recording.


From Letter M through page 25:

[Soloist] The stump of a little old pipe he held tight in his teeth,
[Men] And the smoke went around, and around, and around his head like a wreath;
[Soloist] Oh! He was so jolly and plump, a right jolly old, jolly old elf,
[Men] And I laughed, and I laughed, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
[Soloist] He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
[Men] He gave me a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
[Women] A chuckle and a smile, I knew all the while I had nothing to dread;
[Choir sings Oo] He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
He filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying a finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

The soloists sound like a harp. The featured voice is a horn. The percussion sounds represent those interludes when the tenors will say “Ho, ho, ho” and “Hee, hee, hee.” (page 21 of the score). Sopranos and tenors have divisi. Choose the correct recording.


Page 26 through the end:

[Tutti] 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,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all good-night.”

[Men] ‘Tis the night after Christmas, and all through the house
Not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse;
The presents are scattered and broken, I fear,
And St. Nicholas won’t come again for a year.
[Women] The children are nestled all snug in their wee little beds,
While mem’ries of sugar-plums dance in their wee little heads.
[Tutti] Mamma in her ’kerchief, Papa in his cap,
Are settled at last for a long winter’s nap,