A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from December 12, 2020
“He’s making a list, chicken and rice…”

"Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (1934) is a popular Christmas song, but not everyone knows the lyrics. “He’s making a list and checking it twice” is sometimes given the mondegreen, “He’s making a list, chicken and rice.”

“He’s making a list, chicken and rice” was printed in the book Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly: And Other Misheard Christmas Lyrics (1998) by Gavin Edwards. The “chicken and rice” version has been printed on many images.


Wikipedia: Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” is a Christmas song, written by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie. The earliest known recorded version of the song was by banjoist Harry Reser and his band on October 24, 1934. It was then sung on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November 1934. This version became an instant hit with orders for 500,000 copies of sheet music and more than 30,000 records sold within 24 hours.

AmIRight (misheard lyrics)
J. Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie’s, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
Misheard Lyrics:

He’s making a list, chicken and rice
Original Lyrics:
He’s making a list and checking it twice

Newspapers.com
3 December 1998, Orlando (FL) Sentinel, “Could Ms. Stone be next Dr. Ruth?” by Leslie Doolittle, pg. A-2, col. 3:
Say, what? Gavin Edward’s new book, ‘Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly - And Other Misheard Christmas Lyrics’ is chock full of humorous mistakes made in holiday caroling. Here’s a sampling:
He’s making a list, chicken and rice “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
He’s making a list, checking it twice

Google Groups: alt.jokes.pentium
Kids Carols
Dave Beddows
Dec 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM
(...)
He’s making a list, chicken and rice (he’s making a list, checking it twice)

Twitter
George Bray
@GeorgeBray
He’s making a list, chicken and rice… #funnycarols #christmas
1:10 PM · Dec 2, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Kelly Kelly
@kellyskelly
Misquoted carols #7: He’s making a list, chicken and rice.
10:24 PM · Dec 18, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Stevie Vegas aka Steve the Juggler
@SteveJuggler
Misheard CHRISTmas Lyrics
1. Deck the halls with Buddy Holly
2. We three kings of porridge and tar
3. He’s making a list, chicken and rice…
11:07 AM · Dec 23, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
FLOWERDUDE
@FLOWERDUDE
Fractured #Christmas Carol alert “He’s makin a list, chicken and rice..”
4:05 PM · Dec 15, 2011·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
P_raburn
@p_raburn
@HankConger16 First Misheard Christmas Lyrics: He’s making a list, chicken and rice.
(Santa Claus is shown cooking chicken and rice.—ed.)
4:15 PM · Nov 28, 2013·Twitter for iPhone

Google Books
Sugar and Spice:
The Cupcake Club

By Sheryl Berk and Carrie Berk
Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks, Inc.
2015
Pg. 56:
I sang, ‘He’s making a list, chicken and rice!’”

Kylie cracked up.

Twitter
~Marietta
@MariettaDaviz
Heard a kid in Walmart today singing, “ He’s making a list, chicken and rice...”
Haha that’s not right, right?
#mondaythoughts
5:26 PM · Dec 2, 2019·Twitter for Android

Twitter
David Faulkner
@David7118
Son: Mama, what’s Santa’s favorite food?
Mother: Cookies.
Son: Nuh-uh. It’s chicken and #rice.
Mother: Oh?
Son: *Singing* He’s makin’ a list, chicken and rice.
#VSS365
9:28 AM · Dec 3, 2019·Twitter Web App

Twitter
Depoetic
@Depoetic
Mis-Heard Christmas Lyrics:
Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly
We three kings of porridge and tar
On the first day of Christmas my tulip gave to me
Later on we’ll perspire, as we dream by the fire.
He’s makin a list, chicken and rice.
Noel. Noel, Bar..(cont) http://tl.gd/n_1sr3jp2
12:53 PM · Dec 21, 2019·Twitter Web App

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Saturday, December 12, 2020 • Permalink