This Video Proves 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' Is Best Sung in Navajo

For William P. Yazzie of Chinle, Arizona, it's about language preservation.

On December 10, Yazzie, who is Diné, posted a video to his Facebook page where he sings the classic Christmas carol, "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" in Navajo. Since then, the video has generated more than 54,000 views.

“I didn’t expect this post to get as much attention as it did," Yazzie told ICTMN. “It’s kind of scary. I got so many friend requests from this alone.”

Yazzie, who is two years into his retirement from his career as a Chief Park Ranger with the National Park Service, said he has converted songs into Navajo since the 1980s.

“It’s fun,” he said. “But the main reason why I do this is language preservation. It’s to get kid's, young people’s attention that language is important.”

Navajo was Yazzie's first language. He has also converted "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and "Let It Snow" to Navajo.

"The kids really enjoy it," he said.

Responses to "Navajo Elder Sings 'Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' In Navajo (Video)"

  1. Hawaiiwin says:

    Thank you for doing this amazing thing. It may not seem that amazing to you, but it is. It's a bridge of goodwill and humor that connects people. Christmas is pretty silly, but it's what we've got, and it can be done "in a good way" if people are creative, and are willing to think and act "outside the box" --- as you have! So, again, thank you for your wonderful song and voice and spirit.

Write a comment