• May 19, 2022
 The Return of ‘Pancho Claus’ to the Herald Post

Santa at LaFe’s annual luminarias on Scenic Drive | Photo by Andres ‘Ace’ Acosta – El Paso Herald Post

The Return of ‘Pancho Claus’ to the Herald Post

A Herald Post Christmas Tradition continues…written by the ‘Father of Chicano Music’ Lalo Guerrero, here is the classic (with audio) Pancho Claus.

Originally released in 1956 and re-recorded by Lalo and his son Mark in 1968, the words to Pancho Claus were published in the Herald Post every year around Christmas and are fondly remembered by readers of all ages.

A book titled ‘Pancho Claus’ and approved by the Guerrero family was published and is available on Amazon and features illustrations by world-famous designer Bob Mackie.

A companion book – ‘Pancho Claus Volume 2’ features the illustrated lyrics of another Lalo’s Christmas songs, “Mario from the Barrio.”

Above is the classic song, below are the lyrics as re-imagined by Guerrero. Enjoy them with a new generation.


Pancho Claus

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa
Mama she was busy preparing the masa
To make the tamales for la tamalada
And all the ingredients for the enchiladas

Papa in the front room with all the muchachas
Was dancing the mambo and doing the cha cha
My brothers and sisters were out in the hall
Listening to Elvis sing rock ‘n roll

When all of a sudden there came such a racket
I jumped out of bed and I put on my jacket
I looked out the window and on the lawn
Was my old uncle Pedro as drunk as a louse
He ran in the casa he grabbed the guitarra
He let out a yell – “Ay, Ay, Ay” and sang Guadalajara Guadalajara

I was starting to wonder as I lay there alone
How old Santa Claus was to visit my home
With all of this noise they would scare him away
When all of a sudden I heard someone say
Hey Pablo, Chuchito Hey! Arriba! Gordito, Jose
Get up there you guys if you want your hay

And what to my wandering eyes did appear
Four cute little donkeys instead of reindeer
They pulled a carreta that was full of toys
For all of us good little girls and boys

The fat little driver waved his big sombrero
And yelled Merry Christmas! Feliz Año Nuevo!
That means “Happy New Year”
And then I hear him sing

I am Santa’s cousin from south of the border
My name’s Pancho Claus and I bring you your order
I heard him exclaim as he drove past the porches
“Merry Christmas to all and to all Buenas Noches”

Lalo Guerrero | Photo courtesy markguerrero.net

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1 Comment

  • I’d forgotten this! Thank you for bringing back great memories of old El Paso. Love this!

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