Dominick the Donkey
We always get tons of requests for Dominick The Italian Christmas Donkey.
How did this song get so popular? Here’s the story behind the song.
Dominick the Donkey is a Christmas song written by Richard Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Lou Monte, first sung by Monte in 1960. Monte was an Italian-American singer best know for singing Italian novelty records in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The song describes a donkey who helps Santa bring presents to children in Italy.
The song charted at number 14 in the Billboard Hot 100 in December of 1960. The song only received limited radio airplay at the time due to the perception of its novelty and some Italian lyrics. Dominick The Donkey is a well know symbol of Christmas in Italy!
Lou Monte continued to record until 1981 and passed away in 1989.
Dominick the Donkey” is a Christmas song written by Ray Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Wandra Merrell, and was recorded by Lou Monte in 1960, on Roulette Records. The song describes a donkey who helps Santa Claus bring presents (“made in Brooklyn“) to children in Italy “because the reindeer cannot climb” Italy’s hills.
The song was re-released onto Amazon on September 26, 2011, on Dexterity Records. The spelling of “Dominick” was modified to “Dominic” for the re-release. It was included in Volume 2 of the Ultimate Christmas Album series produced by Collectables Records and on the Christmas compilation album Merry Xmas 2011 by Cinquenta Musica.
The song was listed at No. 14 in Billboard’s “Bubbling under the Hot 100” list in December 1960.
In the United Kingdom, the song was used extensively on the BBC Radio 1 morning programme The Chris Moyles Show in reference to Newsbeat newsreader and regular show contributor Dominic Byrne around the Christmas 2011 period. It appeared in the Singles Chart in that country following a campaign by Chris Moyles. In the week leading up to Christmas of 2011, the show hinted at users to download the song from iTunes and Amazon. This led to the song being the No. 2 song on the British iTunes chart between December 19–25, 2011. The song eventually peaked at No. 3 on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending December 31, 2011. Had the song reached No. 1, it would have achieved the record for longest time between release and reaching the summit of the British charts. The song did, however, out-chart many other campaigns in the race for the Christmas No. 1, most notably campaigns for Nirvana and Alex Day.