The Story Behind Dominick the Donkey

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donkey-300x200By Jack De Leonibus

My family loves the Dominick the Donkey song. Dominick the Donkey is a well known symbol of Christmas in Italy. We listen to it almost every day from the beginning of December until January. We also listen to it a few times in the summer months!

So how did the song come to be?

It was written by Richard Allen, Sam Saltzberg and Lou Monte, and first sung by Monte in 1960. Monte was an Italian-American singer, popular in the late 1950′s and early 1960′s.  The song describes a donkey who helps Santa Claus bring presents to children in Italy.

The song made it to #14 in Billboard’s “Bubbling under the Hot 100″ list in December 1960. However, the song did not get as much airplay at the time in America because it was considered a novelty and contained some Italian lyrics, but it remained quite popular in Italian-American households. 


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