Little Saint Nick

"Little Saint Nick" is a Christmas-themed hot rod song about Santa Claus and his sleigh, written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love of the American rock band the Beach Boys.[1] The song was first released as a single on December 9, 1963, and peaked at number 3 on Billboard magazine's special seasonal weekly Christmas Singles chart. Its B-side was an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer".[2]

"Little Saint Nick"
Little Saint Nick cover.jpg
Single by The Beach Boys
B-side"The Lord's Prayer"
ReleasedDecember 9, 1963
FormatVinyl
RecordedOctober 20, 1963
StudioWestern Studio, Hollywood
GenreChristmas, Hot rod rock
Length2:00
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)Brian Wilson, Mike Love
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Be True to Your School"
(1963)
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)
Audio sample

BackgroundEdit

"Little Saint Nick" was recorded on October 20, 1963 at Western Studio in Hollywood.[3] The idea for the song was partly inspired by record producer Phil Spector's plans to record a Christmas album. Wilson recalled: "I wrote the lyrics to it while I was out on a date and then I rushed home to finish the music."[1] Some of its rhythm and structure derives from the group's "Little Deuce Coupe", also co-written by Wilson and released as a single six months earlier.[4] Love was not originally listed as the co-writer of "Little Saint Nick". His credit was awarded after a 1990s lawsuit.[1][5]

PersonnelEdit

Partial credits from Craig Slowinski and Jon Stebbins.[6][7][8][9]

unknown - sleigh bells

VariationsEdit

"Little Saint Nick" reappeared on The Beach Boys' Christmas Album in 1964, with the stereo pressings of the album containing a new mix that removes the overdubbed sleigh bells and tuned percussion. This was done so that it would fit better with the sound of the album's first side, which was recorded in a hurry with basic instrumentation.[5] Another version of the song, utilizing the melody from the All Summer Long song "Drive-In", was recorded during the album sessions but remained unreleased until a 1991 CD reissue.[4]

Other versionsEdit

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[10] 25
Chart (2019) Peak
position
US Rolling Stone Top 100[11] 27

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Murphy, James B. (2015). Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963. McFarland. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-7864-7365-6.
  2. ^ Badman, Keith. The Beach Boys. The Definitive Diary of America's Greatest Band: On Stage and in the Studio Backbeat Books, San Francisco, California, 2004. ISBN 0-87930-818-4 p. 45
  3. ^ Doe, Andrew G. "GIGS63". Bellagio 10452. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Lambert, Philip (2007). Inside the Music of Brian Wilson: The Songs, Sounds, and Influences of the Beach Boys' Founding Genius. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-4411-0748-0.
  5. ^ a b Hickey, Andrew (2018-02-10). The Beach Boys On CD vol 1: The 1960s. [[Lulu.com]]. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-4475-4233-9.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  6. ^ "The Celeste in Girl Don't Tell Me".
  7. ^ "The Beach Boys Band loses another band member".
  8. ^ "Not one vocal credit for David Marks on the new album?".
  9. ^ "Brian and Murry not crediting each other properly".
  10. ^ "The Beach Boys Chart History (Holiday 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 15, 2018.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.