Little Saint Nick

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"Little Saint Nick"
Single by The Beach Boys
from the album The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
B-side "The Lord's Prayer"
Released December 9, 1963[1]
Format Vinyl
Recorded October 20, 1963
Genre Rock, Surf rock, Christmas
Length 2:00
Producer(s) Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Be True to Your School"
(1963)
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)

"Little Saint Nick" is a Christmas song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love[2] and originally performed by their group The Beach Boys. It was first released as a single on December 9, 1963, and peaked at No. 3 on Billboard magazine's special seasonal weekly Christmas Singles chart, while also reaching No. 69 on the regular weekly sales chart surveyed by Cashbox magazine. Despite a media-hushed Christmas in mourning for recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy, the single went into the Top Tens of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Vancouver and Washington DC, and the Top Twenties of San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis, Houston, Miami, and Springfield, MA. Eventually, over several more Christmases, it was credited as an unofficial (non-RIAA audited) million-seller.

The song borrows its rhythm and structure from the group's 1963 hit "Little Deuce Coupe".

Alternate versions[edit]

"Little Saint Nick" reappeared on The Beach Boys' Christmas Album in 1964, with the stereo pressings of the album containing a mix minus the overdubbed sleigh bells from the original single mix (which can be heard on mono copies of the album). 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.

Brian Wilson solo version[edit]

In 2005, the song was re-recorded by Brian Wilson for his solo Christmas collection, What I Really Want for Christmas.

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered several times, including versions by:

The song is also used in a Coca-Cola holiday commercial featuring a family of polar bears who stumble upon a festive penguin gathering. Some versions of the song include the usage of a xylophone.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ BMI Repertoire, work #882881