Love to Say Dada

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Love to Say Dada"
Song by The Beach Boys from the album The Smile Sessions
Released November 1, 2011 (2011-11-01)
Recorded May–October 1967, Gold Star Studios and Brian Wilson's home studio
Genre Psychedelic rock, experimental rock, progressive rock
Length 2:32
Label Capitol
Composer Brian Wilson
Producer Brian Wilson
The Smile Sessions track listing
"In Blue Hawaii"
Song by Brian Wilson from the album Brian Wilson Presents Smile
Released September 24, 2004 (2004-09-24)
Recorded April 2004, Sunset Sound Recorders
Length 3:00
Label Nonesuch
Writer Brian Wilson/Van Dyke Parks
Producer Brian Wilson
Brian Wilson Presents Smile track listing
"Mrs. O'Leary's Cow"
"In Blue Hawaii"
"Good Vibrations"
Brian Wilson singles chronology
"Good Vibrations"
"Our Prayer (Freeform Reform)"

"Love to Say Dada" (also published as "I Love to Say Dada") is an unfinished instrumental written and produced by Brian Wilson for American rock band the Beach Boys. When Wilson was completing his solo album, Brian Wilson Presents Smile, he enlisted the pen of Van Dyke Parks to include lyrics in order to complete the song. Abandoning the child theme first envisioned in 1967 for the track, the track was renamed "In Blue Hawaii" and became the water component of the 2004 album's elemental suite.


The track originated from the Smile sessions, and was, for the most part, the last track recorded for the ill-fated album. Marilyn Wilson has recounted that the song was originally written about a baby, with Brian asking her for a bottle of chocolate milk to drink while he wrote and played the song on a piano with its strings taped.[1] According to Brian,

I had just moved into a new house on Bellagio Road in Bel Air, in March of 1967, and the first day I moved in, there was a piano there, and I went to the piano and wrote [the song]. I sat and wrote the gist of it.[2]

Its title can be abbreviated as 'LSD', a reference to the drug. This was a subliminal tactic used often in the psychedelic era, alongside other examples such as songs "Love Seems Diamond" by the Blues Magoos and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles; the movies The Producers, which had a character named Lorenzo St. DuBois, and The Trip, which had a subheading that read: "A Lovely Sort of Death".


A near-complete backing track entitled "Love to Say Dada" was recorded in mostly instrumental form in between sessions for "Vega-Tables" throughout May 15–18, 1967 at Gold Star Studios. A session was also scheduled on May 19, but ended up being cancelled.[3] Wilson would later overdub a jazz scat "wah wah hoo wah" lead vocal recorded in varispeed before abandoning these complicated instrumental tracks entirely. During these May sessions, there is a take in which the sessions musicians close the track with a section of "Child Is Father of the Man". This section does not appear in any completed version of track, although Wilson does later revisit the section during a later piano rehearsal recorded at his home studio in the following months.[1]

In favor of the more sparse arranging style shown in Smiley Smile and Wild Honey (both 1967), Wilson revisited working on "Love to Say Dada" a couple of times throughout 1967, relying more on the Beach Boys' vocals as instrumental accompaniment rather than the Wall of Sound arranging style he had familiarized himself in. Some of this work was later released on the Smile portion of Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys (1993), a boxed set which included much of the unreleased Smile material. Much of these 1967 sessions would also appear on Smile bootlegs and the official 2011 release of Smile Sessions box set.[1]

Several months later, the Beach Boys recorded a minute-long piece featuring heavily layered vocals that may or may not be heard as "water, water, water…". This piece was later incorporated three years later for the newly re-titled and re-recorded "Cool, Cool Water" found in the later Beach Boys album Sunflower (1970).[1] By the time Brian Wilson returned to the Smile project for his 2004 completed version of the album, he enlisted lyricist Parks to complete the song he would now call "In Blue Hawaii", bringing it back to its original arrangement, and includes the "water" chant as an intro to the rest of the track.


The Beach Boys


  1. ^ a b c d The Smile Sessions, 2011 liner notes and session tracks.
  2. ^ White, Timothy (2000). Sunflower/Surf's Up (Media notes). The Beach Boys. California: Capitol Records. 72435-27945-2-2. 
  3. ^ Doe, Andrew G. "GIGS67". Retrieved 27 July 2013. 

External links[edit]