Little Saint Nick

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"Little Saint Nick"
Little Saint Nick cover.jpg
Single by the Beach Boys
B-side"The Lord's Prayer"
ReleasedDecember 9, 1963
RecordedOctober 20, 1963
StudioWestern, Hollywood
Genre
Length2:00
LabelCapitol
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Brian Wilson
The Beach Boys singles chronology
"Be True to Your School"
(1963)
"Little Saint Nick"
(1963)
"Fun, Fun, Fun"
(1964)
Music video
"Little Saint Nick" on YouTube
Audio sample

"Little Saint Nick" is a song by American rock band the Beach Boys first released as a single on December 9, 1963. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the Christmas song applies hot-rod themes to Santa Claus and his sleigh.[1]

The single peaked at number 3 on Billboard magazine's special seasonal weekly Christmas Singles chart.[2] Its B-side was an a cappella version of "The Lord's Prayer".[3] In November 1964, an alternate mix of "Little Saint Nick" appeared as the opening track on The Beach Boys' Christmas Album.

Background[edit]

"Little Saint Nick" was recorded on October 20, 1963, at Western Studio in Hollywood.[4] 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.[5] Love was not originally listed as the co-writer of "Little Saint Nick". His credit was awarded after a 1990s lawsuit.[1][6]

Variations[edit]

"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.[6] Another version of the song, utilizing the melody and backing track later used for the All Summer Long song "Drive-In", was recorded during the album sessions in June 1964, but remained unreleased until a 1991 CD reissue.[5]

Charts[edit]

Chart performance for "Little Saint Nick"
Chart (2019–2022) Peak
position
Global 200 (Billboard)[7] 53
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[8] 39
US Billboard Hot 100[9] 43
US Holiday 100 (Billboard)[10] 24
US Rolling Stone Top 100[11] 25

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murphy, James B. (2015). Becoming the Beach Boys, 1961-1963. McFarland. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-7864-7365-6.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920-2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 20. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Doe, Andrew G. "GIGS63". Bellagio 10452. Retrieved December 6, 2018.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "The Beach Boys Chart History (Global 200)". Billboard. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  8. ^ "The Beach Boys Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  9. ^ "The Beach Boys Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 29, 2021.
  10. ^ "Holiday 100 (Week of December 11, 2021)". Billboard. December 11, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2021.
  11. ^ "Top 100 Songs". Rolling Stone. December 24, 2019. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "British single certifications – Beach Boys – Little Saint Nick". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 8, 2021.