This holiday-themed hot rod Christmas song is about Santa Claus and his sleigh, was partly inspired by record producer Phil Spector’s plans to record a Christmas album. Brian Wilson said: “I wrote the lyrics to it while I was out on a date and then I rushed home to finish the music.” Six months prior to its release, the band had released a song called ‘Little Deuce Coupe’ which some of Little Saint Nick’s rhythm and structure is derived from. In 1990, Mike Love filed a lawsuit to have his name listed as the co-writer of “Little Saint Nick” since originally he wasn’t. His credit was awarded after he won.
The “Run run, reindeer” line was copped from Chuck Berry’s song “Run Rudolph Run,” where Berry sings, “Run run, Rudolph.” By making the reindeer generic, The Beach Boys avoided copyright issues – Berry had to turn over royalties to his song to the creator the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer story.
Release Date: December 9, 1963
Songwriter/s: Brian Wilson – Mike Love
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard magazine’s special seasonal weekly Christmas Singles chart. On the regular weekly sales chart surveyed by Cashbox magazine it reached number 69. ‘Little Saint Nick’ reached the top 10 charts of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Vancouver and Washington D.C.
Artist’s age on Release Date: The American rock band was active for 2 years when they released this song.
Cover Versions: Hollyridge Strings – Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem – John Denver and the Muppets – Mari lijima – Hanson – Sugar Ray – McFly – EastEnders – Brian Wilson – 1910 Fruitgum Company – Captain & Tennille – Overboard – Straight No Chaser – She & Him – Kidz Bop – Best Coast – Some Youtubers covered this song.