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Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa's Beard: Christmas popnugget

When I was just a yittle boy we had a copy of The Beach Boys' Christmas on tape cassette. As a certified (or certifiable) Brian Wilson/Beach Boys fan, I wore that tape out until it warbled.

There were several Brian Wilson originals on that album, the most famous of which is "Little Saint Nick." Only slightly less well known is "Santa's Beard", a brilliantly arranged popnugget about a guy taking his younger brother to see a department store Santa Claus. It's fun to imagine the lyric is autobiographical--Brian taking younger brother Denny to see "the man with all the toys".

The chord progression in the "I wanna see Santa Claus, the real, real Santa" run that opens the song and recurs, always blows me away. "Santa's Beard" is an exemplary exhibition of Brian's best Beach Boys vocal arrangements. Enjoy! And Merry Christmas!


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