December 24, 2012

The Beach Boys - Mele Kalikimaka (1977)

The Beach Boys had intended to release a Christmas album in 1977 titled Merry Christmas from The Beach Boys. Although it was eventually aborted (as only Al Jardine, Mike Love, and Brian Wilson had shown up for the recording sessions), some of the songs would later appear on their 1978 album, titled M.I.U Album. Heard below is the original version of a song that was later reworked and released on that album. Given that there was quite a bit of Christmas music recorded by the group over the years, Capitol records decided to release Ultimate Christmas in 1998, an album which contained every Beach Boys’ song that had to do with the Christmas topic. In 2004, the album was put out of print and replaced with Christmas with The Beach Boys, an identical album which differed only in its album art and the omission of the song “Christmas Time Is Here Again”.

Although there is a famous Christmas song with this name that was written by Robert Alex Anderson in 1949 (famously sung by Bing Crosby in 1950, and later many others), this is actually an original song by The Beach Boys that borrows the same title. Written by Mike Love and Al Jardine, it was alternately known as “Kona Christmas” or "Kona Coast" when it was revised and rereleased on the M.I.U. Album in 1978. Love and Jardine provided the lead vocals on this original version, which was recorded on November 18th, 1977 but not released until September 22nd, 1998 on the Ultimate Christmas album.

album art

The Beach Boys - Mele Kalikimaka (1977)

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It's been my secret passion to try it
To spend my Christmas surfin', I can't deny it
I wanna spend my Christmas on the Kona Coast in Hawaii

For years I saved my pennies and planned it
The great Pacific Ocean, we'll span it
I wanna spend Christmas where I dig it the most, in Hawaii

(Go to Hawaii, Hawaii)
Mele Kalikimaka is "Merry Christmas" in Hawaii talk-a
And at Lahaina we'll count the shooting stars
And it will be just you and me in Hawaii

The suntanned beauties are everywhere
If you're comin' to the islands then you might stare
And find a girl waiting for you there in Hawaii

Kani and Wahini and the haoles, too
Wish a Mele Kalikimaka to you
They're the friendliest people anywhere in Hawaii

(Go to Hawaii, Hawaii))
Mele Kalikimaka is how they say it in island talk-a
The island flower fragrance in the air
We'll write a card and underneath the mango trees
We'll say, "Wish you were here with us in Hawaii"

Winter in the sun and surf'd sure be nice
In a south sea garden paradise
I wanna spend Christmas where I dig it the most, in Hawaii

(Honolulu, Waikiki)
(Do you wanna come along with me?)
(Waimia up to Hanalai)
(I'd love to take you to the islands today)

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