‘Kiss Your Money And Your Dreams Goodbye’ by California – feat. Les Fradkin

If you’ve ever been taken in by a timeshare ‘scam,’ you will readily relate to this song from California (featuring Les Fradkin). Invariably, these offers promise more than they deliver. Buyer beware, of course, but there are organizations that help people get out of these deals. This song faces such vacation packages head-on, and it’s a sobering piece of music.

In truth, though, the song is actually about Les and Loretta Fradkin’s ill-fated 23rd wedding anniversary. According to the couple, the Fradkins booked a Norwegian cruise to Israel and Egypt in November of 2023, only to have the breakout of war put the kibosh on those blissful plans. Much like the way timeshare companies do it (who knows, these may be one in the same), the cruise line would not cancel, give them a refund, or book a trip alternative.

This song is as current as the daily news, in that the war in question is that conflict along the Gaza Strip. Granted, those in harm’s way have it the worst, but many people that took a financial hit from this cancellation have a legitimate beef.

The song begins with the title line as the chorus. When Les’s vocal comes in, he sings many of the lines with then Loretta speak/singing as a kind of call and response. These performers sound far more disappointed than angry. Lyrically, it’s a matter of fact telling of a sad tale. It’s an unusual subject for a song. Perhaps this was the only way they could think to deal with their bad circumstances. Toward the end of the track, the anger finally shows through, as they chant about their misfortunes.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, this simply-instrumented song is about a first world problem. It’s bad, yes, but many have it worse. One imagines these folks tried everything they could to get justice. “Even calls to Congress just don’t do us any good,” they sing at one point. All blame is placed on Norwegian Cruise Lines. “Norwegian takes your money, they took our money honey,” they sing. “They’re playing a shell game hidden from your eye.”


Something tells us these two won’t be booking any cruises any time soon. With that said, though, it’s doubtful a war will be the cause of future cruise cancellations.

Sonically, the song is gentle pop. It doesn’t feature a lot of instrumentation. It’s more of a vehicle for this couple’s complaint. It’s as though they wanted to track their feelings while they were still fresh.

The purpose of this song is likely to spread bad word of mouth about Norwegian Cruises. One wouldn’t imagine Norwegian Cruises would hear this song and then suddenly have a change of heart. But one would hope so. In Norwegian Cruise’s defense, however, they probably did the right thing in cancelling the cruise. With that said, though, they really should have compensated those that were left at the dock, so to speak.

Indeed, this is a quirky little song. It’s good, as far as complaint-letters-put-to-music go. It underscores just what crazy days we live in, but at least does this underscoring creatively.


-Dan MacIntosh