Tuesday Toons: God Only Knows by The Beach Boys

The first thing I admit is that I am not an authority on anything. I’ve been around for more than a few decades and I am still learning. Maybe that’s how we know we’re not dead. Ha. If you have a day where you learn something new, you are showing your openness, demonstrating that you have not become cynical about the world, that the world around you is ever-evolving and spectacular. That there are always new things to behold and learn.

So, hey, this is a music post–what does this mean? Well, yesterday I heard Paul McCartney say that “God Only Know” is one of the greatest rock songs ever. Now, I love this song. It’s beautiful and sweet, but one of the greatest rock songs ever? I’ve been singing this song all day today, whistling it, thinking through it. What I came up with was this is not an easy song to sing. Try it out. Carl Wilson’s sweet voice makes it sound easy. But there are note progressions that don’t follow. The song is so deceptive. It sounds simple, but it isn’t

God Only Knows” is a song by American rock band the Beach Boys from their 1966 album Pet Sounds. Written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, it is a Baroque-style love song distinguished for its harmonic innovation and its subversion of typical pop music formula. It is often praised as one of the greatest songs ever written and as the Beach Boys’ finest record.


Brian Wilson disliked the opening line provided by Tony Asher because it sounded negative, “I may not always love you.” But what followed changed his mind:

But long as there are stars above you

You never need to doubt it

I’ll make you so sure about it

God only knows what I’d be without you

Yeah, who wouldn’t want that to be sung to them?

What do you think?

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