Good Vibrations

Summer music: who can resist it? There’s something about these lighthearted songs that makes the world seem so much more sane and manageable! That’s why I was so happy to join Nancy, a great friend and one of my writing buddies at a concert dedicated to the Beach Boys.The band playing was a bit far from the California surf — its members were from Canada — but the MC for the evening said he grew up listening to Beach Boy music.

True to the concert’s spirit, the evening was a celebration of Beach Boy music — and a spirited one at that. Listening and tapping my toes, I couldn’t help but think about how amazingly talented the Beach Boys were — and how their lyrics and orchestrations grew more and more complex as time went on. They started out writing about surfing, girls, and cars in a fun-loving way, but over time, their lyrics became more suggestive and even nostalgic. My favorite song of the evening was “The Sloop John B” — I just love the words as interpreted by The Beach Boys, especially, the chorus:

“So hoist up the John B’s sail
See how the mainsail sets
Call for the Captain ashore
Let me go home, let me go home
I wanna go home,
Well I feel so broke up
I wanna go home”

So many emotions are captured in these simple lines and then conveyed through the slow, relentless beat of this haunting ballad. How did the Beach Boys go from singing about surfing to sloops? It’s one of the mysteries of creativity. Write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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1 Response to Good Vibrations

  1. calmgrove says:

    The early surfing rock ‘n’ roll hits were well produced but easy-listening, and the trained musician in me preferred the more complex compositions such as Good Vibrations and God Only Knows. But Sloop John B had a great riff powering the song like the wind in the sails of a schooner or some such craft.

    It was also a traditional Caribbean song that I used when teaching class singing in school; shame that, as time went on, the Beach Boys’ interpretation was unknown waters for coming generations.

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