Sunday, May 13, 2007

God Only Knows Nige

Sunday then, but no complacencies of the peignoir (yes, Wallace Stevens' Sunday Morning) for me - I am back amid the hissing valves and pumping pistons of NigeCorp HQ. A truly classic Eurovision, I thought - won by a burly Serbian Sapphist with an entourage of Prisoner Cell Block H warders, with Ukraine's answer to Timmy Mallet as runnerup - who could ask for more? The contest will never leave eastern Europe again - which means we shld be in for many years of deep and strange madness.
I had been meaning to write something about walking, but in this grim London weather it's really not on - and I'd need a walk to compose my thoughts. Meanwhile, let me test a theory (theory - what am I saying? It seems to me self-evident, yet every time I bring it up it is firmly rebutted):
The Beach Boys classic God Only Knows (I was listening to it the other day on the strangely wonderful Brian Wilson live Pet Sounds) is, it seems to me, most definitely not the 'perfect love song' of popular repute, but an undisguised admission of morbid dependency - dependecy so total that love itself is irrelevant ('I may not always love you...' - cracking way to open a love song, Brian). This is then apparently contradicted by the 'Life would still go on, believe me' line - but life, one fears, would be going on without Brian, and the second stanza ends with something close to a veiled suicide threat. Nice.
Seems to me I'm stating the obvious here - or am I about to be rebutted again?
By the way, quick political prediction: Brown calls snap election.


  1. Nige, don't doubt yourself you're spot on with ‘God Only Knows’. Mind you I have to disagree about the version on Pet Sounds live. Without Carl's voice on it there's something missing. Added to which theirs too many vocal parts on the live version. It's only a three part harmony on the original - Carl, Brian and Bruce Johnston. It's quite likely the only BB song with three part harmony!

  2. Can't say I can really get into The Beach Boys, and the reasons probably part of what you're talking about, Nige. All a bit too syrupy for me. Wilson too consciously trying to be a positive force, which is maybe admirable, but art ahould be about the totality of experience- not trying to blot out all that isn't happy and loving. Which leads to a false and vulnerable position based on an ideal rather than reality... which leads to the strain within God Only Knows? Dunno if that makes sense.