Song of the Day #1,598: ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ – The Beach Boys

Often on YouTube, I’ll see comments on song clips that read something like “This song was written about my life!” or “This describes exactly how I feel about [fill in the blank].”

Plenty of people out there, it seems, see their own feelings and experiences in the lyrics of songs they love.

I almost never do.

I respond passionately to a wide range of songs, but it’s extremely rare that my response is of a truly personal nature. So rare, in fact, that I came up with ten examples after scanning nearly 11,000 songs in my iTunes library.

I’ll feature those ten songs over the next two weeks and explain why they do connect with me in a way most songs don’t.

As it happens, the songs break out into two neat groups of five. The first group are all love songs of one sort or another and they trace a path from young love through the end of life.

The next five songs follow a thread of nostalgia and regret — it’s a lonely batch, more of those melancholy tracks I like so much.

Starting things off is ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ by The Beach Boys. This was a song that my high school friends and I latched onto as a perfect encapsulation of how we felt about our girlfriends.

Life’s greatest irony is that the young long to be older while the old long to be young. This song captures the impatience of young love — that feeling that if you could only fast-forward ahead 5 years or so, you’d get to have a real relationship.

Of course the truth is that you’d likely wind up like Billy Joel’s Brenda and Eddie, but at the time you think it’ll be more like Johnny and June.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older
Then we wouldn’t have to wait so long
And wouldn’t it be nice to live together
In the kind of world where we belong

You know its gonna make it that much better
When we can say goodnight and stay together

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could wake up
In the morning when the day is new
And after having spent the day together
Hold each other close the whole night through

What happy times together we’ve been spending
I wish that every kiss was neverending
Wouldn’t it be nice

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray it might come true
Baby then there wouldn’t be a single thing we couldn’t do
We could be married
And then we’d be happy
Wouldn’t it be nice

You know it seems the more we talk about it
It only makes it worse to live without it
But let’s talk about it
Wouldn’t it be nice

Good night my baby
Sleep tight my baby


2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,598: ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice’ – The Beach Boys

  1. Dana says:

    I wouldn’t have expected this to be one of your personal identification songs, but your explanation makes sense. I look forward to this theme. Should be interesting and revelatory.

  2. Shawn says:

    Probably Brian’s best song or maybe Good Vibrations. Its such an incredible performance that the music lasts after the lyrics mean less as you age. But there’s always something to look forward to, to think, hey, wouldn’t that be nice. Well, I hope so, anyways.

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