Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Don't Worry Baby!


 

TEXT ADDED 2-13-15

If for some odd reason I was forced to choose one song that I would then have to listen to twenty times in a row, it would be this one. It massages the ear and satisfies the soul. Transported by a nearly subliminal eighth note rhythmic pattern and those lush Beach Boys harmonies, the heart of the song is the arching melody, especially the ascending part in measures nine through twelve. That's the part that first appears at 0:35, when Brian Wilson sings "But she looks in my eyes / and makes me realize (when she says)". John Lennon used this melodic passage in his great late hit, "Starting Over." Let's up the ante: Forced to possess just four bars of music for eternity, I'll take these four.

You can imagine Brian Wilson's tyrannical manager-dad ordering Brian to write a song about drag racing. The plot is nearly incidental, but the "Don't worry baby, everything will turn out all right," chorus is as much of a lyrical message as the song, or any song for that matter, really needs. Brian might not have set out to write the most spiritually uplifting piece of pop music ever, but he did it.

Listen on headphones if you get the chance.

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