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Steven

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Reply with quote  #1 
The meaning of "God Only Knows" is unclear to me.  Does he love her or is he just dependent on her?  The music of Brian sounds like love but the words are ambiguous.  What do you think?
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Cantina Margarita

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Reply with quote  #2 
Not being an English native speaker, and not being familiar with California guys, I say it's clearly love and thankfulness, just like Lennon's "Woman".

This song could as well be about apples and eggs, it would still be outstanding. It's this song what first attracted me to be here.

... by the way: welcome to the Brian Wilson board! You will find a lot of smart and cool people from different countries posting here. Very instructive musical discussions, dealing with other artists as well (Brian won't be jealous because he's the best anyway :-). Also many other subjects. A lot of fun guaranteed, and always a good read.
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aimee

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Reply with quote  #3 
You raise a very good question. I think it is a painfully honest expression of love. Life would still go on without the beloved, but it would be empty, because it is the beloved who brings meaning to life. I see how it could come across as "mere" dependence, but, then, where love is deep, there is that sense that "there is no me without you," which this song captures quite well. 
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Al Forsyth

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Reply with quote  #4 
But how were they able to connect the Tony Asher lyric so well with the God-like quality of the music?  Did Brian have the original idea?  According to Tony Asher, he did!
https://beachboys.fandom.com/wiki/Tony_Asher
Fred Only Knows?
https://www.songfacts.com/facts/the-beach-boys/god-only-knows

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A diamond necklace played the pawn...
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aimee

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Reply with quote  #5 
The second link in particular was fascinating! Thank you!
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paul g adsett

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Reply with quote  #6 
'god only knows what i'd be without scrambled eggs...'
it needed a bit of a tweak,
but,
as a work in progress,
it had a certain something...

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John B

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Reply with quote  #7 
I agree with Aimee's interpretation!

The beginning does really stick out lyrically as very original.  Wonder if it later influenced the Japanese song Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase (by T. Miki & T. Araki) which became 'Wo Zhi Zai Hu Ni' (I Only Care for you) in Mandarin--as performed by Deng Li Jun.

The lyrics go, translated from Japanese to Chinese to English:

If I had never met you, I wonder where I would be, What would my days be like?
Would I cherish life?
Probably I would have met someone else, and lived an ordinary life
Never knowing, a love as sweet as honey

As time goes by I only care for you
I'm willingly only inspired by your breath
With a busom friend, your life can grow confident
So even to lose your life would not be regretful
So I ask, beg you please, don't ever be apart from me
Without you I would be unable to feel love

How many times in life can we find the love who really knows us?
I don't have feelings for other people, not at all,
I only care for you

If there would come a day when you said you would leave me
I would be lost in myself, Walking through an endless sea of people

Promises would not matter, I'd just want to be with you again every day
What good are promises? You can't rely on promises to live

As time goes by I only care for you,
I'm willingly only inspired by your breath.
With a bosom friend, your life can grow confident, so
Even to lose the strength of life, would not be regretful
So I beg you, please, Don't ever let me leave you
Without you I would be unable to feel love
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aimee

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Reply with quote  #8 
Wow! Thank you for sharing that song! Very powerful lyrics!
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Sail on Sailor

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Reply with quote  #9 
i wish someone would feel that way about me
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i can hear music
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