Song Lyric Sunday: Liminal – ‘Surf’s Up”

There’s a clear seaside theme to Song Lyric Sunday this week, and when one of the prompt words is ‘surf’, it’s inevitable that the Beach Boys spring almost immediately to mind.

However, I haven’t gone for one of their earlier, teenybopper celebrations of California life but this rather more thoughtful song, from the album of the same name, that was released in 1971 when the group – and Brian Wilson in particular – was trying to move away from their heartthrob image to produce more thoughtful work. And this one certainly makes you think.

A diamond necklace played the pawn
Hand in hand some drummed along, oh
To a handsome mannered baton
A blind class aristocracy
Back through the opera glass you see
The pit and the pendulum drawn
Columnated ruins domino

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping?

Hung velvet overtaken me
Dim chandelier awaken me
To a song dissolved in the dawn
The music hall a costly bow
The music all is lost for now
To a muted trumpeter swan
Columnated ruins domino

Canvass the town and brush the backdrop
Are you sleeping, Brother John?

Dove nested towers the hour was
Strike the street quicksilver moon
Carriage across the fog
Two-Step to lamp lights cellar tune
The laughs come hard in Auld Lang Syne

The glass was raised, the fired-roast
The fullness of the wine, the dim last toasting
While at port adieu or die

A choke of grief heart hardened I
Beyond belief a broken man too tough to cry

Surf’s Up
Aboard a tidal wave
Come about hard and join
The young and often spring you gave
I heard the word
Wonderful thing
A children’s song

Child, child, child, child, child
A child is the father of the man
Child, child, child, child, child
A child is the father of the man
A children’s song
Have you listened as they played
Their song is love
And the children know the way
That’s why the child is the father to the man
Child, child, child, child, child
Child, child, child, child, child
Na na na na na na na na
Child, child, child, child, child
That’s why the child is the father to the man
Child, child, child, child, child

Written by Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks

Song Lyric Sunday 17 April 2022

3 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: Liminal – ‘Surf’s Up”

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