God Only Knows

by Tony Hume

"I may not always love you..." when I first heard those words sung I was about 8 years old and thought the singer was about to break some bad news to the person he was addressing. The introduction, which, for me, was on the same sort of mystical scale as the righteous brothers "You Lost That Loving Feeling" told me that something wonderful and sad and unknowable was about to enter my young life and I stood and listened and am still trying to work it all out to this day.

The music seems to be trying to rise above its earthly self and take its place among the clouds. The voices swim in a sea of sensuality. The lyrics splash joyfully among the waves and what at first seems like a statement of pragmatism (that first line) unfolds into just the warmest, most life-affirming tale of vulnerability you'll ever hear in a song. How a songwriter can get that all in at just under 3 mins (and I'm no slouch in the songwriting stakes) is beyond the likes of me.

Changing the subject slightly. When I was 10 years old I was coming back home on a bus from a weeks holiday and suddenly I heard very clearly some Beach Boys music in my head. Song after song came and went. When I arrived home I looked at the record player and on the turntable was the BB's greatest hits. I asked my older sister, who is a great music fan with many different favourite artists but who had not come on holiday with us, when she had played the record and she said "about an hour ago" which was, of course, when I was hearing it in my head on the bus. Just coincidence? God only knows.

Tony Hume

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