Caroline, No

Album: Pet Sounds (1966)
Charted: 32
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  • Where did your long hair go
    Where is the girl I used to know
    How could you lose that happy glow
    Oh, Caroline no

    Who took that look away
    I remember how you used to say
    You'd never change, but that's not true
    Oh, Caroline you

    Break my heart
    I want to go and cry
    It's so sad to watch a sweet thing die
    Oh, Caroline why

    Could I ever find in you again
    Things that made me love you so much then
    Could we ever bring 'em back once they have gone
    Oh, Caroline no Writer/s: Brian Wilson, Tony Asher
    Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 18

  • Doug from FloridaBefore the Beatles invaded the US airways, it was The Beach Boys that we sang and danced to as young teens. Caroline, no was a favorite
  • Greg from LondonThank you for a mine of information The Beach Boys music has always uplifted me and I met them once when I worked in harrods London in the early seventies Carl and Dennis were there god bless them and may their music continue to uplift and inspire future generations as it hasme since my teens
  • Beach Guy from ChicagoGreat to hear more about Caroline,No. Amazing what Brian accomplished, and the fun he gave us while listening to Beach Boy songs. At a minimum, everyone should have Endless Summer and Pet Sounds in their music collection. Thanks for it all, Brian. Your songs will be cherished forever.
  • Ruth Woytsek from Greensburg InThe Kaiser Chiefs' "Caroline, Yes" was written as an answer to this song as per their Songfact song page.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaSteve you lucky person. Would love to meet him once just to say Thanks, and I would sound silly too because this is forever my fav song he wrote as well.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaStill my all time fav song Brian ever wrote and they recorded. Now the story behind the song (and have read this in several Beach Boys books) is different. The one I read is that it was about a girl Brian went to school with and had a crush on. She never knew tell after they had graduated. Her name was Carol.
  • Dt from Gulf Breeze, FlHaunting song, especially if back in HS you were in love with a girl named Caroline who had long golden hair.
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song is so beautiful and haunting that upon hearing it you know it is instantly a classic.Brian Wilson was at the top of his game when he wrote Pet Sounds and this could be the crowning achievement of the album.They just can't write songs like this anymore.This is a once in a lifetime listening experience.
  • Matt from Galway, IrelandAnthony, that's how Pet Sounds ends. It's just the way the album ends, and Caroline No being the last song on the album, those sounds come right after it.
  • Richie from Omaha, NeThe lyrics to "Caroline No," for example "How could you lose that happy glow?" and the reference to a female denying ever changing, are quite prophetic. Brian shares some important insight concerning women for the naive. Given all of the trendy self-analysis books focusing on relationships, I must wonder if anyone was listening. . .
  • Anthony from Park City, Uti have the version where at the end the song there's like a train rolling and it fades out anyone know what version i have?
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI once toldBrian that this was my favorite Beach Boy/BrianWilson 45...he looked at me with a puzzling look!
  • Charles Granata from Livingston, NjThe percussion sound was achieved by Hal Blaine striking the bottom of a plastic "Sparkletts" water jug (the kind you'd find on top of an office water cooler.) They definitely added a generous amount of reverb to get the effect that Brian wanted: on some of the raw session takes of the instrumental, it is "dry" and sounds very different.

    Tony Asher was the collaborator who had the girlfriend named Carol, and he hadn't seen her in a long time. When he did run into her again, he noticed that she'd cut her hair, and it was radically different. In writing the song, he and Brian discussed how people change, and how they view past loves. At some point early in the process, Tony sang a line that said, "Oh, Carol I know," and Brian thought he had sung, "Oh, Caroline, no." Afterward, they both realized that the mistake made for a better lyric line.

    Both stories were told to me by Hal Blaine and Tony Asher, respectively.

    Chuck Granata
  • Erik from Lund, SwedenAccording to the 1994 Brian Wilson documentary "I just wasn't made for these times" Marilyn Wilson stated that she at the time took the lyrics personally since she had recently cut her hair, but Mr. Wilson himself spoke of somebody else (his collaborator maybe) who "must have had a girlfriend who had cut her hair or something" and focused more on the change between a "sweet girl" (long hair) that had turned "hard and cold" after the haircut, hence the sad cry; Caroline, oh no, what have you done to yourself, sort of.
  • Will from Riverside, CaAce, you pretty much have it right. According to _Wouldn't It Be Nice_ by Charles Granata, Tony Asher was inspired by a girl named Carol in his past.

    When Asher visited his high school sweetheart after she had been living in New York, he found that she had made some radical changes (including - you guessed it! - cutting her hair). When he first sang the lyric to Brian, he said "Oh, Carol, I know," but Brian interpreted it as "Caroline No," which lent the song to take on a much deeper content.
  • Ace from Las Vegas, NvBefore the song was written, one member asked another about an old crush from high school. He said "Oh, Carol, I know." The writer mistook his words as "Caroline No" and ran to write the song.
  • Natasha from Chico, CaWas Caroline a real person? If so, who was she?
  • Vicki from Geneva, IlThey Might Be Giants released a version of this song on their 2004 EP "Indestructable Object."
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