Surf's Up

Album: Surf's Up (1971)
  • A diamond necklace played the pawn
    Hand in hand some drummed along, oh
    To a handsome man and baton
    A blind class aristocracy
    Back through the opera glass you see
    The pit and the pendulum drawn
    Columinated 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
    Columinated 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 rose
    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

Comments: 5

  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationOne of the highlights on the five-disc box set, called The Smile Sessions [released on November 1st, 2011 A.D.] is a version of Brian Wilson, solo on the piano, running through "Surf's Up" during 1967's Wild Honey album sessions -- long after the Smile album had been abandoned. Jon Stebbins, author of several watershed Beach Boys books -- including The Beach Boys FAQ -- explained that the performance is indicative of the importance of the Beach Boys' middle period music: "The version of 'Surf's Up' that's Brian at the piano in 1967 with the Wild Honey piano sound on it just kind of (laughs) blew my mind, because it just emphasized what a genius Brian was with his left hand. Listening to hear him sing this incredible melody; it's wonderful in it's beauty and the progression he's reaching for in his musical attitude, basically."
  • George from Belleville, NjSurf's Up is a song that's so complex in it's beauty that it's hard to put it into a category.It's like a pop symphony bordering on classical with a touch of psycedelic added to it.A strange but beautiful trip on a musical journey.This song conjures up all kinds of thoughts and dreams and far away feelings.This is a true masterpiece.
  • Sabrina from Corvallis, OrI finally got to hear Brian Wilson's SMiLE and heard Surf's Up on that CD. It's an awesome song. It's too bad Mike Love wouldn't give it or Van Dyke Parks a chance back in the day...but then they say all things happen for a reason,so maybe it's best it came out more fully later on than back in the 60s when Brian was initially working on SMiLE.
  • Robert from Vancouver, BcThis is perhaps one of most sublime songs of all time?
  • Bill from Downers Grove, IlMike Love disliked the song lyrics and questioned VanDyke Parks about their meaning. He didn't know what they meant, just liked the way they sounded together. I agree..
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Rush: Album by Album - A Conversation With Martin PopoffSong Writing

A talk with Martin Popoff about his latest book on Rush and how he assessed the thousands of albums he reviewed.

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Michael Sweet of StryperSongwriter Interviews

Find out how God and glam metal go together from the Stryper frontman.

Into The Great Wide Open: Made-up MusiciansSong Writing

Eddie (played by Johnny Depp in the video) found fame fleeting, but Chuck Berry's made-up musician fared better.

The Evolution of "Ophelia"Song Writing

How four songs portray Shakespeare's character Ophelia.