The "God Only Knows" Lyrics Show It’s The Perfect Song For This Year’s Grammys In Memoriam

Capitol Records

When most people think of The Beach Boys, they likely think of simple, carefree pop music about surfing, cars, and girls. And yes, that's what the band was known for early in their career. But in 1966, the group released the album Pet Sounds, which was a much more complex and grown up record that is now widely considered to be one of the greatest albums of all-time. Perhaps the best song on the album, "God Only Knows," will be exposed to a whole new audience at this year's Grammys, where it will be performed by contemporary artists John Legend and Cynthia Erivo during the show's "In Memoriam" segment. This is a great choice, because the "God Only Knows" lyrics are all about loss.

This year's "In Memoriam" tribute will likely be the most notable in recent memory, considering the calibre of the musicians who have passed away since last year's Grammys, including Prince, The Eagles' Glenn Frey, George Michael, Leon Russell, Merle Haggard, Leonard Cohen, Christina Grimmie, A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg, and The Beatles' producer George Martin (David Bowie died last January and was honored at the 2016 Grammys). The Grammy's executive producer, Ken Ehrlich, decided that an extra special song was needed to honor these lost musicians, and that's how he decided the song had to be "God Only Knows," according to the Associated Press.

The song was written by Brian Wilson, the leader of the band and their chief songwriter, and British songwriter Tony Asher. The lyrics are spoken from the point of view of someone whose lover has just died, and he is wondering how he is supposed to continue his life now. Like I said earlier, it's a little deeper than "Surfin' U.S.A." Check out the full lyrics below:

I may not always love you/But long as there are stars above you/You never need to doubt it/I'll make you so sure about it/God only knows what I'd be without you.
If you should ever leave me/Though life would still go on, believe me/The world could show nothing to me/So what good would livin' do me/God only knows what I'd be without you.
God only knows what I'd be without you.
If you should ever leave me/Though life would still go on, believe me/The world could show nothing to me/So what good would livin' do me/God only knows what I'd be without you.
God only knows what I'd be without you.

For the Grammys, the song will feature a slowed down arrangement and will be played on piano, potentially making it sound even more heartbreaking — especially given the context. But in case you've never it before, here's the original version of "God Only Knows."

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"God Only Knows" is the perfect choice for what is sure to be a tough Grammys "In Memoriam," and I'm sure there won't be a dry eye in the house by the time it's over.