top of page
Wouldnt It Be Nice
Song

Wouldnt It Be Nice

The Beach Boys
Album:
Pet Sounds

Song Meaning and Background of Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys


First track from the band’s 1966 defining album, Pet Sounds, is “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” in which Brian Wilson fantasizes about holding his girlfriend “close the whole night through” once they’re old enough to live together.

“The idea is, the more we talk about it, the more we want it,” Wilson said, “but let’s talk about it anyway.”

Wilson labored intensely to create it “I was going for something I wanted to hear, and wanted to feel,” Wilson recalled. “A great feeling of great joy.”


The song was inspired by Wilson's confused infatuations for his sister-in-law. Lyrically, the song describes a young couple who feel empowered by their monogamous relationship and fantasize about the romantic freedom they would earn once married to each other.


"Wouldn't It Be Nice" is one of the eight songs that Brian Wilson and Tony Asher wrote for the Pet Sounds album. Wilson's since-discredited 1991 memoir suggested that he was inspired to write the song after having sexual fantasies about the Honeys' singer Diane Rovell, his sister-in-law.


While discussing the song, Asher supported that Wilson was "definitely infatuated by her" and "this innocent aura that she seemed to possess. Brian was really just so naive."


Wilson repeatedly brought up the subject while they composed the songs on Pet Sounds, as Asher remembered, "He'd stop in the middle of writing a song or a conversation or whatever and start going on about Diane, about how innocent, sweet, and beautiful she was. I’d be thinking, 'Huh! Your wife’s in the next room, and you’re talking about her sister!'"


According to Asher, "Over a period of days, Brian kept saying that he was working on a melody, but he didn't want to play it for me until he had the structure finished. One day, he said, 'It's done.'"


Wilson had decided on its subject matter: the "innocence of [...] being too young to get married", a topic that "seemed to be immensely appealing to him."


Asher said that, after he had begun writing the lyrics, Wilson started "microanalyzing the individual words" to Asher's annoyance.


Following Asher's complaints, Wilson agreed to let Asher take a tape of the song home and write the words alone.


Asher then returned with a set of lyrics, which the pair refined.


Mike Love's co-writing credit was not officially recognized until 1994, when he successfully sued for writing credits on 35 Beach Boys songs, including "Wouldn't It Be Nice".


Asher explained, "It's a song that people who are young and in love can appreciate and respond to, because it revolves around the things they've always wanted to do: live together, sleep together, wake up together—do everything together.


Asher commented, "I love the fact that the song has such a nice, bouncy feel to it. When we were writing, I was aware of the intricate rhythms that Brian had accomplished musically. There are changes in tempo and legato parts that make it very interesting."


"Wouldn't It Be Nice" was released as a single in 1966 peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.


Lyrics of Wouldn't It Be Nice by The Beach Boys


Wouldn't it be nice if we were older?

Then we wouldn't have to wait so long

And wouldn't it be nice to live together

In the kind of world where we belong?

 

You know it's gonna make it that much better

When we can say goodnight and stay together

 

Wouldn't it be nice if we could wake up

In the morning when the day is new?

After having spent the day together

Hold each other close the whole night through

 

But happy times together we've been spending

I wish that every kiss was never-ending

Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

 

Maybe if we think and wish and hope and pray, it might come true (Run, run, we-ooh)

Oh, baby, then there wouldn't be a single thing we couldn't do

Oh, we could be married (Oh, we could be married)

And then we'd be happy (And then we'd be happy)

Oh, wouldn't it be nice?

 

You know it seems the more we talk about it

It only makes it worse to live without it

But let's talk about it

But wouldn't it be nice?

 

Goodnight, my baby

Sleep tight, my baby

Goodnight, my baby

Sleep tight, my baby

Goodnight, my baby

Sleep tight, my baby

Release Date

1966

Songwriter/s

Brian Wilson, Tony Asher, Mike Love

Producer/s

Brian Wilson

Label/s

Capitol

Other Songs

bottom of page