Wouldn’t It Be Nice vs. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Love is a powerful advocate for peace– meaning that someone who is consumed by pure and honest love is overcome with mental harmony. It is a calmness and a freedom from anxiety  that washes over someone who is deeply loved, and loves deeply in return. Because love enables a sound mind, it sets up a strong baseline for a utopia.

The character singing Wouldn’t It Be Nice, by Beach Boys, is yearning for some utopia where his innocent love can freely flourish beyond what his current society believes is just too young. A different world is fantasized– where the character is already older and married, spending time with his loved one in true happiness. The presence of carefree innocence–which almost always accompanies teenage love–is what masks all problems and struggles, therefore, creating a perfect place.

However, the stanza “You know it seems the more we talk about it / It only makes it worse to live without it / But lets talk about it / Wouldn’t it be nice” reveals admittance from the singer that such a place does not really exist…but wouldn’t it be nice?

It is important to point out that the love the singer is referring to may not be as deep of a love as what we may define to be a true, sacrificial love (e.g. spiritual relationship or parent-child relationship). Although we may all remember our first flings and intimate relationships during high school as an “all-mighty love”, in hindsight, we are able to understand that that kind of love is definitely a more playful and youthful “love”. Still, the innocence that attaches to that playful love can be persuassive enough to dream up one’s own utopia.

Listen to Wouldn’t It Be Nice, here.
Read the full lyrics, here.

In contrast, an example of a deeper, more serious (and spiritual) love is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), a song by Hillsong United. The singer is calling out to her God, letting go of her anxieties and burdens and letting Him take care of her. The trust and honest faith that she embraces allows her heart to feel at peace– she is emotionally experiencing her own utopian world.

“So I will call upon Your name / And keep my eyes above the waves / When oceans rise / My soul will rest in Your embrace / For I am Yours and You are mine”

Listen to Oceans (Where Feet May Fail), here.
Read the full lyrics, here.

3 thoughts on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice vs. Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

  1. I love both of these songs! I actually almost chose Wouldn’t It Be Nice myself.

    Experiencing love, whether in its very first rushes or in a more constant and absolute state as you mentioned, is probably the closest to utopia we will ever get here on earth. It makes you see the whole world, even the ugly things, through a brighter lens.

    I find this conception especially fascinating as the utopia of love does not relate to a literal, solid place. Rather, it exists only in one’s state of mind. It reminds me of how the word was coined, in a sort of pun, as meaning “no place.”

    It seems to me as if the spiritual love in “Oceans” allows for a more obtainable utopia. The Beach Boys are singing about something to be yearned for in the future, while the vocalist in Hillsong United has everything she needs in that one moment, lacking nothing in the fullness of God’s presence. Everything we have been reading so far is a utopia set in the distant past or future; “Oceans” is content in the present.

  2. I am a person who is “in love with love”, and I think this song really captures that. I think this song speaks to the innocence and blindness of teenage love. You feel like the only thing hindering your relationship at that age is society. Parents not letting you spend time alone with that person, teachers telling you “you’re too young to be in love”, and lastly but maybe most importantly not yet having a space or place to be with your significant other without the judgment of those outside forces trying to keep you a part. Instead what you have and hope for is this distant utopia further in time where you and that person can be in love with each other and as the lyrics mention “when we can say goodnight and stay together.” Because that is the one thing most young teenage couples want-to spend the night with the one they are in love with. I know this is a utopia I definitely wished for during my teenage years! Thank you for sharing this song and the message of a utopia for teenage lovers.

  3. Wow, what a great contrast. This is a really well thought out juxtaposition of videos. Thank you Peace. But here’s a thought: I can’t help but feel that the Beach Boys are being a little tongue-in-cheek, you know, not completely serious. The Hillsong people seem 1000% serious. That is attractive in a way, but should anyone’s trust really ever be completely “without borders?” (I guess I am not utopian enough to think that it should be.)

    Above the door to the temple at Delphi in ancient Greece was the inscription “Know thyself.” I think it is not a bad idea to know where your borders are. Everyone has them.

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