About the song

Ah, buckle up, music lovers, because we’re about to take a joyride with a California classic: The Beach Boys’ “I Get Around” (1964). This isn’t just a catchy tune; it’s a cultural touchstone, a snapshot of a band and a genre on the cusp of superstardom.

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The Beach Boys, by 1964, were already riding a wave of success. They’d carved out a niche with their infectious surf rock sound, celebrating California beaches and car culture with songs like “Surfin’ U.S.A.” and “Little Deuce Coupe.” But with “I Get Around,” something subtly shifted.

Sure, the elements of surf rock are still there – the driving rhythm section, the jangly guitars. But listen closely, and you’ll hear a newfound swagger. Brian Wilson and Mike Love, the song’s co-writers, weren’t just singing about surfing anymore. They were chronicling the rock and roll lifestyle, the perks and pitfalls of newfound fame.

The opening verse sets the scene perfectly: “I’m getting bugged driving up and down this same old strip. I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip.” There’s a hint of restlessness, a yearning for something more. These aren’t just beach boys anymore; they’re becoming road warriors, touring the country and experiencing a world beyond California shores.

The iconic chorus, then, becomes an anthem of youthful confidence. “I Get Around,” they proclaim, a playful boast about their growing popularity and ability to charm the ladies. It’s sung in a call-and-response style, with Mike Love taking the lead verses and Brian Wilson soaring on the falsetto harmonies. This vocal interplay would become a hallmark of the Beach Boys’ sound.

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“I Get Around” wasn’t without its controversy. Some critics saw the lyrics as braggadocious, a celebration of shallow materialism (“I’m makin’ real good bread”). However, others viewed it as a lighthearted and relatable portrayal of young men enjoying their moment in the sun.

Regardless of interpretation, the song’s impact was undeniable. It became The Beach Boys’ first number-one hit in the United States, a testament to their growing influence and the burgeoning popularity of surf rock. It also marked a turning point for the band. “I Get Around” hinted at a more introspective and ambitious sound that would blossom in future albums like Pet Sounds.

So, the next time you hear “I Get Around,” don’t just tap your foot. Take a moment to appreciate its historical significance. It’s a song that captured a band and a genre at a pivotal moment, a gateway to a new era of American pop music.

Video

Lyrics

“I Get Around”

’round, ’round, get around
I get around, yeah
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I get around
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
From town to town
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m a real cool head
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m making real good bread
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around

I’m getting bugged driving up and down this same old strip
I gotta find a new place where the kids are hip
My buddies and me are getting real well-known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

I get around
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
From town to town
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m a real cool head
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m making real good bread
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I get around, ’round
Get around, ’round, ’round, ooh
Wah wa ooh
Wah wa ooh
Wah wa ooh

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We always take my car ’cause it’s never been beat
And we’ve never missed yet with the girls we meet
None of the guys go steady ’cause it wouldn’t be right
To leave their best girl home on a Saturday night

I get around
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
From town to town
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m a real cool head
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I’m making real good bread
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I get around, ’round
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

’round, ’round, get around
I get around, yeah
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Wah wa ooh
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Ooh
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Ooh
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
I get around
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
From town to town
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Ooh
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around
Ooh
Get around, ’round, ’round, I get around