Uncovering the Cornfield: Revisions of History in Smile's 'Cabin Essence'

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Observers agree that a pivotal factor in the abandonment of the Beach Boys’ Smile album in 1967 was the hostility shown by group members to some of Brian Wilson co-writer Van Dyke Parks’s lyrics. The latter still tend, however, to be cited more than they are analyzed. This reading of the song occasioning most friction – ‘Cabin Essence’ – argues that it was neither disorganized nor unintelligible. An encapsulation of Smile’s concerns informed by the new left and counter-cultural contexts of its creation, it offered critical snapshots of the nation’s historical experience and identity, and a complex vision of national redemption.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPopular Music & Society
Pages (from-to)565–585
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Research areas

  • Van Dyke Parks, Smile, Brian Wilson, Beach Boys, Popular Music

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 74835738