"On the Beach" as written by and Sheldon Lawrence Mario Campbell....
The world is turnin', I hope it don't turn away
The world is turnin', I hope it don't turn away
All my pictures are fallin' from the wall where I placed them yesterday
The world is turnin', I hope it don't turn away

I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day
I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day
Though my problems are meaningless, that don't make them go away
I need a crowd of people, but I can't face them day to day

I went to the radio interview, but I ended up alone at the microphone
I went to the radio interview, but I ended up alone at the microphone
Now I'm livin' out here on the beach, but those seagulls are still out of reach
I went to the radio interview, but I ended up alone at the microphone

Get out of town, think I'll get out of town
Get out of town, think I'll get out of town
I head for the sticks with my bus and friends,
I follow the road, though I don't know where it ends
Get out of town, get out of town, think I'll get out of town

'Cause the world is turnin', I don't want to see it turn away


Lyrics submitted by Roland Ripley

"On the Beach" as written by Sheldon Lawrence Mario Campbell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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On the Beach song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • +6
    General CommentI think smallwonderrobot hit it on the head....not the hardest of songs to analyze, per se. The line:

    "Now I'm living out here on the beach
    but those seagulls are still out of reach"

    That just about sums it up. You've reached the pinnacle of things, yet you're still searching for satisfaction. It's a restless feeling.
    thermo4on January 08, 2007   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThis song is amazing. Depressing, but amazing.

    And yeah, definitely about not being able to be satisfied with life in general. Always feeling like you need more and it's never there.
    soundless_spaceon September 03, 2007   Link
  • +3
    General Commentthough my problems are meaningless that dont make them go away..

    perfect.
    youknowimrighton August 23, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI think the lyrics are clearly about the hardships of being famous. He needs the fame to live and survive, but can only take so much of it and wants them to just go away. The first time I heard this song my mind was blown. "All my pictures are fallin from the wall where I placed them yesterday". Who knew such simple words could have so much meaning?
    "Though my problems are meaningless, that don't make them go away." I love this line. This represents my life right now. I think it says that just because others don't see your problems as meaningful and important, it doesn't mean it's not a problem for you still. Perhaps Neil was referring to when "normal" people say that rich and famous people have no reason to bitch about their problems because they can't possibly have any.


    I don't think this song only applies to fame either. It represents me very well right now. I'm 18, getting serious about school, meeting girls, driving my own car, no rent money to pay since I still live at home. Basically I'm beginning the period of life that many feel is the prime of life, or "living on the beach". But I have trouble recognizing it sometimes. I have this "is this it?" kind of feeling constantly, and I feel ashamed for even feeling that, but it's the truth. I'm livin' on the beach but I don't know how to enjoy it.
    hammy02on December 22, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe title track for the greatest album of all time and no comments. What a shame.
    DangerBirdon June 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it's about success and the mixed feelings of fame.
    smallwonderroboton August 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat song.
    I agree that it is about Neil being fed up of fame and the necessary trappings of leading a successful music career.

    The part I struggle to understand is "I went to the radio interview, but I ended up alone at the microphone".

    That sounds like a very specific instance. Neil's songs are full of these. Anyone have any ideas?
    PBAon August 01, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThere was a book by Nevil Shute called "on the beach". It was about the end of the world after a nuclear war with the survivors in Australia waiting for the fallout to come and kill them. There was an American submarine there and they traveled to the west coast of the US to investigate radio signals but when they got there the signals came from a microphone randomly hitting something. I also believe that the metaphor of seagulls flying off the shore was used. A great but depressing book and I think that it fits in with the overall theme of the album. I first heard this album when it came out almost forty years ago and I still think that it is similar to the book.
    Jdeleha1on August 22, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationThough this song seems to be primarily about the downsides of fame, I extracted another idea from the line that goes,"I need a crowd of people/But I can't face them day to day". Sure, Young was probably referring to his audience and the strain of having to entertain them at what must have seemed like a constant pace in his mind. However, I thought that the "crowd of people" refers to a group of friends.

    I once quoted the line to some friends in an attempt to explain why I often like to isolate myself. It's not that I don't like them – I love my friends – but I often need to be away from them to bask in the silence and warmth of self-reflection.
    Dionysuson December 20, 2013   Link

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