When Beth was singing to Daryl she was playing Be Good. Why? They could choose another one but she chose Be Good, she or whoever. Is there any reason for this?
Beth sang Be Good because the writers wanted to convey a romantic connection in that scene. When the song was released in 2012, NPR described Be Good as a song about not wanting to ruin a friendship because of romantic feelings (X):
“It’s a love song like the rest, but with an important tweak: “You don’t wanna be my boyfriend / I don’t wanna be your girl / And that’s a relief.”
In few words, Crutchfield profiles two people who love and trust each other deeply, who share their dreams and secret shames, but who would rather shotgun beers together than make out. Such friendships, like most beautiful things, are delicate. Bound up in the reverie of “Be Good” is an understanding of what could happen if either party upsets the balance: “That gets messy / You will hurt me / Or I’ll disappear.””
Beth and Daryl had become best friends in the time jump between Still and Alone. They were everything to each other, and in Alone, they were both starting to realize their feelings for one another in different ways. Daryl’s realization was more conscious, but I think Beth was also starting to realize her feelings, on a subconscious level. They were sheltering in a fortified house where she could let her guard down. Beth’s flirty gaze after Daryl and her fidgeting with the peanut butter jar make it clear she had feelings too (X):
Beth chose that song because she was likely feeling conflict subconsciously, as Daryl was consciously. They would both be afraid of ruining their friendship. It’s an expected fear for two people in their situation as such a step could make things “messy” like in the song. Scott Gimple and Emily sifted through several songs because Scott wanted that “moment” (X). Be Good captured that tender moment between Bethyl when Beth played the piano, and the song also captured the unspoken romantic conflict.
Originally, TPTB were going to use King of Carrot Flowers, by Neutral Milk Hotel, but couldn’t because of licensing (X). The band has two songs with that title, divided into “parts”. Going by the themes in the different songs, Emily most likely meant King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1. This is one of the verses from the song:
“And this is the room
One afternoon I knew I could love you
And from above you how I sank into your soul
Into that secret place where no one dares to go.”
Sounds just like their time in the funeral home, doesn’t it?