The Beatles, Help!

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on September 15th, 2011 by Willie

Help!  John Lennon managed to cram an unusually clear psychological slogan into one of the best pop songs he’d ever write.  It’s hard for most people to just shout out help, especially when they need it.  It really must have been difficult for someone as stubborn, independent, and prideful as John Lennon.  When you have the weight of a global audience of screaming teenagers, and the world’s press crushing you in some surreal never ending circus come to life, it must have been easier for someone like John to beg for help.  What I love about the song is how John can take a propulsive driving rock song and somehow add the element of desperate folk ballad introspection in the verses.  “Now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured, and now I find, I’ve changed my mind, and opened up the doors.”  On the surface, the song works as an ironic satire of John’s life, as the exciting fast driving joyfulness present in the music still conveys the giddy excitement of Beatlemania.  But all you have to do is dig a bit deeper to feel the swirling doubt and disillusionment felt by a guy trying to hold on in a world quickly moving faster than his feet.  HELP!

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The Beatles, I Should Have Known Better

Posted in The Beatles, Youtube Favs on May 12th, 2011 by Willie

Part 60 now, and for this slice, I have the Fab Four back again with a clip of them performing “I Should Have Known Better,” from their movie and record of the same name, A Hard Day’s Night.  This is simply one of my favorite songs of all time.  And I mean that with total sincerity.  To understand me, Willie Simpson, is to understand that the early Beatles mean everything to me, and that this song in particular is probably at the top of that list.  Why?  Because its guileless sublimity is unmatchable by anyone.  It’s the kind of song that make the Beatles so unbelievably special to so many people around the world.  First of all, the lyrics are brilliant.  John just captures the uncontainable desire of a young man discovering true love for the first time.  The part where he sings, “I should have realized a lot of things before, if this is love you gotta give me more, give me more, hey hey hey, give me morrree,” is just so exuberant and true, that it borders on madness.  In other words, its perfect rock and roll.  Oh, and the middle eight where even though the words are still positive, the music casts a note of anxiety as he almost pleads the, “when I tell you that I love you,” is just genius.  The Beatles just knew how to use their music to capture people’s hearts. And to top it off they somehow managed to knock out practically the entire soundtrack to the movie starring them in less than a week, and its timeless and perfect and real, and that’s all I can say about this masterpiece.


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