Sunday, February 27, 2011

Deconstructing the Beatles: Part II, The Intimate Conversational Songs

John Lennon and Paul McCartney had an uncanny knack for writing songs that revealed themselves as actual speech - the lyrics and the phrasing of the lyrics were so 'in the language' that they forged an immediate, inclusive connection with the listener.

Remarkably free of the contrivances that yell out "this is a song, people!", it was like having a conversation with them or overhearing one - that's how much like spying on the singer's most intimate musings and vulnerabilities it seemed with these songs. It could be creepy on some level, but the feeling went away quickly because, even at such a young age, we could relate to the emotions. I've never quite understood why that should be, but certainly the older I got, the more these songs resonated because they pertained to experiences I'd actually had.

And of course it didn't hurt that these songs tended to be beauties of musical construction from start to finish.

Estivator's Picks for Best Intimate, Conversational Songs

Girl - "She's the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry, still you don't regret a single day."
I'll Be Back - "You could find better things to do than to break my heart again."
If I Fell - "If I give my heart to you, I must be sure from the very start that you will love me more than him."
No Reply - "I tried to telephone. They said you were not home. That's a lie."
You Can't Do That - "I've got something to say that might cause you pain; if I catch you talking to that boy again I'm gonna let you down and leave you flat. Because I told you before, oh you can't do that."
You're Gonna Lose That Girl - "I'll make a point of taking her away from you - watch what you do. The way you treat her, what else can I do?"


pplist said...

Superb selection and insights. These six John songs are among my all-time favorites by The Beatles. It was easier to identify with a guy who could have any girl in the world when you noticed that he too suffered in love.

Holly A Hughes said...

Brilliant. I believe they consciously wrote songs with "you" and "I" in the titles, to imply those connections. Of course I fell for it too...