Nine Of My Favourite Lyrical Beatles Songs

I love these pictures!

I love these pictures!

In my opinion, The Beatles didn’t just write some of the world’s greatest tunes. They also wrote a lot of the greatest lyrics, too! Sometimes in music, lyrics are sadly underrated. But from being a Beatles fan, I’ve learnt that quality lyrics are just as important as the melody. From 1965 onward, their lyrics were particularly wonderful, proving that they were very talented when it came to writing. But even in the early days, there were still a lot of outstanding examples, too! So today, I thought I would pay homage to The Fab Four’s words of wisdom (pun intended), and list my favourite Beatles songs in the lyrical department. Let the list begin…

‘Across The Universe’

Widely recognised as one of The Beatles’ greatest lyrical songs, I can certainly see why. John’s beautiful metaphors and imagery could probably evoke exquisite scenes in the minds of even those who don’t think of themselves as imaginative. John uses words that just sound good together, too. An absolutely sublime piece of work that could definitely hold its own without the music!

FAVOURITE LINES: “Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes / They call me on and on across the universe.”

‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’

A song shrouded in controversy, the lyrics of ‘Lucy In The Sky’ create much psychedelic imagery. Inspired by Alice In Wonderland, a drawing by the young Julian Lennon (from which the song takes its name) and (probably) acid, the trippy lyrics create beautiful images of (among other things) newspaper taxis, tangerine trees and marmalade skies, tall cellophane flowers and a girl with kaleidoscope eyes…

FAVOURITE LINES: “Picture yourself in a boat on a river / With tangerine trees and marmalade skies / Somebody calls you, you  answer quite slowly / A girl with kaleidoscope eyes…”

‘Hey Bulldog’

This song’s lyrics are complete nonsense. And that is what makes them so good! Ever since I first heard the song, the different phrases have always captivated me. Whether it be words that probably don’t even exist, or the phrases that end each verse that kind of make sense or just a bunch of words piled in probably just ‘cos, the lyrics in this song are absolutely great!

FAVOURITE LINES: “Big man / Walking in the park / Wigwam / Frightened of the dark.”

‘In My Life’

The lyrics for ‘In My Life’ are beautiful! John  talks of his affection for those who have disappeared. But he has never loved anyone like the “muse” for this song. His love for people that went before pales in comparison. But he will never forget those who he has loved before…

FAVOURITE LINES: “And these memories lose their meaning / When I think of love as something new / Though I know I’ll never lose affection / For people and things that went before.”

‘Within You, Without You’

I reckon that this is George’s lyrical masterpiece. The words discuss how humans are only very small; that love could save the world; how the only person who can change themselves is them… Very deep.

FAVOURITE LINES: “When we find it, to try our best to hold it there with our love / With our love, we could save the world, if they only knew.”

‘Piggies’

I love this song! The piggies are of course the posh 1960s conservatives who loved looking down upon youth. George mocks them wonderfully  — he sings of how they always have “dirt to play around in”, and of how they didn’t care of what was going on around them…

FAVOURITE LINE: “Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon!”

‘For No One’

This is my favourite song ever written by Paul. The lyrics are especially powerful. Lamenting the end of a relationship, Paul sings of how it all went wrong, of how he and his partner fought; of when his other half left him, and of how he will never forget her… Quite sad.

FAVOURITE LINES: “She wakes up, she makes up / She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry / She no longer needs you.”

‘Blackbird’

The lyrics of ‘Blackbird’ are quite simplistic, but are nonetheless symbolic. Paul encourages the bird to learn to fly, and to learn to see with its various differences. The blackbird has been waiting all its life for the upcoming moment to arise. It then flies into the dark, black night, presumably to face the moment… Supposedly about the Civil Rights Movement.

FAVOURITE LINES: “All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise.”

‘The End’

Ironically, this is the last song that all four Beatles recorded together. Paul wrote the song, and decided that he wanted to end the cycle of solos with a meaningful couplet. And so he wrote two of the most beautiful lines of The Fab Four’s catalogue! The couplet has an air of finality to it, and is a poignant listen near the end of a poignant album. As with ‘Within You Without You’, very deep…

FAVOURITE (AND ONLY!) LINES: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

So hard to chose just nine! Which Beatles song do you think has the best words? What is your favourite Beatles lyric? Be sure to tell me in the comments!

Hope you’re all good, and I will post again soon! ‘Till then, good day sunshine 🙂

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAUL McCARTNEY!!

The birthday boy in a cat costume!

The birthday boy in a cat costume!

 

As all Beatlemaniacs will know, it is Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE’s 72nd birthday, today! The electrifying riff on ‘Birthday’ is playing (I’m still making my way through the White Album…), George’s ‘What Is Life’ was just on the radio (yes, I know – wrong Beatle – but I’m still in a Beatle-y mood from it), and I was going to say I was really, really happy, but ‘Yer Blues’ has just come on, and the lyrics are slightly extremely depressing (not that I care – I love the song!), but not even those words are going to dampen my mood. Happy birthday, Paul!

Now, Paul may be my third-favourite Beatle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love him (not as much as I love his song-writing partner, John), all the same! Though I prefer John’s (and in many cases, George’s – he’s my second-favourite) songs, there is no doubt that Paul was a truly one-of-a-kind songwriter with a very large amount of talent! I will say now that I dislike much of Paul’s solo/Wings career (DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON ‘SILLY LOVE SONGS’ – I hate that song…), but even I will admit that there were some very good songs, which I will post later. He was, however, a fantabulous songwriter within The Beatles, especially around the Help!/Rubber Soul/Revolver period (i.e. ‘For No One’, ‘The Night Before’, ‘I’m Looking Through You’, ‘Here, There and Everywhere’), though. My theory (and a lot of other people’s) is that he needed John (as a friend/competition/song-writing partner) to write such poignant, beautiful, experimental songs as he did in the ’60s; John has said that Paul is capable of writing beautiful lyrics (note ‘The Fool On The Hill’ and ‘Hey Jude’), but the latter was never really aware of it. I think such talents were more evident whilst he was a Beatle, ’cause John’s competition was more also more evident. The above is just my opinion – probably because I’m a very strong Lennon Lover – but I wonder if anyone else agrees? Regardless of what I just wrote, I think Paul was/is very, very cool (the song that has just started playing – ‘Helter Skelter’, which I love – is more proof) and that he was/is equally as talented.

I’m going to post some YouTube clips of my favourite – because I’m not generally a fan of Wings/solo Paul (as you may have already gathered, I’m a Plastic Ono Band type of gal), I’m going to include some of his Beatle compositions:

 

 

This is ‘For No One’, we’re talking about – it is too beautiful for words (excuse cliché), END OF STORY! (Yay; ‘Long Long Long’ – which is one of my favourite George Beatle songs – just came on! Sorry – completely random.)

 

 

I love ‘The Night Before’, almost (if not as much) as ‘For No One’ – I couldn’t find the proper clip from Help!, ’cause the song is all split up in the film (there should be a revolution on YouTube – guess the song (clue: it doesn’t involve a ‘9’)), but here are some parts of the film sequence, plus some bits from ‘I Need You’!

 

 

Now onto some Paul solo stuff – this is one of two of his solo songs that I really like (the other one will be below, though it’s fairly obvious if you know who my favourite Beatle is). It’s quite Beatle-y, which I probably why I like it so much. According to Mum (who shares my views on Wings), ‘Uncle Albert’ is quite a good song – must listen to it at some point. I don’t mind ‘Band On The Run’, either, but I don’t like it as much as above or below.

 

 

 

Okay – of course I love this song! In fact, I’m going to listen to it now (‘Savoy Truffle’, though it is fab, can wait). I mean, what Lennon Lover doesn’t?! It is just so sweet and heartfelt  – thank you, Paul! You can just feel how close he and John were, by listening to even just the first notes

 

Just a couple of other things (if I can see the screen – ‘Here Today’ always makes me tear up) – most people know that a few weeks ago, Paul was ill and had to cancel his Japanese dates. As far as I know, he is sort-of better now, but he has had to postpone all his concerts up until October, or something, so he can make a full recovery. Get well soon, Paul! When he’s better, maybe he can come and do some gigs in Australia – he hasn’t toured here since 1993 (before I was born), so maybe he will see that it’s time he came, again. I know for a fact that millions of people would go, including myself – and I’d make sure he’d come to Adelaide, all right! If he wasn’t going to come down South, I could do something similar to what Bob Francis did for him, John, George and Ringo-turn-Jimmie back in ’64 – wouldn’t that be cool?

But anyway, I wish you a beautiful birthday, Paul – thank you for the wonderful music you and John, George and Ringo made five decades ago! Good day sunshine, for now.

 

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A picture of a page in the paper, with a cute picture on it!