Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Beatles

The Beatles are my favorite music all-time. More-so than Weird Al Yankovic. More-so than Flight of the Conchords. That's Big.

I grew up listening to them, often hiding under my oldest brother's desk to get away from my middle brother's terrorizing. Their music is catchy, and easy to sing, and pretty*. What I didn't realize was the gamut their music ran on subject matter. When you're a kid you don't really pay attention to lyrics that much. Yes, they have a zillion love songs. You've also got your war protest songs, drug-related songs, and more.

Our family is big fans of the Rockband games. I personally have sung through every song on RockBand 1 in a huge marathon session that took hours and hours, and a large portion of the RockBand 2 songs. What's interesting is that most of those songs -- I had no idea prior to that what the actual LYRICS were. Some of them were shocking, some of them nonsense. The ones that make no sense are really hard to sing. We recently rented Beatles Rockband and sat around as a family playing them. It was REALLY funny to listen to my kids trying to sing I Am The Walrus and Come Together ... we were laughing because of the lyrics being so silly and not making any sense to them.

This has caused all of us to really listen to music more closely and pick out the lyrics. Here's some of my impressions on some Beatles' songs, now that I'm all growed up and actually pay attention. These aren't necessarily my 'favorites' just ones that I have something to say about:

1. We all agree that Maxwell's Silver Hammer is just about the happiest bouncy cheerful song about a serial killer anyone could want. How can you NOT sing along with this? Funny how the music can take what is an horrific subject matter and make it appealing to listen to.

2. Run For Your Life -- This song is really catchy, good rhythm.. I was listening to it on the way in to work today and then I LISTENED to what I was singing and was like.. wait.. this song is about an obsessive lover who is threatening to kill this girl because he can't stand to see her with another guy?!! Woah. And then I kept singing it.

3. Taxman -- proof positive that these songs are still relevant even to today - who doesn't feel like you're being taxed on the air you breathe??

4. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds -- yeah yeah, Julian Lennon drew a picture.. then the Beatles got high on LSD and made this song about it. ;)

5. Happiness Is A Warm Gun -- Yay!! NRA's anthem.. who doesn't love a warm gun??

6. Hello, Goodbye -- the kids LOVE this song. They'll sing it every time I put it on, it's like a Sesame Street lesson on opposites filled with Beatle-y goodness.

7. Let It Be -- God forbid I try to skip this song for whatever reason when the kids are in the vicinity.. they put up a huge fuss.. another favorite song of theirs to sing to, though really they only sing the chorus >.<

8. Back In the U.S.S.R. -- one of the few Beatles songs I happily skip. Anyone else see this as a predecessor to California Girls by the Beach Boys? Not sound-wise, but subject-matter-wise. *yawn*

9. Yellow Submarine -- we love the movie, we love the song. Blue Meanies are funny.

10. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) -- yay! one night stand and/or affair! but.. DENIED! You go sleep in the bathtub! Ok FINE, then before I leave I'll set your flat on fire. HAHAH!!! o.O

I'm sure there's a ton more I could talk about, but that's the ten I'm picking now. What's your favorite Beatles song and why? Mine is "Here, There and Everywhere." I find it to be a completely delightful love song, one that I hear and think, I want someone to think that about me.

*This is of course a gross simplization of their music. I'm not going into the composition, lyrics, or arrangement technicalities. I just know what I like to listen to.

1 comment:

  1. Back in the U.S.S.R. is a intentional and hilariously ironic spoof of The Beach Boys surfer music.

    I used to have favorite Beatles' songs at various stages of my life, mostly these three for various reasons:

    I'll Be Back
    Penny Lane
    You Never Give Me Your Money

    But I realized the folly of that pursuit a while back. I can however pick out my favorite rocker, my favorite ballad, my favorite this or that. These are subject to change for any reason under the sun.

    Rocker - Revolution**, hands down
    Country - Act Naturally (I love the tone of George's electric: very thick)
    Soul Rock - Come Together**
    Acoustic - Across the Universe
    Psychadelic - I Am the Walrus
    Love Song - And I Love Her
    Skiffle - I've Just Seen a Face
    Ballad - Rocky Raccoon
    Anthem - Hey Jude
    Children's - Yellow Submarine
    Comedy - You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)

    Guitar Solo - Nowhere Man**
    12-String - I Call Your Name
    Guitar Virtuosity - You Never Give Me Your Money*
    Bass Line - Rain

    Most Ironic - Help!
    Most Sarcastic - Glass Onion
    Las Vegas - Got to Get You Into My Life
    Harmonies - Yes It Is
    Sitar - Norwegian Wood
    Whimsical - Lovely Rita
    Poetic Puns - Because
    Moody - I'm So Tired**
    Hidden Gem - Hey Bulldog
    Most interesting time signature changes - Good Morning, Good Morning
    Favorite Outtake - And Your Bird Can Sing (Paul and John giggling from start to finish while trying to double-track their vocals)
    Best never-released song - Heather

    **Songs that I love to play along with on my Epiphone Casino