one, two, three, four/ can I have a little more?

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Saturday, March 10, 2007
To celebrate the triumphant return of my ipod shuffle (there you are, you little bastard!), I took it out for a spin around town yesterday. It's currently loaded only with Beatle songs, which was big fun for me since I needed a break from the usual; a break from the familiar by listening to the familiar! But it worked -- like fighting fire with fire, or the hair of the dog that bit you (or something). Here are some of the songs that stood out for me-- they're what are often considered to be secondary (or tertiary) Beatle songs, but a second-rate Beatle song is still pretty DAMN FANTASTIC. Maybe they stood out because I've heard them less often? I don't know. They are also really short -- the longest one (Baby You're a Rich Man) is just over 3 minutes, but most of them are around the 2.5 minute mark. Anyway, these songs all made me happy for various reasons. (song titles link to song reviews on the All Music Guide)

All Together Now: This is a counting song AND a list song -- already it's aces by me. Add to that the loosey-goosey singalong quality, the handclaps, the nonsense nursery rhyme parts, how it gets faster and faster as it goes along -- the innate silliness of it all --and you have a recipe for giddiness. It's a two minute party that I'm always happy to attend. All together now!

Baby You're A Rich Man: How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people? Now that you know who you are/ what do you want to be? This song always surprises me. I think because it's all trippy stoner philosophizing and then zags sideways with the rocking yet charmingly nonsensical baby you're a rich man, baby you're a rich man too/ you keep all your money in a big brown bag/ inside the zoo, what a thing to do! chorus. Maybe because I'm mostly used to hearing "baby" along with "girl" or if it's in reference to a guy... well, let's just say I don't hear baby and man together very often in pop music, so this almost seems progressive.

Girl: Yes, it's true, there is a thread of "women are cruel and heartless yet I can't live without them" going on here, but I don't take it as an indictment against all women -- it's a pretty pop song and I'm not going to quibble. Girl is very melancholy with a great troubadour-like beginning: "is there anybody going to listen to my story/ all about the girl who came to stay? The AMG review of this song noted that it has a strong greek flavor, which now that they mention it, yes of course, but I probably wouldn't have put my finger on it without the pointer. ..hangs head in shame.. The big dramatic sigh (well, it's kind of a cross between a sigh and whatever that noise is when you suck in your breath) is kind of ridiculous -- Oooh, Giiiiirrrulll, (sssssigh) -- but it makes me smile, as does the singalong tit-tit-tit-tit part. Cheeky Beatles!

Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey: I don't know how many times I have heard this song; hundreds of times, at least. But when I listened to it yesterday it was like hearing it for the first time. I got that crazy eye-welling, leg-tingling oh my god happy feeling, which was not unwelcome. There is just huge ENERGY here. I love John's lead vocal, the cracking guitar, and the woooo's! My god, the woooo!'s it's like Paul (I think it's Paul) cannot suppress his internal woooooo!-- that it is only by intense concentration that he is not woooo! ing nonstop -- it's just that kind of song. I adore the c'mon c'mon c'mon parts and I am absolutely in love with the little blast of bass 20 seconds from the end. THE BELL-- how could I forget the bell?!? If the Salvation Army played their bells like this, they would raise a lot more money. The song is only two and a half minutes long and I'm left bereft but exhilarated when it ends. (then I push repeat and do it again!)

Honey Pie: Of all the songs on this short list, I expect this is the one that most people would find inexplicable. It's another one of Paul's nostalgic "granny music" english dance-hall songs, but I DO NOT CARE. I mean, I have a lot of affection for that style of music so it's not really surprising that I like this song, but I've seen a lot of vitriol aimed at Honey Pie in print so I'm kind of defensive. Listening to it is like watching an old hollywood movie musical (black and white set on a transatlantic cruise ship with lots of dancing flappers, champagne, tuxedos, feather fans and hilarious misunderstandings). It contains the lyric "I'm in love, but I'm lazy" which makes me laugh because of the I love you, but I really... won't you just come home? It would be easier for me implications. There's a lot of clarinet and an underlying sense that Paul was having a really good time. Not simply because of the intrinsic satisfaction he got from writing/performing it, but also maybe because he knew that it was somewhat perverse in the middle of a rock album. (that's just my sense of it. What fun is this stuff if you can't project your own meanings and significance?)

7 comments on "one, two, three, four/ can I have a little more?"
  1. I also love the Beatles very much. They make me happy, as does the solo Lennon...or not so solo if you consider Yoko, but still great music.

  2. Um, sure, I guess...I just lean more towards Lennon. i guess it is my inner-peacenik peeking out?

  3. My favorite "secondary" (read "underrated") Fab song is "The Word" - gosh! It is so great! Close on them is "Things We Said Today" and "Baby You're A Rich Man" Geez! Great!

    And I am one of the few that digs Paul's post Beatle work as much as John's. I can't help it - I have a soft spot for his bizarro collaborations with Stevie Wonder and the one that can't be named...

  4. Anonymous Tara, is that you? (if not, welcome whoever you are.) I love all those songs, too! (in fact, I just heard "the word" today and was all excited all over again. The songs in this post were just some that came up on that DAY.

    I've always had a soft spot for Paul -- I think in part because my beloved Star Hits! Magazine used to always refer to him as "Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft" which they would always run as the caption under a picture of him giving the double thumbs up. (usually with a mullet of some sort. It WAS the 80's.)

    I am down with your collaboration picks except for the one with he who shall not be named... That person is responsible for Beatle songs in advertising -- for my Winter Macy's RAGE!!! It's like you don't even know me at all, Anonymous....

  5. OH I KNOW YOU!!!! And you know me! If there is another anonymous poster on this site, s/he better reveal! I was here first!

    I haven't heard about Star Hits in years. Sigh. I always loved Smash Hits, cause you know..."authentic" (and better pix of Chubby LeBon). Wouldn't they have a great time with "Little Fat Man"?

    But how can you resist the video for "Say Say Say" ?(at the time I had a friend called Sei, so it was AWESOME to annoy the hell out of him by singing this everytime he came near. Oddly, he stopped coming near for a while). Or those dreadful talking parts in "The Girl is Mine" - AS IF! One who can't be named!

    I remain, Anonymous T...

  6. I agree that Smash Hits! was better, but they only had Star Hits! at my local Stop and Go, which is where one did the bulk of ones magazine shopping in Rednecksville, Florida. (for example, all the music/teen magazines were under the ENTIRE SHELF of magazines devoted to driving trucks in mud.)

    Speaking of Chubby LeBon, one of my old copies with said singer on the cover keeps surfacing in weird places. (the basement! with craft supplies!) it's like there's a LeBon Pixie around or something.

    Anyway, you (WHOEVER YOU ARE) are out of your mind. The One Who Shall Not Be Named... well, weird. All of the sudden the air went out of my mighty and righteous rant. (it was a good one, too!) Let's just say that Say Say Say might have had some cheesy fun parts, but it is ruined for me since TOWSNBN was CLEARLY plotting to give Macy's and Target the keys to the kingdom so that he could buy another theme park in Dubai. (ptui!)


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