Side two. If you missed side one, you can find it here.
Of all the songs that make me happy and hopeful, none does it quite as well as George Harrison’s folky “Here Comes the Sun.”
Written in Eric Clapton’s garden in the spring of ’69, nothing else makes me feel so … optimistic. I live in northern Utah, and when Harrison said in his autobiography,
It seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it.
I know exactly what he is talking about. My town goes is like this
for about 7 months every year. And when it turns into this
The sun finally comes out from behind the smog and the mountains, and even if it is only 40 degrees outside, you feel like putting on your flip-flops, shorts, and sun-glasses just to welcome the change. If you have never really been a Beatles fan, I would suggest listening to this song.
Others, like “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” are songs I would recommend to serious music junkies who analyze music at a level deeper than the average commuting radio listener. But I do recommend it.
And just like the last post, I am going to have skip over some stuff in order to keep this short.
All I am going to say about “Because,” is I was surprised to learn that Lennon based it off having Yoko play Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” backwards. Like this.
Odd, but kinda neat. Next time I need inspiration, maybe I will throw on “Boléro” in reverse.
And then comes The Medley.
“You Never Give Me Your Money” I was not surprised to learn was written by Paul about the angst he had while dealing with Apple.
“Sun King” is one of those songs that has grown on me the more I listen to it. First, the swamp sound effects that kick it off set the laid-back mood. Until the voices come in, it reminds me of Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime,” but all slowed down and relaxed. I have spent some time at my uncle’s place north of Atlanta, and although I may have never even listened to the Beatles while going down there, this song reminds me of the summer nights we spent sitting on his porch, jamming.
I do have to say, I am not a huge fan of the made up Romantic language. They could have picked Volenska, Esperanto, or Klingon. It sounds like it is supposed to say something, and sometimes they actually say real words, but it does not make any sense. It does not mean anything. Maybe to them it conveyed some feeling they could not express in English, but it just sounds like they were lazy.
And “Mean Mr. Mustard” is … not great. John said so himself.
I did a bit of work and put “Her Majesty” back where they originally intended it to be. (Side note, this may be the first “hidden track” that became the thing to do during the 90’s). You can tell listening to the record that “Mean Mr. Mustard” did not originally flow into “Polythene Pam.” It seems a little quick. “Her Majesty” is a nice little folky thing. I do not know why Paul wanted it out.
I really like two things about “Polythene Pam” and “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” which I feel are almost the same song. 1) I like that it is straight up Rock. I feel like there is precious little of that. Especially as we were moving into the 1970’s and everybody was getting wasted. 2) Throughout all The Beatles’ records, you can hear them making mistakes or talking or otherwise confirming their existence as human beings. If there is one soap-box I do not hesitate on jumping on, it is about how music should be played by living musicians and not electronic ones.
Anyway, “Polythene Pam” and “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” are some of those songs where The Beatles exemplify their humanity. And, in case you were wondering, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” is based on a true story.
One thing I would have done differently is during the third phrase of each stanza of “Polythene Pam,” I would have syncopated the drums. Just saying.
And I love the bass line for “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” however, I feel like the song, and the medley, just ends. I know there is a climax coming at the end of the album. And it is nice they brought it down for “Golden Slumbers.” I just wanted it to have a little stronger end.
This is already way longer than I wanted.
I like the feel of “Carry that Weight,” which is emphasized by the softer, lullaby feel of “Golden Slumbers,” which I am just going to skip. “Carry that Weight” obviously references “You Never Give Me Your Money,” but it also uses a little guitar work from earlier on the album, too. In his semi-auto-biography, “Imagine,” John said Paul was singing about The Beatles. I am not sure if he was singing about their struggle under Apple again, or if his was singing about all the interpersonal mistakes they had made with one another or their wives/girlfriends. Once again, I feel like The Beatles’ humanity is showing through.
And then it transitions into “The End.” This may be one of my favorite songs of ever. I used to play music in college, but I quit for two reasons. 1) It was just crappy existential music which was supposed to be progressive, but is just weird. Like “Koyaanisqatsi“. 2) I could not be me. I had to fit the mold.
In “The End,” each of The Beatles takes a solo. As far as I know, it is the only drum solo Ringo has ever done. And the other three each take turns soloing. That is my favorite part. You can tell just by listening who is playing. Paul’s solos are melodic, George’s are technical, and John’s are distorted. Why would I want to play music when what you really want is a robot? Just let me play.
That is why I chose this album now. I feel justified in playing music the way I want because I respect The Beatles, and they did it.
And then, just like Shakespeare’s sonnets, McCartney ends it with a couplet. Which is fitting because they figured it was pretty much their last thing. They ended up doing that rooftop concert and recording “I Me Mine,” but otherwise they were done.
And so am I.