Before I get started with the third part of these series of articles that look at several songs by The Beatles that may have slipped through the cracks and minds of casual fans I would like to clarify something: every single song that I have listed in these articles is one that I have listened to many times and I obviously know its value and importance. I also understand that most people reading this post are in the same position. Last but not least, I would like to wish Paul McCartney a Happy 73rd birthday.
5. Two of Us
"Two of Us" is a song written by James Paul McCartney that appears in Let it Be, The Beatles' penultimate album where recording is involved, but the last one to be released. The song was recorded live during The Beatles' famous rooftop concert at London's Apple Studios on January 30, 1969. Paul McCartney claims that he wrote this song for his first wife Linda, but several critics have expressed their belief that part of the lyrics at least are aimed at John Lennon. Their friendship was in shambles at that point in time.
The story behind the song's lyrics is filled with nostalgia. The first verse talks about two people going on a drive on their way back home. The second one is about writing cards and sending letters, while the third talks about standing in the sun. The most important part of the lyrics is arguably in the chorus, though.
Throughout the entire song McCartney is speaking to an unidentified person, to whom he is basically asking the other person to look at all the memories that they have constructed together and to see how far they've come and how far they could still go.
4. Yes It Is
"Yes It Is" is a song written by John Lennon, credited to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting team that came out in 1965, as the B-side to The Beatles' highly successful #1 single, "Ticket to Ride".
The lyrics tell the story of a sad love song. In it, Lennon remembers a past love that he has been unable to get over completely and how it affects his current life. This is shown given that aspects of his present all seem to go back to his past love, as different things seem to remind him of her, no matter what he does.
The most important musical element of this tune, and the reason it stands out, is its three-part vocal harmony. They are both complex and dissonant, and an early example of the band's experimentation in music, which would be more pronounced in later albums and works. "Yes It Is" also serves as one of the first compositions in which George Harrison used a volume pedal guitar.
The feeling expressed in this composition is universal. Anyone that has ever loved and lost that love can relate to it, given that at times it seems that no matter how hard you try, any random thing reminds you of that loved one, whether it be a sight, a smell, or a sound, it is inevitable.
3. I've Got a Feeling
"I've Got a Feeling" is one of the most interesting pieces of work from The Beatles' final album, Let it Be. The main reason being that it could very well be the last true 50-50 collaboration between Paul McCartney and John Lennon, since it's the combination of two unfinished songs.
The instrumental part of the tune in itself is completely optimistic. Its opening riff is electric, optimistic, and cannot help but bring a smile to one's face, given that it is filled with energy.
The most important aspect of the composition, in my opinion, is in the lyrics, where the collaboration between the two geniuses is more noticeable. The words written by McCartney are brimming with happiness and optimism. He wrote them for his then girlfriend but soon to be wife, Linda Eastman, declaring how throughout his entire life all that he had been looking for was someone just like her. Anyone who has ever been in love with a special person can relate to that sensation, as it is without a doubt the greatest on this planet.
Lennon's lyrics, however, send a different message. The previous 12 months had been among the most difficult in Lennon's adult life, given the personal and professional pressures he had been facing. Instead of using a first-person point of view, however, he generalized his hardships, making his part in the song a recognition that one is never alone nor the only one to go through difficulties, that we are all in this together. This, in a way, complements excellently with McCartney's lyrics, as they also have a touch of optimism in them.
In all, "I've Got a Feeling" is a true gem from The Beatles discography and a great song to listen to improve one's mood.
The fourth song in this list, "Dear Prudence", has always been a personal favorite of mine. It was written solely by John Lennon, but as used to be the case with most if not all of their compositions, credited to Lennon-McCartney.
Lennon wrote it while on the famed trip to India with the other Beatles and their wives to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. This where the band wrote most of their 30-song two-part album simply titled The Beatles.
The instrumental part of the song reflects the effect that the visit to India and its purpose (the study of transcendental meditation) had on Lennon and the rest of the band, given that one almost gets the impression that it is being played, recorded and composed out on a field. This sensation is heightened by the gust of wind with which the song opens.
The lyrics, on the other hand, are pretty straightforward. The song is directed at Prudence Farrow, sister to Mia Farrow, who was also in their travel group. She had gotten so involved in transcendental meditation, that she would lock herself up and not spend time with the rest of the group.
The main reason for which I picked this song is the part that it plays in some really macabre Beatles and pop culture trivia. It is written for Prudence Farrow, whose sister Mia acted in a movie titled Rosemary's Baby that came out later that year in 1968. Roman Polanski, whose wife was murdered the following year by Charles Manson and his family, directed the film. Manson was obsessed with The Beatles. Rosemary's Baby was filmed on location at The Dakota building in New York City, where in 1980 John Lennon was shot and killed by a mad man.
"Long, Long, Long" is a song written by George Harrison. It was published as a part of The Beatles' massive album titled The Beatles, which came out in 1968. It tops this list due to the fact that is arguably the less well known song appearing in this list, especially given that it was written by Harrison, the youngest and quietest Beatle and that it appeared in an album with many excellent songs. It is, however, one of The Beatles' most beautiful compositions and one of the hidden treasures of their discography.
The instrumental aspect of the song is Harrison at his best, as it captures his very essence. "Long, Long, Long" is a quiet tune, song almost in a whisper or as if the vocals are coming from far away, as well as the music. The music, however, gradually increases its volume, as if it is getting closer to the listener, before distancing itself again, to create a sense of loneliness, broodiness and desperation. The composition, however, is also peaceful and calm, which is a testament to Harrison's deep connection to spirituality and nature.
The most beautiful part of this tune, however, is the lyrics. They also, in my opinion, give it its power. "Long, Long, Long" is a sad love song, as many of Harrison's compositions at the time. The song begins with the singer wondering after a lot of time has passed, how he could have lost a past love, given how much he loved her.
He then goes on to express how he is happy to have found that love once again, and how much he cried for it over the years. In the end he goes on to express his undying want and need for that love. The lyrics are a testament to the depth a love can reach over time and the devastating effects of losing it, seemingly out of nowhere, and the inconceivable joy that comes with recuperating it. "Long, Long, Long" is without a doubt one of the sweetest and most pleasing songs to listen to in The Beatles' catalogue.
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