The Beatles Lyrics
The Beatles lyrics helped define the 1960s and the band is musically the best-selling of all time in the United States. There has been so much said and written about the Beatles lyrics that its difficult to say anything new.
Unlike most other bands, there are also a slew of websites up where one can take a Beatles lyrics test to find out how knowledgeable you are about the lyrics. I’ll attempt to give you a few facts about the Beatles lyrics that you did not know.
For instance, did you know that the title “Hard Days Night” was from an expression that Ringo used to say? Because of working long hours, the days would go into night and he would self-correct and say, “It’s been a hard day, er night” and the rest is history.
The title of the song, “Back in the U.S.S.R.” was inspired by Chuck Berry’s “Back in the U.S.A”, but some of the lyrics in “Back in the U.S.S.R” were actually a nod to the Beach Boys. Apparently, Mike Love from the Beach Boys had a conversation with Paul McCartney and suggested he incorporate some lyrics in a Beatles song that referred to the Beach Boys, as the Beach Boys had done with “California Girls”. So, instead of “California Girls”, McCartney placed the lyrics “Moscow Girls” and “Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out” into the song.
In the song “Eleanor Rigby”, John Lennon and Paul McCartney would, years later, give differing accounts as to how much each one contributed to the song (as happened often). In the lyrics, “Father McKenzie” started out as “Father McCartney”, but since Paul didn’t want to upset his father, he changed the lyric by picking the last name out of a phone book.
“Hey Jude” was written by McCartney for Lennon’s son Julian to comfort him during a time of divorce. The song was originally titled “Hey Jules” and Julian later commented that he thought the song was always being sung to him.
Many people had assumed that the song lyrics of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was about drugs since many of the Beatles had been experimenting with illegal substances in the 1960s. But, according to John Lennon, he wrote the lyrics after observing his son, Julian drawing a picture of a little girl, Lucy, whom he liked and the picture portrayed her in the sky surrounded by diamonds.
The Beatles lyrics of the “Yellow Submarine” was also assumed to be about drugs. Paul McCartney has stated that this song also had to do with children as he wrote it first as a children’s song, using short words that children could easily hear. Others have purported a deeper meaning such as the Beatles were under pressure, but enjoying the ride with their friends and the extra money it entailed.
In many of the Beatles lyrics, Lennon and McCartney would ascribe to writing them with less import and meaning than others would credit them. In the 1960s with the age of Bob Dylan and a social and civil rights revolution going on and a war raging, people were searching for meaning at that time. No matter where one subscribes to the Beatles lyrics having deeper meanings or not, they have then and now provided intrigue, imagination and entertainment for millions of people.