My Top 10 Favorite Beatles Song Lyrics

Thought this was cute. :)

Thought this was cute. 🙂

I was hemming and hawing over what to post today, when this idea popped into my head. We all know that musically the Beatles were brilliant, but their song lyrics are just as extraordinary. Sure, many of their earlier songs have a lot of “cheesy” lyrics, which I will not deny. However, whenever I listen to one of their later albums like Rubber Soul or Abbey Road, I’m amazed at just how insightful and clever the words to their songs are. Sometimes I listen to a Beatles album only to pay attention to the lyrics, which helps me see it in a whole new light. So, without further ado, here we go!

10. I Saw Her Standing There- “Well she was just seventeen, you know what I mean.”
According to The Beatles Anthology, the original opening line for this song was, “Well she was just seventeen, she’d never been a beauty queen.” When John saw that’s what Paul had written, he supposedly said, “You’re joking, right?” and they changed it. Good move, in my opinion. There isn’t that much to dissect with this one, I just like how it flows. And that it’s vaguely suggestive. 🙂

9. Revolution- “But when you talk about destruction/Don’t you know that you can count me out”
When the Beatles sang this live on David Frost in 1968, John actually said, “Don’t you know that you can count me out, in” because he wasn’t sure what he believed. One thing I love about this song in general is that from the very first note, it makes a statement, and every line in the song, like this one, lives up to the boldness of those opening guitar chords.

8. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away- “If she’s gone I can’t go on/Feeling two-foot small.”
The actual line for this song had “two-foot tall” instead, but when John accidentally sang “two-foot small” in the studio once, Paul suggested he keep it that way. I like that this line doesn’t make logical sense initially, but really, it does. It’s sort of like a glass half empty vs. glass half full situation. Just another example of clever wordplay from the Beatles. 🙂

7. The Long and Winding Road- “Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried/Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried”
Paul is clearly a master at rhymes, but this line in particular just hits me in a deep emotional place. The song itself is sad, but hopeful. This might be lyrically one of Paul’s best songs ever, actually, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.

6. Think for Yourself- “Although your mind’s opaque/Try thinking more if just for your own sake.”
While this was far from George’s first song, I think is the first time his lyrics were truly on par with Lennon and McCartney. The lyrics to this entire song are great, but I chose this line in particular as an example of the growing songwriting aptitude that George demonstrated on Rubber Soul. Way to go George!

5. Old Brown Shoe- “I want a love that’s right but right is only half of what’s wrong.”
More George for you! He has said in interviews that he intended for the lyrics of this song to juxtapose each other, with words like right and wrong and early and late. The lyrics to this entire song are clever and so very George. As I’ve said before, this song is extremely underrated.

4. I’ve Just Seen a Face- The entire song
While the lyrics for this song might not be the deepest, most philosophical in the Beatles’ catalog, I really have a special place in my heart for this song because of them. The whole song flows in a really interesting way because of how the lyrics are structured, and for that reason I didn’t single one line out in particular.

3. I Am The Walrus- “Expert textpert choking smokers/Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?”
I am happy to report that I typed that line entirely from memory. I guess I’ve listened to it too many times. 🙂
But seriously, every line in this song is just nuts. I suppose that’s what happens when John Lennon writes a song purposely to confuse people who read too much into the Beatles’ lyrics.

2. The End- “And in the end the love you take/Is equal to the love you make.”
This might be one of the single best known lyrics in the Beatles’ catalog, so this might not be that original a choice, but it is truly a beautiful, poignant line. I don’t think Abbey Road and the Beatles’ career could end any better than with this line. It sums up their entire essence in one simple line.

1. Across the Universe- “Limitless undying love that shines around me like a million suns/It calls me on and on, across the universe”, but basically the entire song
I firmly believe that the lyrics to this song are some of the most beautiful words ever written. I highlighted this line in particular because it’s the one that always sticks out in my mind, but really the entire song is a beautiful fountain of poetry. John is usually known as “the lyrical one” between himself and Paul, and I think that John really makes the case for best lyric writer in the Beatles with this song. It’s definitely a masterpiece.

Wow, for coming up with this idea on a whim, I really like how this turned out! I think I’ll try to do a “top 10 lines from Monty Python” in the near future as an expansion of this post.
Have a great weekend!

Foster the People’s “Supermodel” is Super-Awesome!

Supermodel

Supermodel

As I’ve said before, before I became a Beatles freak I was a big fan of Foster the People. Torches was the first album I bought on iTunes, and I’ve probably listened to it over a hundred times. But that album came out almost 3 years ago, and for a while I sort of forgot about Foster the People. However, the release of Supermodel has completely renewed my interest and reminded my why I loved their music so much in the first place!

The first thing to do when listening to this album is accept right away that this is NOT Torches, The Sequel. It’s much more of a concept album, and once you get comfortable with the overall vibe, the songs will definitely grow on you. I love that this album is very psychedelic and rock-oriented. There was only one really guitar-heavy song on Torches, but here both acoustic and electric guitar are present on basically every song. The songs here primarily deal with Mark Foster’s apparent detestation of the idea that one must sell oneself to the public in order to be happy. There are no stereotypical “love songs” on this album, which shows me that while Foster definitely writes songs from the heart, he doesn’t write songs from a one-sided perspective. Though the entire album is inspiring and worth listening to, I’d definitely recommend “Coming of Age,” “Nevermind,” and “Fire Escape” as exceptional stand-alone tracks.

However, I must admit that my favorite song by far, “Best Friend,” truly captures the magical energy of Torches better than any other on this album. In an interview, Foster said that he wrote it while trying to get out of writer’s block. To be stuck in a rut and then come up with this exceptional song? That’s talent right there! Whenever I listen to this amazing song, I feel like doing the head-bopping thing that Chris Kattan, Will Ferrell, and Jim Carrey do in the SNL sketch. The song is just that catchy. There’s also a part in the middle that sounds a lot like Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. If there’s one song from this album that will be played at parties, it’s this one.

I’ve read many reviews of this album that have shocked me with their overt negativity. If anything, I thought this album would be lauded by critics, but it’s been almost the opposite. From what I’ve gathered, the #1 reason why critics don’t seem to love it is that it’s not as poppy, fun, and summery as Torches. People seem to have no patience with new albums these days. One critic’s review said flat-out, “The songs suck,” which is just incorrect.

I take issue with the idea that if music is not instantly accessible to the ears, it automatically sucks. If I want a poppy, fun, summery album, I’ll just listen to Torches. Supermodel is a completely different listening experience and should be appreciated in its own right. Just because the Beatles didn’t make an exact replica of Please Please Me the second time around doesn’t mean that With The Beatles wasn’t as good. For that matter, even Revolver, usually considered one of the Beatles’ best albums, didn’t strike me initially as being amazing. It took me more than a few listens to really get into it and figure out what the heck was going on half the time. I now love Revolver, but just because its brilliance didn’t strike me right away doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth another shot.

Anyway, if I have one major criticism of this album, it’s that I get the sense that Foster the People was trying really, really hard to make a fantastic, groundbreaking work of art. I definitely appreciate the artistry, but sometimes it feels a little forced. This is why I usually prefer more low-key albums like Rubber Soul and Madman Across The Water which don’t feel like they were supposed to be brilliant, as opposed to obvious masterpieces like Sgt. Pepper or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I love when the brilliance of an album seems to happen by accident, which doesn’t quite happen for me with this album.

Despite that one minor quibble, I think this album is fantastic. It’s insightful, introspective, and dares listeners to question things that they may never bother to think about. At least Foster the People is trying to evolve their sound, be interesting, and keep their fans guessing, even if they tried a little too hard here. But I can always forgive overachievers, and they deserve to stick around for a few more albums and grace us with more awesome, interesting, thoughtful music. And murals.

An actual mural of their album cover on a building in Los Angeles.

An actual mural of their album cover on a building in Los Angeles.

Buy Supermodel on iTunes today! You won’t regret it! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Happy (belated) Birthday George Harrison!!!

I just found this picture, and it's so adorable!!!

I just found this picture, and it’s so adorable!!!

I know I haven’t blogged in quite a while. Don’t worry, I did not fall off the face of the earth; I was in a show last week that took up most of my time, and so unfortunately I have not had time to do a George birthday post until now. But that’s all about to change!

My love for George has grown exponentially in the last year, but I do feel like he serves a different purpose in my life now than he did a year ago. As I’ve ended sophomore year and dived headfirst into junior year, I’ve realized that there are a lot of important life decisions that have to happen this year, and of course, the nature of high school in the 21st century is that it is supposed to be stressful, competitive, challenging, and hard to get through without some guidance. I don’t have as much time to just be obsessed with the Beatles and George Harrison as I did freshman year, but that does not mean that I love them any less. In fact, during the often stressful and occasionally frustrating days, I find that I need George’s music more now than ever. His lyrics are words of wisdom to me, and I have yet to find a song of his that is not inspiring in some way.

George is more of an imaginary life coach than an imaginary husband at this point in my life, but that’s okay with me. As George frequently said, the point of life is to change, and it would be boring if everything and everyone stayed exactly the same all the time. On his birthday this year, as I proudly wore my George shirt to school and had a 5-hour dress rehearsal, I kept thinking about how much I enjoyed what I was doing and how much George loved everything he did in life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from George, it’s that if you truly feel love and passion for something, you should stick with it.

Here are some songs that I may or may not have previously posted on this blog, but I feel that they embody George’s spirit and attitude about life. They’re not necessarily my favorite songs of his, although I love them all, but they are the ones that remind me of him the most.

I Need You

I Live For You

Stuck Inside A Cloud

Pisces Fish

Here Comes The Sun

So, on this (approximately) 71st anniversary of George’s birth, I am reminded yet again why he is and will always be my favorite Beatle. He was thoughtful, loving, insightful, patient, and a beautiful human being inside and out. I love him with all of my heart! Happy birthday Georgie!!! 🙂

I promise it will not be another 2 weeks before I blog again. Be on the lookout for a post of my favorite covers of Beatles songs in the near future! Have a great week!

George and Pattie, the perfect 60s couple

So, although this post is a day late, today I’m commemorating the 48th anniversary of George Harrison and Pattie Boyd getting married. While it’s really a shame that it didn’t work out between them (and based on her book, he got over her a lot faster than she got over him), they certainly were a attractive couple. I honestly think that George and Pattie are two of the most beautiful people who have ever walked the earth, so it makes sense that they fell in love! Here are some equally beautiful pictures of them to celebrate their marriage!

George and Pattie on their wedding day in 1966

George and Pattie on their wedding day in 1966


On their honeymoon. I really don't blame her for being all over him.

On their honeymoon. I really don’t blame her for being all over him.


What a stunning picture. I love how he's leaning on her head a bit.

What a stunning picture. I love how he’s leaning on her head a bit.


They're so snazzy and stylish!!!

They’re so snazzy and stylish!!!


I just love this picture, for rather obvious reasons... :)

I just love this picture, for rather obvious reasons… 🙂


Matching belts!!! And George looks really hot.

Matching belts!!! And George looks really hot.


One final picture. And isn't it a beauty!

One final picture. And isn’t it a beauty!

While I do think that in the long run, Olivia was probably a better match for George, I’m still a George/Pattie fan. It’s nice that they stayed friends even after they got a divorce, and the fact that George told her she could always come back to him if things didn’t work out with Eric is really sweet. I know this is probably for the five hundredth time, but I just love George so much. 🙂
Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Better late than never… The Elton John concert!!!!

Don't worry, I didn't forget about this awesome concert I went to!!!

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about this awesome concert I went to!!!

Well, after all of my excitement leading up the Elton John concert I attended last week, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it! I’m sorry for the delay, and I will now proceed to describe the event in great detail! But in short, it was AMAZING!!!!!!

Having never been to a concert at Madison Square Garden before, I was not quite sure what to expect, but as soon as my mom and I sat in our seats, observed the massive stage below us, and heard tracks from The Diving Board being played over the speaker system, I knew we were in for a great show. Unlike at the Paul McCartney concert, there actually was an opening act for this show, but it was a group comprised of two of Elton’s cello players called 2CELLOS. They were fantastic, but my heart truly started pounding with excitement once the opening chords to “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” began blaring throughout the arena. Hearing that in near darkness was truly a magical way to start the concert, and once Elton strode onstage in his fabulous “Madman Across The Water” jacket and started playing piano and singing, I was in mid-70s musical heaven.

There were so many memorable moments from the show, but the one thing that stands out most in my mind is the fact that Elton exceeded my expectations in all respects. Even after constant touring and performing this fall, he sounded absolutely fantastic, with no missed notes in any of the songs. His piano playing was even more masterful than I expected, and I can say with complete certainty that my mouth dropped more than once in awe at his melodic improvisations. Elton John is just awesome in every way!

So what song was I most excited to hear him play? Bennie and the Jets definitely rocked, and hearing my #1 favorite Elton song Someone Saved My Life Tonight was wonderful. However, I think I would have to give the “favorite song” title a tie between Rocket Man, All The Girls Love Alice, I’m Still Standing, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and The One. But I think my #1 favorite moment of the concert was when he was introducing his band members and commented on how cute the 2CELLOS cello players were. That had the audience in stiches!

Here’s a video I found of Elton performing The One from December 4th, but the video doesn’t really do him justice. This was an absolute showstopper live. It was so quiet in the audience that you could have heard a pin drop.

And here’s Elton performing everyone’s perennial favorite, Your Song! I just recently learned how to play this on the piano, and I thought I was doing okay, but this is clearly how the song is meant to be performed.

How would I compare my experience at the Elton John concert versus my experience at the Paul McCartney concert? The actual quality of the musical performances was about the same for both shows, which I expected because obviously Paul and Elton are complete masters at what they do. I would probably give the edge in the “fun” factor to the Paul McCartney concert, only because I was sitting a lot closer to the stage for that concert and was basically dancing the whole time. At the Elton concert, where we were higher up, practically nobody was dancing at all in my section. Not even during the encore, Crocodile Rock! By the time Elton started playing The Bitch Is Back, I honestly stopped caring what people around me thought and stood up for a bit.
Also, I think Paul has the edge because he did tell me he loved me during the concert. That was a lovely moment that can never be recreated by anyone else. 🙂

But in the grand scheme of things, seeing Elton John in concert is an amazing experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list and that just about equals anything else I’ve done. If you enjoy live performances, you will love seeing him live!!! Elton John, after all this time, is definitely STILL the Rocket Man!!!

George Harrison’s gently weeping guitar

Today, I’ve decided to share some videos of George playing lead guitar live. These videos are few and far between because 1, George didn’t perform live very often after the Beatles broke up, and 2, when he did, someone else usually played lead guitar. However, in these videos, George and his magical guitar finally get a chance to shine, and let me tell you, he does not disappoint. I would not consider myself a guitar expert AT ALL, but I’d like to think that I can recognize good guitar playing when I hear it, and in my opinion, George is simply a master slide guitarist, and a master guitarist in general. His playing is instantly recognizable and always flawless. So, enjoy these videos of a master at work! Go George!

My sweet Lord, the intro to this song is amazing! It’s so beautiful and perfectly done! I almost wish it was on the original song, but truthfully, the original song is perfect as well. And then there’s the rest of the song, which is played so beautifully that my eyes gently weep at the sight of it. Also, George sounds wonderful on this song. He never lost his singing voice as he got older.

I couldn’t find a video with just Till There Was You from the Ed Sullivan show, so to see that song here, skip to 2:35 in the video. I think George played the solo better live than on record. His solo here is smooth, sophisticated, and effortlessly played, and I love the cute looks he gives to the audience and the camera while playing. It’s almost like he’s saying, “Yeah, I’m good. Wanna stop screaming and freaking out so you can actually hear me play? Thanks.” For the Beatles’ first appearance on national American TV, he certainly didn’t look nervous at all.

George’s slide playing here is ridiculously good, and he makes it look so easy! I’m so glad that even with Eric Clapton as part of his backing band, George’s guitar playing got a chance to shine here. What I’d give to have been at this concert in Japan in 1991… Unfortunately, I wasn’t even born yet. Darn.

Another example of George playing some pretty awesome slide guitar in his mini-tour of Japan in 1991. Wow, he was good. His guitar playing gives his songs so much character. Also, I have to say that, live and on record, this is one sexy song. And the man singing it isn’t half bad either! 🙂

This performance of While My Guitar Gently Weeps is absolute perfection, except for that stupid microphone that keeps spinning. Even years after the Beatles, George still can’t get a good mic! Anyway, the reason why I really love this video is the epic guitar duel between George and Eric Clapton for the last 2 minutes of the video. Two legends in their own right, battling it out. In my opinion, they’re both winners!

That’s all for now. Have a lovely week!