Sunday, 27 November 2011

See It My Way, See It Your Way

I was listening to We Can Work It Out by the Beatles, and started to think that maybe that was the saddest song ever.  But no, it's too complicated.

Picture a compass.  Replace 'east' with 'confidence' ("Listen to me.  Only I have the answer.").  Replace 'west' with 'despair' ("Can't you see you're hurting me?").  Replace 'south' with 'frustration' ("It shouldn't have to be like this.").  Replace 'north' with 'optimism' ("Together we can make the world a better place.").

Paul's pretty melody is countered by John's plaintive harmony.  John's stuttering guitar hesitates and drives forward at the same time.  His simplistic organ part also contains a church-like grandeur.  Oh, and the song oscillates between quadruple and triple time.

The song pushes out in all directions, yet stands squarely (OK, roundly) in the middle.

So, it's a sad song if that happens to be your mood at the time, but it's a whole lot more besides.

I can picture Paul introducing the song: "Here's a little number that can be whatever you want it to be."


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