Last week, I discussed Ms 15’s discovery of the The Beatles, and compared it to my own teenage awakening. In a guest post, she revealed her favourite 5 Beatles songs, and why:
- Here Comes the Sun
- Oh! Darling!
- I Am the Walrus
- Hey, Jude
- Let it Be
By way of reply, and to pay her back for usurping 2 of the songs I would have chosen for my list, it’s only right that I list my own favourites, in no particular order.
Five for Friday: My Own Favourite Beatles Songs
1. Hey, Bulldog.
In no particular order, except this one. I may be the only person in the world who says this, but Hey, Bulldog is my absolute favourite Beatles song. Quirky, musically complex, and heavier than the run of the mill Beatles song, it’s a delightful Frankensteinian monster with all the trademark Beatles quirks that still manages to sound like nothing else they ever produced. I love it.
2. You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away
I first heard this song, not on the album or radio, but as part of watching the Beatles’ movie Help. The movie is a fun, silly romp with a very 60’s sensibility– it fits seamlessly alongside the likes of the utterly awful Batman TV series and the Monkees visual efforts. And then, right in the middle, the whole thing stops dead and this slow, mournful, heartbroken song is played utterly straight, like a three-minute invasion by grown ups. I find it haunting, and saddening, and utterly beautiful.
3. Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown).
That John Lennon was a genius is beyond argument. That he was an utter shit of a human being is, also, pretty damn clear to anybody who has learned anything about the man. This song, widely accepted as the story of an affair he had while on tour, shows both sides at their purest. Possibly the most beautiful song about being a traitorous arsehole ever written.
4. Helter Skelter.
Blah blah Manson blah blah death of the Summer of Love blah blah loss of innocence blah blah blah.
But listen to it. I mean, listen to it. This is the Beatles. The mother-friendly, boys next door, radio staple Beatles. And they’re rocking it fucking hard. Release this today and you’d still be on the punk side of edgy. It’s fucking fantastic.
5. Being for the Benefit of Mister Kite.
The legends that have grown up around this song are almost as much fun as the song itself: that Lennon copied the lyrics word for word from an actual circus poster; that George Martin came up with the whirling background by recording some hurdy gurdy music then cutting it up into lengths and throwing them into the air, piecing them back together in random order; that the band recorded the song in response to an A&R demand that they tour their next album, so set out to create a song that could never be played live…… no matter what is true, or what is manufactured legacy, the truth is: this song is just a wonderful, swirling, skirling, floating trip of joy.
(Typically, I can’t find a decent original version of this song online. Have a listen to it on Spotify)