June 9, 2004

Speaking of lyrics puzzled over in the 60s...

There's also this article about Paul McCartney suddenly admitting that all the Beatles songs that weren't supposed to be about drugs really were. (Link via Andrew Sullivan.) I think the key observation here is: "though McCartney may be one of the most famous people in the entire world and of all time, he still has this need for attention." How can Paul McCartney be so great and still seem like such an idiot? Sure, admitting to drug references in the old Beatles songs can get you some new press, but you just look bad contradicting John Lennon about "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" when it's his song and he's dead, and you make one of your own great songs less great when you say, "A song like 'Got to Get You Into My Life,' that's directly about pot, although everyone missed it at the time." So he wasn't really madly in love with a woman there? It was pot he was addressing when he sang "I need you every single day of my life." That may answer the question how McCartney got to be such an idiot.

UPDATE: John--my son John--emails:"'Got to Get You Into My Life' is obviously about drugs: 'I was alone, I took a ride, I didn't know what I would find there/ Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there.' John Lennon also said he thought it was about drugs. It doesn't 'make the song less great' to admit it."

MORE: Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties, page 154, footnote 2: "In 1980, Lennon made the strange observation that he thought the lyric [to "Got to Get You Into My Life"], which he particularly liked, referred obliquely to McCartney's belated experience of LSD." By comparison, William J. Dowlding's Beatlesongs, page 146, quotes Paul, re "Tomorrow Never Knows": "That was an LSD song. Probably the only one."

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