Beatles: The Subtle Message John Lennon Put in One of His ‘Best’ Songs

by Jeremy Spirogis
Beatles: The Subtle Message John Lennon Put in One of His ‘Best’ Songs

The Beatles weren’t simply musicians. They have been additionally cultural commentators. The Beatles‘ music covered concepts from religion to revolution and from the monarchy to the civil rights movement. However, few would guess there’s any social commentary of their track “Girl.”

On the floor, “Girl” is a reasonably easy track a couple of relationship gone fallacious. However, it’s truly a protest track that includes some biblical lyrics. Here’s the track’s socially acutely aware lyric that went over many followers’ heads.

John Lennon in sun shades with a guitar | Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

How a distinct Beatles track and Yoko Ono impressed ‘Girl’

Many Beatles songs have been impressed by the music of others. “Girl” was impressed by one other Beatles track. According to All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release, John Lennon was impressed to write down “Girl” as a response to “Michelle,” a track penned by Paul McCartney. The two songs have vaguely related instrumentation. However, “Michelle” is an upbeat, cutesy love track whereas “Girl” has a darker tone.

The monitor is a couple of lady who’s fantastic and sadistic on the identical time. Although she may be very troublesome to cope with, the person in her life feels the highs of their relationship are well worth the lows. John would say “Girl” was about his dreamgirl and declared in 1980 that Yoko Ono was the kind of lady he’d pined after within the track. It’s not clear if his feedback have been complimentary!

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“Michelle” by the Beatles

The biblical factor of ‘Girl’

However, there’s extra to “Girl” than meets the attention. According to Turn, Turn, Turn, Popular Songs Inspired by the Bible, John was referencing Christianity in it. Specifically, he referenced the faith within the strains “Was she told when she was young/That pain would lead to pleasure?…That a man must break his back/To earn his day of leisure?”

John defined “I was just talking about Christianity, in that – a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven … – be tortured and then it’ll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn’t believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were.” Criticism of Christianity seems all through John’s work.

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“Girl” by the Beatles

Paul corroborated John’s rationalization of the track. Prior to the discharge of Rubber Soul, Paul stated the track was impressed by a guide John was studying about how Christianity teaches ache results in pleasure. Paul dismissed this educating as a “drag,” saying “Girl” was a “protest” in its personal small means.

The lyrics about ache resulting in pleasure additionally reference the Book of Genesis. Specifically, John was alluding to how Adam and his descendants are pressured to toil following the unique sin. In the Bible, the autumn of man results in a world the place everyone seems to be pressured to toil for his or her day of leisure.

How John Lennon felt concerning the track

John Lennon in a automotive | Keystone/Getty Images

John was pleased with the track. He referred to as it “one of my best.” He didn’t make it clear if he meant it was probably the greatest songs he wrote for the Beatles or probably the greatest songs he ever wrote. Either means, that’s fairly the endorsement!

John would later write a sequel to “Girl” referred to as “Woman.” “Woman” is a a lot brighter, poppier track than “Girl.” It appears the principle character of “Girl” grew into a contented grownup!

Also see: Paul McCartney: How John Lennon’s Criticisms Inspired His Biggest Hit

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