A Tale of Two Beatles

Two of the greatest songwriters of our time came from the most influential group in music history-  John Lennon and Paul McCartney of the Beatles.
Every music lover, past or present, know about their songs and their story. But as another ex Beatle wrote, all things must pass. And their final breakup in the early 70’s ended a segment in music history like no other.
The breakup stemmed from personal/professional differences between these two great songwriters. And probably, befitting their ‘geniuses’, their animosity toward each other did not end with the breakup.

John said that Paul sounded like Englebert Humperdink and “couldn’t rock even if he wanted to” because even during his Beatle days, Paul was always  dubbed as a softie, romantic.
In 1971, John released his acclaimed ‘Imagine’ album. In it was the bluesy track “How Do You Sleep” – a scathing attack on McCartney’s predilection towards sentimental songs.

HOW DO YOU SLEEP
John Lennon

So sgt. pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother’s eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was in your head
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

You live with straights who tell you you was king
Jump when your momma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
And since you’re gone you’re just another day
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

A pretty face may last a year or two
But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is muzak to my ears
You must have learned something in all those years
Ah, how do you sleep?
Ah, how do you sleep at night?

.
.

“I listened to him for a few years,” said Paul, “and used to think, ‘I can’t write another of those soppy love songs. We’ve got to get hard and rocky now.’
He did try but in the end, though, Paul realized that he just had to be himself.
And with that, McCartney composed “Silly Love Songs” — a tune that overcame its own silliness by its obvious sincerity. Its mass acceptance proved McCartney’s point, much to his satisfaction.

Silly Love Songs
By Paul McCartney

You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.
But I look around me and I see it isn’t so.
Some people wanna fill the world with silly love songs.
And what’s wrong with that?
I’d like to know, ’cause here I go again
I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you,
I can’t explain the feeling’s plain to me, say can’t you see?
Ah, she gave me more, she gave it all to me
Now can’t you see,
What’s wrong with that
I need to know, ’cause here I go again
I love you, I love you

Love doesn’t come in a minute,
sometimes it doesn’t come at all
I only know that when I’m in it
It isn’t silly, no, it isn’t silly, love isn’t silly at all.

How can I tell you about my loved one?
How can I tell you about my loved one?

No matter whose side you’re on, one thing is for sure, the music world will always be a better place because of Lennon-McCartney.

-Sept 2004

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