From my previous post, I want to continue with the idea that The Beatles arrival in the U. S. would be of great significance. Perhaps better than “arrival”, I should write that they “landed,” a better term that could imply the landing of a spacecraft from afar and not just the arrival of a Boeing jet from London. The Beatles landing would change music and culture and probably insert in a wedge between generations that would become larger than that experienced by previous generations and their forebears. The Beatles did so much to obliterate society’s tastes and standards, and so quickly (as detailed in the last post). If you were ten (10) years old when they came, you weren’t as engrained and indebted to the present culture (and perhaps it did not speak to you). So receiving this new music and objects from outside of planet Earth was very welcome and not threatening to American kids. The Beatles were, however horrifying to other areas of society, especially those who felt “safe” and in command of their culture. The four English musicians between the ages of 20 – 23 would change music and change and detonate the recording industry.
The Beatles were the antithesis of “safe” – with each album released, they had the “safe” and extremely successful product. Almost any other artist/s who could attain this much success would certainly do only ONE thing next – repeat the exact steps to try to repeat the exact success. Almost all artists then and now would not stray from a winning formula.
This is exactly where the Beatles differed completely from everyone else. The Beatles would always take the adventurous and risky path by throwing away the proven recipe for business success and doing something which ARTISTICALLY pleased them. Against all odds and “common” sense, they would succeed and then lead society and other musicians down a new road.
They wrote music for all ages and all the ages. This might sound like a cliche but having lived with The Beatles since February 9, 1964, I have been able to witness people of all ages identifying with The Beatles as THEIR music. At almost any time since 1964, a 4 year old can educate an adult about this music that s/he is singing, namely a Beatles song. The music is at the core and passion of the child who wants to tell everyone about what really matters here – that this is wonderful music that this very young person wants to share with the world.
The Beatles, however, would in time – over the next few weeks, months and years – bring everyone along. The Beatles won, though no one lost. Even the cautious and conservative who feared change would get swept up in new music and its accessories.
In the future, I think this will continue as new generations of children will be mesmerized by “Yellow Submarine,” “Rocky Raccoon,” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” aging adults will still want “Hey Jude” “Yesterday,” and “Michelle,” rockers will still push “Yer Blues,” “Helter Skelter” and “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?,” mystics will ponder “Across The Universe,” “Glass Onion,” and “Because,” the politically motivated will act according to “Revolution,” “Come Together,” and “Give Peace A Chance,” and you’ll still be able to cry in your beer over “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party,” “Baby’s In Black,” and “Misery.”
Here, below, are categories that strike me as arising from Beatle songs (just mentioned above) along with three (3) songs and appropriate links that fit each category. I’ll expand upon this and provide more links in the next post.
songs for children
songs for aging adults
songs for rockers
“Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?”
songs for mystics
songs for the politically motivated
songs for the cry in your beer crowd
“I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party”
WHAT? I’m ending this post on the “cry in your beer” songs? Sure. There are many more Beatles songs to fulfill more reasons in my next post and we’ll lift any depressed spirits then.
5 Replies to “The Beatles – 18 songs for 6 reasons”
Loved this post. They really were for all ages and to all ages.
Thank you so much, Jason! How these songs affected different people and may have been intended for different groups of people hadn’t occurred to me when I was first listening to The Beatles. It took me a long time to understand and catch on. I’m glad you feel the same way about them!
I like the categories you have broken these songs into. My children have been listening to music that I listened to as a child from Michael Jackson to Morrissey. I didn’t start getting into the Beatles until I was in college and I didn’t think they would be “ready” for them until they were a little older, but I may rethink that based on this post.
I have seen many times over the years that little children will know and just start singing Beatles songs. It was initially very surprising to me but the music seemed to strike a chord (awful pun!) with them for reasons I couldn’t determine.
A lot of their melodies are simple, hummable and just good! There are musical qualities that many kids like. A friend’s 4 year old daughter always wanted to sing “I Will” with me! It’s a beautiful simple song with short two and three note little melodic cells that keep changing directions (my description does not do the very nice melody justice!). But there are also the lyrics that can be fun – Octopus’ Garden, Yellow Submarine, All Together Now with its lyrics featuring the counting of numbers and simple short rhymes, Rocky Raccoon, supposedly about a raccoon in the American West and others.
I hope you play some Beatles songs for your children and see what they think. If you do, I’d love to know their reaction!
Thanks for your your note, David!
Ok, I will. I’ll update you when you visit. Looks like we’ve got a lot of things to discuss!