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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Song Meaning, Facts & Analysis: Yesterday by The Beatles

ARTIST: THE BEATLES | ALBUM: HELP | RELEASED: 1965
Song Meaning, Facts & Analysis: Yesterday by The Beatles
"Yesterday" is like no other Beatles' song. Unlike most of their songs that are credited to Lennon/McCartney, this marked the first time where there was no extensive collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. "Yesterday" was written only by Paul when he was playing around on the piano; he was also the only Beatle present on stage when the song was played live. John Lennon, however, initially didn't like the song. In fact, he and other band members made fun of the song. This almost broke The Beatles into two bands: John's band and Paul's band.

With respect to the musical aspects of the song, it contains a complete harmonic structure, along with other things like complex lyrics structure, tempos, and a smooth upbeat sound. Production of the music for "Yesterday" indicated McCartney's intentions of wanting to be a composer. A composer, in contrast to a typical musical, is a person who's responsible all aspects of sonic elements of a song. The Beatles' manager, George Martin, was in favor of McCartney's efforts, and also the new idea of having no collaborations from John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (who looked cute but didn't do any intellectual contributions to the band whatsoever - just a fact. Ringo fans, don't hate me).


This significance of the song transcend beyond The Beatles into the large rock n' roll movement of the 1960s. "Yesterday" was a catalyst in writing, not just pop songs, but rock songs which were solely intended for the purpose of listening, not dancing. You could still dance if you wanted to, but the larger idea of such songs were to convey a message to the audience (although this particular Beatles song possesses no deep message ). Accordingly, the song was covered countless number of artists. In fact, as of this writing, "Yesterday" has been covered by more artists than any other song.

As for the meaning of the song, it's a simple one: everything was easy on yesterday so everybody wants to go back to yesterday to erase all the mistakes and make peace with the ones they hurt.

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be
There's a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

Why she had to go I don't know she wouldn't say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Why she had to go I don't know she wouldn't say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

5 comments:

  1. really nice song , this is one of my favorite song of the beatles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is there anything you can add to improve what I already have in this post?

      Delete
    2. Surely 'yes, today came suddenly' makes much better sense ? I think that's what McCartney originally had in mind, and I've been banging on about it for years ! Yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away..today is when things went wrong.

      Delete
  2. that's an insighful thought.
    ron paul for president

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your comment that Ringo contributed nothing on an intellectual level makes me disregard your opinion on anything Beatles related....Sorry David Thomson fans, don't hate me.

    ReplyDelete

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