Thursday, January 3, 2013

Were The Beatles Simple-Minded?

Were The Beatles simple-minded? Heaven forbid! But they did write and compose beautiful music that was, perhaps, made even more beautiful by its very simplicity.

I had just turned eleven when The Beatles made their USA debut on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was barely of an age to recognize a bit of their sex appeal, but I was more than aware of their talent. I just wished all those ridiculous, screeching females would shut up and let me appreciate it!

Although some of the music for songs such as All My Loving, and Til There Was You may be complex, the lyrics are anything but. The harmonies nearly brought tears to my eyes even at the tender age of eleven.

I’ve never outgrown my love for the music created and performed by those four boys from Liverpool. I have quite a few of their CDs in my collection, and several of them are among my favorites to listen to while I walk or ride my bike. If someone were to ask me what my favorite Beatles’ song is, I would probably have to say it is In My Life. But lately, I’ve decided that my second favorite has got to be And I Love Her.

The lyrics to And I Love Her, which I understand were chiefly written by Paul McCartney, are so deceptively simple that it’s a wonder the song didn’t write itself back in the dark ages. But that’s part of the magic of The Beatles. They could say something that we’ve all heard a million times and make it unique and special. The accompaniment, too, is uncomplicated, but I don’t know if any music has touched me quite like George Harrison’s lead guitar as it softly repeats those four short notes that serve as background for the verses.

Some writers have the ability to connect with their readers in this simple turning of a phrase, or spare choice of words. They can be stingy with their descriptive passages, and still give the reader cause to pause and reflect on the beauty of the written word. It is something I aspire to accomplish some day, but until then, I will continue to read, and listen, and hopefully learn.

Happy Writing!

Cordelia Dinsmore


Vonnie said...

One with terrific minor harmonies was If I Fell. Loved those progressing steps that tug at the heartstrings. I don't think either their lyrics or harmonies were simple. Frankly, I think they were carefully crafted by Lennon & McCarthy. Supreme marketers. They knew their audience. Wish I could say the same.

Sharon Ledwith said...

Like Vonne says - Lennon and McCartney knew their audience, who they were playing for. I think once an author knows this, anything is possible, including hitting the bestselling lists! Cheers for a fab post, Cordelia!

Cordelia Dinsmore said...

Thanks, ladies, for stopping by.

Vonnie - I didn't mean simple as in terms of 'easy'. I just think writers often circle around so much trying to make their words sound just right, that they miss the whole point. When we use language and phrasing that everyone can relate to, and do it in a smooth, rhythmic pattern, we can write something memorable. I think those boys were brilliant, and i hope I didn't come off as presenting them otherwise.

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