A Year with the Beatles: “A Hard Day’s Night”

Beatles_A Hard Day's NightI intended to write this post on Saturday, but my parents were visiting for the weekend, and we were busy with our Easter festivities. I have been listening to A Hard Day’s Night all month, though, and I have a theory: This is an album about men whom women should avoid. I used to have this notion that the early Beatles albums were all sunshine and happiness, but some of these songs are dark, y’all! At the very least, the album made me stop and scratch my head more than once. Read my thoughts on the individual songs, and you’ll see why:

“A Hard Day’s Night” — I like this song; it’s upbeat and catchy and melodically interesting. But it kind of seems like the guy in the song is just using his lady love for sex, right? He’s tired after a long day’s work (or a long day’s night, which makes no sense when you think about it), and he just wants her to make him “feel all right.” Way to be selfish, dude.

“I Should Have Known Better” — Another good song, and nothing particularly dubious about the lyrics that I remember…unless it’s that he is a bit over-confident that “when I ask you to be mine/ you’re gonna say you love me too.”

“If I Fell” — OK, I genuinely do think this song is a bit creepy. It’s purportedly a love song, but the guy is clearly not over his ex! Everything he’s saying to this new girl is a direct result of his obsession with his former love. “I must be sure from the very start/ that you will love me more than her” — creepy, right?!

“I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” — Ladies, if a man ever says this to you, it’s because he is just not that into you…or women in general. Sure, there could be a totally innocent meaning behind these words: “I don’t need to hug or hold you tight/ I just want to dance with you all night.” But don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂

“And I Love Her” — This is not a sketchy song, to the best of my recollection, but it is kind of a boring one.

“Tell Me Why” — I like this one! So far, the Beatles seem to be really good at writing jaunty songs about heartbreak — first “Misery” from Please Please Me, and now this!

“Can’t Buy Me Love” — Nothing bad to say about this one; it’s just a flat-out great song!

“Any Time at All” — Another favorite of mine from this album. I like how each line of the verses slides into the next one without the usual pause.

“I’ll Cry Instead” — Annnd we’re back to the theme of men whom women should avoid. This song is about a man who’s so destroyed by his breakup that he plans to have  a whole lot of revenge sex…once he’s done crying. “You’d better hide all the girls,” indeed.

“Things We Said Today” — I don’t like the slow tempo of this song. Nothing much to say about it; t’s just kind of boring.

“When I Get Home” — For some reason this song didn’t stick in my memory, so I looked up the lyrics online, and hey, it’s about a guy cheating on his girlfriend! Avoid the cheaters, ladies.

“You Can’t Do That” — Also to be avoided is the jealous lover: “If I catch you talking to that boy again/ I’m going to let you down and leave you flat.” To quote “Gilmore Girls,” there’s cute jealous, and then there’s Othello.

“I’ll Be Back” — And finally, there’s the guy who keeps hanging around even after you’ve shown him the door. Sure, it’s nice to know that he’s not over you yet, but being stalked is just not a good thing.

Well, I hope I haven’t offended anyone with my thoughts on A Hard Day’s Night! Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m joking about many of these interpretations, and I really do like most of the songs. I just think it’s fun to step back every once in a while and really examine the lyrics of the songs I’m singing along with. Anyway, I’ll be talking about Beatles for Sale at the end of this month, so stay tuned!

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