The Beatles, Help!

Help!  John Lennon managed to cram an unusually clear psychological slogan into one of the best pop songs he’d ever write.  It’s hard for most people to just shout out help, especially when they need it.  It really must have been difficult for someone as stubborn, independent, and prideful as John Lennon.  When you have the weight of a global audience of screaming teenagers, and the world’s press crushing you in some surreal never ending circus come to life, it must have been easier for someone like John to beg for help.  What I love about the song is how John can take a propulsive driving rock song and somehow add the element of desperate folk ballad introspection in the verses.  “Now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured, and now I find, I’ve changed my mind, and opened up the doors.”  On the surface, the song works as an ironic satire of John’s life, as the exciting fast driving joyfulness present in the music still conveys the giddy excitement of Beatlemania.  But all you have to do is dig a bit deeper to feel the swirling doubt and disillusionment felt by a guy trying to hold on in a world quickly moving faster than his feet.  HELP!

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