Friday, September 28, 2007

Spectacularly Simple

For all my talk about "the ghosts of electricity" and "scrounging for your next meal," sometimes rock 'n' roll doesn't have to be that complex. It's only a rare great (Dylan, Waits, Springsteen, etc.) that can make the intellectual sound magnificent with the accompaniment of only the guitar, bass and drums.

But this post isn't about the complex, it's about the seemingly simply. Take these few lines of lyrics from different artists:

You're gonna say you'll miss me
You're gonna say you'll kiss me
Yes, you're gonna say you'll love me
'Cause I'm gonna love you too

I'm gonna give you thirty days to get back home
I done talked to the gypsy woman on the telephone
She gonna send out a world wide hoodoo
That'll be the very thing that'll suit ya
I'm gonna see that you be back home in thirty days

Ooh, I need your love babe,
Guess you know it's true.
Hope you need my love babe,
Just like I need you.

Those three songs--"I'm Gonna Love You" by Buddy Holly, "Thirty Days" by Chuck Berry" and especially "Eight Days a Week" by The Beatles--are all compromised of words and lines that you think you could probably write, but never did. And never will. That's the genius of them; it's like seeing a painting in a museum and thinking to yourself, "Psh, I could do." Well, there's a reason why they're Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and The Beatles and we're not...

Is this why The Beatles reached such massive? Those lyrics that girls at the age of 9 all the way up to men in their 50s could equally relate to, but for completely different reasons. It's surely got to be one of the reasons.

Would I give up "Like a Rolling Stone" so that there'd be no "Aqualung?" No, I wouldn't. Along the same line, I wouldn't give up "I've just seen a face/I can't forget the time or place," even if it meant there'd be no:

I'm just mad about Fourteen
Fourteen's mad about me
I'm just mad about Fourteen
She's just mad about me

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