Song Of The Day: The Beatles — Hello Goodbye (1967)

Rich Karfilis recalls: My brave colleague Jordan recently issued his take on terrible Beatles songs, and I was fairly certain he’d pick a real dud like “When I’m Sixty-Four” as the worst. Instead I was surprised to see this song top the list, so with all due respect to Jordan and his wacky brilliance, I feel compelled to take the opposing view.

Sure the lyrics are high-school-poetry-class bad and repetitive, but I think the unique musical journey gives the words more weight. The descending bassline of the chorus resolves with a signature Beatley uptwist, making the song neither happy nor sad. That good old bittersweet ambiguity. The singer may be borderline literate, but is he glad the chick is leaving or not?

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Musicologists love this song for its melodic range. Apparently only one of the 12 possible pitches is missing. And Ringo’s drumming on the chorus breaks is exquisite. In any case, I just wanted to stand up for this little song. My apologies for the argument, Jordan, I hope this isn’t considered bad form. Maybe you could help me on the merits of “When I’m Sixty Four” and we’ll call it even?

One comment to “Song Of The Day: The Beatles — Hello Goodbye (1967)”
  1. I listened to it again, Rich, and though I still find it lyrically reprehensible, I will admit there are some fairly interesting things going on from a musical perspective. Just goes to show you that even the “terrible” Beatles songs A. Have their defenders and B. contain some redeeming qualities.

    I kind of like “When I’m 64.” I shouldn’t like it, as it represents Paul at his most cloying and sentimental, but I wouldn’t turn it off if it came on right now. I totally understand, however, how someone would hate it.

    Let’s call it a draw.

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