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Iconic Beatles Songs and Their Backstories


Music  •  9 May, 2024  •  29,246 Views  •  ⭐ 2.0

Written by Shivani Chourasia


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Embark on a melodious journey through the remarkable history of The Beatles, a band that not only redefined the soundscape of the era but also enriched the world with songs that resonate through generations. This exploration delves into the compelling origins and stories behind some of their most iconic tracks—from the uplifting strains of "Hey Jude" to the reflective depths of "Sexy Sadie." Each song not only showcases the band's creative genius but also reflects the personal and cultural narratives that shaped them, offering a glimpse into the profound impact of The Beatles' music on both the industry and their listeners.

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“Hey Jude”: From a Compassionate Gesture to a Classic Hit

The origin of one of The Beatles’ most cherished tracks, “Hey Jude,” is deeply rooted in a gesture of empathy and support. Paul McCartney conceived the song during a visit to Cynthia Lennon, who was navigating the emotional aftermath of her breakup with John, along with their son Julian.

As McCartney drove to see them, he began to craft a melody dedicated to Julian, aiming to uplift him during this tough period. Initially titled "Hey Jules," McCartney altered it to "Jude" to enhance the song's rhythmic harmony. Yet, John Lennon interpreted the song differently. He thought it subtly referenced his evolving relationship with Yoko Ono, seeing a dual message in the lyrics.

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"Dear Prudence": The Tale of Isolation Transformed into Music

In the year 1968, The Beatles travelled to India for an immersive experience in meditation under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Among those who joined them was Mia Farrow's sister, Prudence Farrow.

Determined to achieve spiritual enlightenment swiftly, Prudence decided to seclude herself in her room for extended periods, contrary to Maharishi's counsel. This prompted George Harrison and John Lennon to intervene, encouraging her to rejoin the group outside her confines.

The episode of Prudence's intense meditation inspired Lennon to compose "Dear Prudence." He described the song as a narrative about "Mia Farrow's sister, who became a bit eccentric from meditating too intensely and struggled to leave the small hut where we stayed." Both Harrison and Lennon crafted this melody while in India, informing Prudence about their creation as they departed. She would only hear the song herself once it appeared on the White Album.

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"Here Comes The Sun": An Ode to Brighter Days

"Here Comes The Sun" stands as a joyful anthem, penned by George Harrison during a respite at Eric Clapton’s residence, where he chose to skip a day filled with tedious business and marketing discussions.

Amidst the refreshing onset of spring, following a particularly gruelling English winter, Harrison found his muse. He composed the melody using a guitar he borrowed there, encapsulating the sheer delight and renewal that the season brings.

"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds": Sparked by Youthful Wonder

The song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" finds its roots in the imaginative artwork of John Lennon’s young son, Julian, who was only four years old at the time. Julian's drawing, which featured a girl named Lucy soaring through the sky, captivated Lennon and catalyzed the song.

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This track is renowned for its vivid and fantastical imagery, which was influenced by the whimsical adventures in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." Despite widespread rumours, the song was never intended as a tribute to LSD, but rather, it was a pure reflection of a child's unfiltered imagination.

"Sexy Sadie": A Melody Shaped by Betrayal

"Sexy Sadie" stands out as one of the more provocative tracks from the White Album, its inception rooted in the undercurrents of deception and disillusionment. During their spiritual retreat in India, a clash of integrity emerged involving Lennon’s mentor, Yanni Alexis Mardas. Mardas cast aspersions on Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, alleging inappropriate behaviour, which sowed seeds of scepticism in Lennon about Maharishi's genuineness.

This brewing mistrust directly inspired Lennon to pen "Sexy Sadie." Originally, the song was directly named Maharishi, but at George Harrison’s behest, the name was altered to "Sexy Sadie" in the song's final arrangement, veiling the direct reference under a pseudonym to soften the critique while maintaining its poignant sting.

Conclusion

The Beatles, through their profound musical talents and innovative songwriting, crafted a legacy that transcends time and genre. Each song not only showcases their individual and collective artistic evolution but also reflects a tapestry of personal experiences and societal narratives. From the empathetic chords of "Hey Jude" to the reflective tranquillity of "Here Comes The Sun," their music offers a window into the soulful and sometimes tumultuous journeys of its creators. Songs like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" remind us of the purity and wonder of childhood imagination, while "Sexy Sadie" echoes the disillusionment and pain of betrayal. The Beatles' ability to infuse deep emotional truths into their music, making personal stories universal, continues to resonate with audiences around the globe, ensuring that their songs, much like the sun in Harrison’s hopeful anthem, will continue to rise and inspire generations to come.

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