Everybody knows The Beatles. For some, they are the best band in the world, lyrically gifted with the instruments to boot. For others, they are nothing more than a just a bunch of mop top boys beating a drum. But whatever your opinion, be it overrated or underrated, masterminds or follies, you can’t deny that they will forever be remembered. So, to celebrate here are 10 of their most memorable lyrics.
Number Ten: ‘Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away / Now it looks as though they’re here to stay / Oh, I believe in yesterday’
Yesterday, or “scrambled eggs” as it was originally known, came to Paul McCartney in a dream. Yes, Macca was that good he could write hits in his sleep. Probably the most famous song in The Beatles’ catalogue, it has been covered numerous times from the likes of Frank Sinatra to Shirley Bassey.
Number Nine: ‘Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup / They slither while they pass / They slip away across the universe’
With the bedroom seeming to be a prominent place for songwriting, John wrote this whilst struggling to sleep after an argument with his first wife Cynthia. After tossing and turning with the words of his spouse ringing in his ears he eventually turned it into a song, creating one of the most beautifully turned out tunes in the world. John certainly agreed, later referring to it as the most poetic thing he had ever written.
Number Eight: ‘Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see’
Probably one of John Lennon’s most personal songs, “Strawberry Fields” not only evokes childhood nostalgia but also his mental state at the time. Released as the B-side to “Penny Lane” (another song that reflects reminiscence) “Strawberry Fields” was originally the name of a Salvation Army children’s home near to where John lived in Liverpool. Often reaching the top spot in Beatles best songs, it will be sure to take you on an emotional journey.
Number Seven: ‘All you need is love, love / Love is all your need’
Two weeks after the release of the highly anticipated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles were asked to take part in a new exciting world project, which would be broadcast live on television. With the task of writing a new song to play to the world in limited time, they quickly got to work producing one of the most memorable Beatles songs ever.
The best thing about this, however, is not how swiftly they penned the record or how brilliantly they performed it live, but, in fact, the use of the French national anthem. Yes, the ingenious use of the “La Marseillaise” means that any time a French athlete wins gold at the Olympics it will forever sound like a mini Beatles revival.
Number Six: ‘What would you think if I sang out of tune / Would you stand up and walk out on me / Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song / And I’ll try not to sing out of key’
Reverting back to the old days, where John and Paul would each mold together two separate forms of a song they had previously been working on, the fab four released a cracker. Later calling it a “craft job for Ringo” the song has also been covered by many, in particular, Joe Cocker with many thinking he had originally written it!
Number Five: ‘Something in the way she moves / Attracts me like no other lover’
Famously called the best love song Lennon and McCartney had ever written by Frank Sinatra, “Something” was actually scribbled down by George Harrison. With such simple yet sensitive lyrics and a moving melody to match, George had originally thought he had heard the harmony before. With John and Paul hogging most of the limelight, it was “Something” that finally made everyone else pay attention, with George getting the recognition he so finally deserved.
Number Four: ‘It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog / It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log / But when I get home to you I find the things that you do will make me feel alright’
Accompanying the movie of the same name, the title had originally been coined by Ringo, who was tired of working all day upon realizing it was now night. The song is extremely quotable and is renowned for the opening chord that immediately blasts the lyrics into space.
Number Three: ‘Blackbird singing in the dead of night / Take these broken wings and learn to fly’
Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement, McCartney wrote it in reference to his support for equality; however, this has been questioned numerous times. Whatever the reason, it is probably one of the most well-known Beatles songs lyrically and musically with Foo Fighter frontman Dave Grohl himself calling it the best Beatles song ever written.
Number Two: ‘I read the news today, oh boy / About a lucky man who made the grade / And though the news was rather sad / Well I just had to laugh, I saw the photograph’
With John and Paul producing separate work and tensions forming in the group, “A Day in the Life” saw the two join forces again with the result almost spellbinding. With John’s lyrics referring to an incident he had seen in the newspaper and Paul’s representing a time of longing, the song connects together so perfectly it’s hard to even understand how. Composed with a 40-piece orchestra, “A Day in the Life” goes down in history as The Beatles’ most magnificent masterpiece, a must-hear record.
Number One: One of The Beatles’ Classics – ‘And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make’
It is not so often that bands get to say a final goodbye, yet the Beatles did just that with this poignant and touching track that fits ever so nicely at the end of a medley that beautifully bookends their final album, Abbey Road. With each member having a special solo, the final lyric takes us all back to where it all began with feelings of love, devotion and finding that special someone. Sad, heart-wrenching but utterly heart-warming, it will leave you with a smile on your face and a tear rolling down your cheek. Thanks for reading!