Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Beatles: Something

Recorded: 25 February 1969: EMI Studios: London
Lyrics: George Harrison

Released: Originally as a 7” single: 6 October 1969 (US); 31 October 1969 (UK)
Album: Abbey Road
Label: Apple Records
There is something spiritual in this song. It evokes a sense of freedom and playfulness. The song flows like a love song, but something else altogether is at play, as Wikepedia writes:

During the 1968 recording sessions for The Beatles (also referred to as the White Album), Harrison began working on a song that eventually became known as "Something". The song's first lyrics were adapted from the title of an unrelated song by fellow Apple artist James Taylor called "Something in the Way She Moves" and used as filler while the melody was being developed. The song's second line, "Attracts me like no other lover," was the last to be written; during early recording sessions for "Something", Harrison alternated between two placeholder lyrics: "Attracts me like a cauliflower" and "Attracts me like a pomegranate."
Harrison later said that "I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing so I went into an empty studio and began to write. That's really all there is to it, except the middle took some time to sort out. It didn't go on the White Album because we'd already finished all the tracks."A demo recording of the song by Harrison from this period appears on the Beatles Anthology 3 collection, released in 1996.
Many believe that Harrison's inspiration for "Something" was his wife at the time, Pattie Boyd. Boyd also claimed that inspiration in her 2007 autobiography, Wonderful Tonight, where she wrote: "He told me, in a matter-of-fact way, that he had written it for me."
However, Harrison has cited other sources of inspiration to the contrary. In a 1996 interview he responded to the question of whether the song was about Pattie: "Well no, I didn't [write it about her]. I just wrote it, and then somebody put together a video. And what they did was they went out and got some footage of me and Pattie, Paul and Linda, Ringo and Maureen, it was at that time, and John and Yoko and they just made up a little video to go with it. So then, everybody presumed I wrote it about Pattie, but actually, when I wrote it, I was thinking of Ray Charles."
By The Beatles

Something in the way she moves,
Attracts me like no other lover.
Something in the way she woos me.
I don't want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.

Somewhere in her smile she knows,
That I don't need no other lover.
Something in her style that shows me.
I don't want to leave her now,
You know I believe and how.

You're asking me will my love grow,
I don't know, I don't know.
Stick around, and it may show,
But I don't know, I don't know.

Something in the way she knows,
And all I have to do is think of her.
Something in the things she shows me.
I don't want to leave her now.
You know I believe and how.

Announcement of October 20, 2010

Dear Readers:

I have decided to reduce the number of blogs/essays that I post weekly—from five to three each week. The articles will appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week starting this week. Thus, the next article will appear on Friday Oct 22nd. It will be on Harold Pinter, Nobel laureate and playwright.
          I will continue to post musical blogs periodically as I have been doing the past two months. These changes are necessary so as to maintain the highly consistent standards that you have come to expect from this blog. I enjoy writing these essays, particularly since they bring up and discuss important issues that affect us all.
       I hope and trust that you keep reading this blog. And, if you have any time or thoughts to share, please drop me a short note.


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