Friday, October 9, 2009

Happs, Birthday, John Lennon

The Beatles, I'm more than happy to admit, played a pretty large role in my life. In a long and much beloved bedtime ritual, my father would read me books, spin his own stories, and sing songs. "Yesterday" is one of the ones I remember most clearly him singing, because that's the one I gravitated to. "Big Yellow Taxi" was a bit complex, especially with all that talk about Joni Mitchell's "old man". "For What It's Worth" may have been a bit too dark, at times. "Piano Man" was awesome and long, but it had that confusing part about tonicingin - I later was able to translate that as tonic-and-gin, which makes a lot more sense (if a bit reversed) but for years that line confused me.

And, yes, "Yesterday" was written by Paul. But because of "Yesterday" and my insistence my father sang it better than whoever that original guy did, I discovered what are commonly referred to as The Red Album and The Blue Album. And I played those records over and over and over and over again, much to the consternation of my mother. I was entranced, enchanted, ensorcelled by the spell The Beatles wove. And though I have never truly developed a favored Beatle, I do think John's voice may be the most vocally interesting. I have become particularly obsessed with The Beatles' version of Please Mister Postman:

It may just be the sandpaper quality of John Lennon's vocals, but this is my favorite version of this song.

And so, I'm pretty glad John Lennon was born. I'm fairly happy I share a birthday month with him.

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