Early Beatles

I had a hard time trying to figure out which song I was going to use for the ‘Self Love’ prompt and I wondered if I would have to find a song about masturbation and then I finally came up with “Please Please Me” by the Beatles.  This song was rumored to be about oral sex, but a man performing oral sex on a woman was not very common in the early 1960’s in Liverpool and the Beatles denied this, because they wanted to maintain a very clean image at this time.  Lennon was the composer of Please Please Me and he said of the song that, “I was always intrigued by the double use of the word ‘please’.”  Paul McCartney said, “If they had wanted to, they could have found plenty of double meanings in our early work.  Everything has a double meaning if you look for it long enough.”

The chorus of Please Please Me was suggested by Bing Crosby’s 1932 song “Please”, written by an American composer Robin Rainger, which investigates the relationship between the homophones ‘please’ and ‘pleas’.  Some of the lyrics are, “oh please, lend your little ear to my pleas | Send a ray of cheer to my pleas | Tell me that you love me too.”  John said he was intrigued by the way Bing Crosby juxtaposed the words ’please’ and ‘pleas’.  When John Lennon wrote what would become the Beatles’ second single, he was working off this Bing Crosby tune and he was imagining soulful crooner Roy Orbison on vocals.  John said,  “It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it?  I heard Roy Orbison doing ‘Only The Lonely’ on the radio.”  As a result, “Please Please Me” was a more downcast and sonically tempered song in its earliest forms.  Not ideal material for the follow-up to “Love Me Do”.

George Martin the Beatles’ producer, arranger and mentor said, “I told them if they doubled the speed it might be interesting.  I told them what beginning and what ending to put on it.”  Paul remembers that, “We were a bit embarrassed that he had found a better tempo than we had.”   George Martin was pushing for the Beatles’ cover of “How Do You Do It”, written by Mitch Murray, to claim that designation.  But to their credit, the young foursome wanted their own songs to be released.  Martin later relented and, after treating it to a dramatic studio revamp, which included a harmonica section, beefed-up vocals, and a faster tempo, the Beatles issued “Please Please Me” as their second single.  Far from John’s formerly heartsick, bluesy conception, it emerged as an invigorating and sexually charged rush of a pop song.

“Please Please Me” is a song about urgent needs where a lover is seeking reciprocation, but sadly he is not getting anything in return.  The singer knows how to show his love and he is doing all of the pleasing with his girl and he would like her to return the favor.  My favorite lines are the C’mons, that are echoed back and forth between John Paul and George.  This song is concerned with equality between-the-sheets and it was a bit of scandalous for its day.  This song was recorded on November 26th, 1962, and it would be the one that would begin the chain of events to take them beyond their home town and, eventually, to the whole world.  Please Please Me finally opened the doors that they had been knocking on for over three years.

“Please Please Me”

Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try, girl
C’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon)
Please please me, whoa yeah, like I please you
You don’t need me to show the way, love
Why do I always have to say “love”
C’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon)
Please please me, whoa yeah, like I please you
I don’t wanna sound complaining
But you know there’s always rain in my heart (In my heart)
I do all the pleasing with you, it’s so hard to reason
With you, whoah yeah, why do you make me blue
Last night I said these words to my girl
I know you never even try, girl
C’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon), c’mon (C’mon)
Please please me, whoa yeah, like I please you
(Me) Whoa yeah, like I please you
(Me) Whoa yeah, like I please you

Written for Helen Vahdati’s October 1st 2017 Song Lyric Sunday Theme where the prompt is Self Love.

5 thoughts on “Early Beatles

  1. Fab 4 Forever! 🙂 Thanks for the interesting commentary about this song. Until I started this challenge, I pretty much never thought much about lyrics to songs, just if I liked the music, and I could sing along. I’m learning new things every day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the “I Touch Myself” inspiration for the theme I chose, I would honestly be surprised if someone didn’t go in that direction. It is harder than people probably realize to come up with a theme from a song. Sometimes it’s easy, but this one was difficult.

    The Beatles are always a good choice, and I liked the one you chose. Thanks for playing along.

    Liked by 1 person

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