The End is a collection of 4 fairly unrelated sections. The first two would make a decent moment in a live show (shame the Beatles hadn't done one for 3 years) like Moby Dick or Eruption but don't really work on record. (I guess Eruption is the exception because Eddie Van Halen is a slightly better guitarist than John Lennon!)
In section three the band drops out, bar slightly flat piano track (which George Martin uncharacteristically missed) to emphasis “and in the end...” (Ticket 30). For a few seconds we get the Abbey Road Beatles at their best. The arrangement is rich (check out the way the strings continue the descent that the chord progression started after the words “equal to the love”. The chord progression itself emphasises the lyrics by changing with every syllable (Ticket 11)
That final line is another case of the 3 over 4 hemiola “LOVE YOU make is E – QUAL TO THE” (Ticket 29) we saw in Polythene Pam and includes an extra bar or two, (in 6/8 or 2/4 depending which way you slice it) which you could look at as either a very short time change (Ticket 15) or a Lennon Edit (Ticket 37).
The lyrics are deep and meaningless in the way only the Beatles can pull off.
And in the end
The love you take
Is equal to the love you make
So wise, so insightful. If only I could work out what it means.
(BTW it's kind of cool how it starts with “and” rather than just “In the end”. It does make it seem like the last word and makes it feel connected to the rest of the Long One).
The final section is the 5 beautiful ascending chords. Having been in A major then slickly transposing into A minor the final coda takes an odd but logical wander through some out of key chords to arrive at a final triumphant C major (Ticket 18). The chords are
C D7/C Cm7 F C
What's happening is a simple triad pattern over a constant C bass note – the chords could also be viewed as
C D Eb F C
Though the finale is beautiful the fragmented nature of the song means it doesn't stand up as a song in it's own right at all.
Hmmm. The last two song have been a bit disappointing. Next week that will all change!