Friday, 21 January 2011

10:34 While My Guitar Gently Weeps In The Lyrical Hall Of Shame


Oh the best laid schemes of mice and men...This week I'd scheduled a post about Lennon's last best song, and a guest post from Nicholas Tozier on Lennon's worst musical moment. But work and songwriting got in the way. So this will have to suffice for now... 

(seriously what schemes does a mouse concoct? 1) Run along the wall 2) find cheese 3) repeat?)


Don't tell me that this is a great song. I know it is. Which makes today's 'lyrical crime against humanity' all the more heinous. The scene of the crime is the second bridge

I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too.
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you.


I call this particular crime Rhyme Fever or "I paid good money for this rhyming dictionary, dammit!".

"Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I put it to you that the defendant was diverted and perverted before finally becoming inverted"
"Your honour, counsel would state in mitigation that at no time had the defendant been sufficiently alerted"
I rest my case.

Related post: She Came In Through The Bathroom Window's Lyric Fail


15 comments:

  1. What a cynical attitude The Beatles often displayed towards words and the meanings of words. I understand that it can be fun to play with words, but to dismiss the meaning of words as unimportant is wretched.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They did write some great lyrics, but melody definitely took precedence over words

    ReplyDelete
  3. I might be making this up, but I'm pretty sure I saw a video of David Byrne talking about lyrics.

    To paraphrase from memory:

    "I put a lot of work into them, but I don't think most people care."

    Sort of sad, but I think it's true.

    Personally, I think that bridge should have been extended with lines for "squirted", "hurted", and "Burt did"!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brilliant!
    Anybody fancy taking a shot at another bridge with
    "squirted",
    "hurted",
    and "Burt did"!

    Anybody got a fourth rhyme?

    ReplyDelete
  5. In my naivity I take these words as George's heartcry -even an indication of our human condition as fallen people - giving real poignancy to this beautiful ballad
    Andy

    ReplyDelete
  6. I agree with you AJ it IS a beautiful song. It's just that it would have been better without this bridge.

    IMHO.Feel free to differ, that's what BSA is all about!

    What most inspires you about the Beatles songwriting?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What about 'un-shirted, re-blurted, free skirted' and 'a squirted'? How'd that be???

      Delete
  7. I don't know how you were diverted
    You were perverted too.
    I don't know how you were inverted
    No one alerted you.
    ...these are not meaningless rhyming lyrics im actually upset that people dont understand.. if i played guitar it would be weeping right now..
    The whole song is about the manipulation of humanity by the governing powers...i look at you ALL see the love there thats sleeping (there is love sleeping in us, we have not awoken our ability to love).. we were diverted: we have been entertained and misdirected....we have been perverted: deviation from what is right or natural...we were inverted (turned upside down, changed from what we are naturally to an unnatural state..no one alerted us..we were not meant to ever find out that we were being psychologically controlled by the powers that be. do you see why his guitar gently weeps , still...hope that you will interpret the song..i am still trying to get you to listen..please hear me, and wake the fuck up

    ReplyDelete
  8. From nlp500 - 6 April 2013 06:58

    I don't know how you were diverted
    You were perverted too.
    I don't know how you were inverted
    No one alerted you.

    ...these are not meaningless rhyming lyrics im actually upset that people dont understand.. if i played guitar it would be weeping right now..

    The whole song is about the manipulation of humanity by the governing powers...i look at you ALL see the love there thats sleeping (there is love sleeping in us, we have not awoken our ability to love).. we were diverted: we have been entertained and misdirected....we have been perverted: deviation from what is right or natural...we were inverted (turned upside down, changed from what we are naturally to an unnatural state..no one alerted us..we were not meant to ever find out that we were being psychologically controlled by the powers that be. do you see why his guitar gently weeps , still...hope that you will interpret the song..i am still trying to get you to listen..please hear me, and wake the XXXX up

    My Reply

    I don't think the lyrics are meaningless (I never said that)
    and I do understand them - but thank you for providing a dictionary definition anyway.

    All criticism is personal and subjective whether you like the song or not, in my opinion the song is ruined by the overuse of long rhyming words. They may have been exactly the words Harrison always intended to use or they may have been chosen just to rhyme. I think it's the latter.

    Feel free to disagree by all means but if you use curse words/expletives I'll delete your comments.

    Also maybe you'll like my posts on 'Something' better

    http://beatlessongwriting.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Something

    and perhaps this will explain my methods more

    http://beatlessongwriting.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/ant-thology-why-i-love-beatles-too-much.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. I always thought the line about sweeping the floor was pretty gratuitous, too.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i've heard more than one person who wasn't big on The Fabs call this out as their favorite Beatle song.
    the lyrics bothered me ever since i was a kid but that melody arrangement and performance is wonderful.Paul throws down some great piano and 2 note chords on the bass(which i don't think he had done since And I love Her).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It IS good for all the reasons you state O.M. - interesting as to why it's popular with the casual fan. I suspect it might have a lot to do with it being one of George's coolest songs - therefore 'safe' to like without becoming a Lennon/McCartney fanboy?

      Delete
  11. The fact that they are perfect rhymes, and make perfect sense for George's philosophy are a strength (and very stylistically George) not a shortcoming.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment Amr (nice bass by the way!)

      Delete