Monday, 15 April 2013

10:15 Martha My Dear (pt.3) Silly Love Songs

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs

What's in a word? A clue to a whole style or tone? Paul McCartney is often criticised for being twee his use of the word 'silly' is definitely twee. John Lennon never used it* (imagine him singing “silly bloomin' Tuesday”). Or imagine Paul substituting the word stupid in any of the following ...

Hold your head up you silly girl look what you've done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl

Martha My Dear

Silly people run around
They worry me and never ask me
Why they don't get past my door

Fixing A Hole

He looks a lot like a guy I knew way back when
It's silly Willy with Philly band

Rock Show

Samson and Delilah would have made a crazy pair
if the silly woman hadn't shaven off his hair

Nobody Knows

That was a silly season, was it the best?
We didn't need the reason, just a rest.

Good Times Coming / Feel The Sun

Did any other songs influence McCartney's vocabulary? The Beatles covered Glad All Over (The one by Carl Perkins, not the Dave Clark Five)...

One little kiss from you
And I feel glad all over
Oo baby, hot dang gilly
It's silly
But I'm glad all over

Glad All Over

Are there words you find yourself using repeatedly in your songwriting. Or words you avoid?

*Lennon used 'Stupid' in I Am The Walrus and I'm So Tired

**Most of these photos are from a McCartney tumblr blog with a name to rude to mention


  1. From this Yank's perspective, 'silly' is quintessentially British and as a result, charming.

  2. Fascinating, and I have never thought about what words I use frequently. I can see how Americans might see the word as charmingly British. Perhaps I should use the word then?

  3. Martin - you're charming enough already!

  4. Rachet up your charming quotient by using "blimey" and "bloke" also.

  5. Haha! I'll keep that in mind Gary! I'm guessing you're a fan of Mary Poppins?

  6. Haha, thank you for the laugh Gary - "Cor blimey there's this blinking bloke, and he's such a silly chap..."

  7. Everything I know about British culture can be sourced from Mary Poppins or Snatch.

  8. Haha - in that case maybe you could broaden your studies with

    The Italian Job (1969 Michael Caine one)
    Hot Fuzz

    Sherlock TV series

    and the first two Arctic Monkeys albums!

  9. I agree with Matt on the British study aids, and would possibly add the works of Noel Coward (music, literature, and films) which is in itself an pastiche to music hall, which inspired the music and feel to songs such as Martha My Dear, When I'm Sixty-Four, et al.

  10. Thanks to both of you d00ds for the help.

    If it's any encouragement, I dumped Benny Hill as a resource a long time ago.