Incomplete Beatles songs To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=85294
96 messages

Incomplete Beatles songs

09 Oct 05 - 01:06 PM (#1579476)
Subject: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

A million years ago, before the war, I heard someone busking Beatles songs to an acoustic guitar.

Being taken by this, I learned 'With a little help from me friends' sang it in folk clubs from time to time then bought the Beatles Complete.

I have trawled this book endlessly but, perhaps unsuprisingly, cannot find many more that work acousticly.

Lots of tunes are good but the lyrics often don't add up to much. A good example is 'In my life':

There are places I remember in my life .......

Two bits of verse and a bridge. Would it be unthinkable or perhaps impossible to add the odd verse or so to make it more like a complete song?

Awaiting sky to fall...................


09 Oct 05 - 01:13 PM (#1579483)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

If you were to add verses, then I'd go with ones about the places you do remember.


09 Oct 05 - 01:15 PM (#1579485)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Thanks Scaramouche.

But, personal or general, these songs are the sound track of something or other....


09 Oct 05 - 01:32 PM (#1579495)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: John Hardly

I'm not sure what you mean about them not working acoustically or being "incomplete". I've heard so many Beatles songs done acoustically, both as instrumentals (Pat Donohue, Lawrence Juber, and others are famous for these arrangements) and vocally by everyone from Salamader Crossing to Kenny Rankin to Creighton Lindsey.


09 Oct 05 - 01:47 PM (#1579504)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

It seems obvious to say that the Beatles recordings of their own songs sound great, not to everyone, that's just tastses and choice, but whatever we feel they are great pop songs.

'Yesterday' is a great song (IMHO) people can just stand up and sing it and it sounds fine. I don't think Sgt. Pepper works in that way. In fact most of the more mainstream rock songs are great rock songs but they don't 'work' acousticaly.

But further, Eleanor Rigby sounds good but the words don't realy tell much of a story. I like 'Things we've said to day' but it is a bit short in the lyric dept.

So: 1. hands off
2. add a bit
3. ask Paul to ..........?


09 Oct 05 - 02:17 PM (#1579521)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: alanabit

"Things We Said Today" is a love song, which I can sing without embarrassment in my fifties. I agree with Les that there are not a lot of Beatles songs, which would stand up in the folk club environment, with the very simplest of arrangements. That is no problem though. There is no shortage of excellent songs, which do stand up. The songs of George Papavgeris, Alaska Mike and Jed Marum stand up today and will probably stand up in a hundred years time. I don't see any problem in finding good material.


09 Oct 05 - 02:32 PM (#1579531)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Fullerton

The Beatles Complete was published in 2 or 3 quite different different editions.

It is far from complete in that many songs are not printed
It is far from complete in that many songs have sections missing sometimes the intro is printed

The piano arrangements all sound like the theme to postman pat!

Most songs are printed in the wrong key.

On the other hand The Beatles complete SCORES is far more detailed. It includes drum music , even accordion, effects, bass, mutiple guitar parts very accurately tabbed.

Its expensive but worth it.

Many Beatle songs can bare drastic rearrangement - what about an acoustic version of helter skelter or revolution number 9


09 Oct 05 - 02:34 PM (#1579532)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

True enough alanabit. I'm not a geat fan of the singer-song writer stuff but I accept that quality stuff is to be found.

I like traditional unaccompanied songs but I like to suprise people as well. I think 'In my life' works well unaccompanied becauase it has a great tune. I guess the challange would be to add a verse or two and see if anybody noticed or even more .... to see if the new verses entered the oral tradition


09 Oct 05 - 02:37 PM (#1579536)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: McGrath of Harlow

Eleanor Rigby sounds good but the words don't really tell much of a story.

I think that's about the strangest statement I've come across in a long time.

I remember Dan Keding, I think it was, in a storytelling worskshop saying how the key to oral storytelling is knowing what to leave out, so that people can fill in the spaces and the details with stuff from their own lives and from the stories they've come across. I think Eleanor Rigby is a superb example of that.

I'd say there are any number of Beatles songs that work brilliantly in pub sessions. And which sound just fine with an acoustic accompaniment.

If they work better for you with a bit added or a bit taken away, fair enough. If you find other people agree with that, fairer still. Not that likely maybe, but the folk process can always throw up surprises about things like that.


09 Oct 05 - 02:52 PM (#1579547)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: PennyBlack

I think that's about the strangest statement I've come across in a long time

I was just about to say the very same thing.

My wife and I under another Folk nom de plume regularly sing "I will", Bob Fox does a nice rendition of "from me to you", John Williams an instrumental version of "here comes the sun" (also a nice version was to be heard on "The flip side of Dominic Hyde"), Norwegian Wood works well in DADGAD etc.

And if you want to expand Bluegrass into the "Folk" category listen the The Charles River Valley Boys LP/CD "Beatle Country"

PB


09 Oct 05 - 03:03 PM (#1579555)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: pdq

Mary McCaslin does a great job with "Things We Said today" and "Blackbird". Maybe others. Everything she does becomes vaguely Western (as in western US, as in horses, cattle, sagebrush...).


09 Oct 05 - 03:14 PM (#1579563)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Norwegian Wood is acoustic, pretty much.
George Harrison and Paul Simon recorded an accoustic version of Here Comes the Sun, not to mention Harrison's accoustic While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Act Naturally is country-ish, so no problem there.
She is Leaving, that was with harp acompaniment. You could also do their other music hall ones.
Girl, Girl, Girl (if that's the title).
Blackbird.
I'd imagine Ticket to Ride would work as well as Can't Buy me Love or even She Loves You.


09 Oct 05 - 03:16 PM (#1579565)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: pdq

"Act Naturally" is country. The Beatles did not write it.


09 Oct 05 - 04:55 PM (#1579611)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

My mistake.


09 Oct 05 - 04:59 PM (#1579616)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

Lots of tunes are good but the lyrics often don't add up to much. A good example is 'In my life':

There are places I remember in my life .......

Two bits of verse and a bridge. Would it be unthinkable or perhaps impossible to add the odd verse or so to make it more like a complete song?



José Feliciano managed to do a pretty good job without writing extra verses.


DC


09 Oct 05 - 09:35 PM (#1579805)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Gurney

I'm with McGrath at 2.37, I prefer a sparse lyric. Verbosity turns me off a song.
Having said that, many Beatles songs could use an extra verse, they are too good to finish so soon. 3 minute syndrome, I suppose.

At a festival, late one night, we worked our way through a lot of the Beatles songbook. Everyone knew the words. Magic.


10 Oct 05 - 12:27 PM (#1580203)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

As Martin Carthy says (I think) it comes out of somebody's mouth and into somebody's ear and either they like it or they don't. We don't need to defend or attack songs they spaek to us personally.

I am prepared to say I was wrong about Eleanor Rigby. I have just read the words and they work well. But the point I tried to start at was naerly all the Beatles stuff works well as rock and pop. Some songs work well acoustically and they have been listed above.

What made Sgt Pepper ground breaking was the musical arrangements and the themes of the songs. But I digress.

There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some for ever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often think about them
In my life I'll love you more

I guess I am risking the roth of somebody or other but it is a bit short. I know that is the essence and the challenge of pop and I am sure that for many this little gem does it all.

Eight days a week is a great rock record, but, go on prove me wrong, I don't think many people could make much of it as an accoustic song.

In my life is a cracker - just a bit short. And so to my main point - who could add a verse?


10 Oct 05 - 12:37 PM (#1580215)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

I guess I am risking the roth of somebody or other but it is a bit short

I think you're making the mistake of mixing up quantity with quality.


DC


10 Oct 05 - 12:49 PM (#1580227)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Fair comment Doug, but how short would a song have to be before it would stop us singing it?

Louie, Louie (cannot spell it) is a great rock song but not an acoustic contender.

And for all those who seem to imply that lots of Beatles songs will work, go and do what I have done, go and read the lyrics of them all. Many are not poetry:

Come on come on come on is such a joy come on is such a joy
Come on take it easy, come on take it easy, take it easy take it easy
Everybody has got something to hide except me and my monkey

The deeper you go the higher you fly
The higher you fly the deeper you go
So come on come on

Your inside is out your outside is in
Your outside is in your inside is out
So come on come on

Even when they are deep and meaningful they are often short.


10 Oct 05 - 01:24 PM (#1580255)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

......how short would a song have to be before it would stop us singing it?


"Happy Birthday to You" only has four lines – two, in fact, if you consider the repeats - but is one of the best known and widely sung songs. ;-)

Seriously, I've been to many a sing-a-round where someone has performed a 17 verse wrist-slitter that I wished had been as short as "In My Life".


DC


10 Oct 05 - 01:42 PM (#1580275)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: McGrath of Harlow

Too short? Sing it twice.


10 Oct 05 - 02:45 PM (#1580334)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: PennyBlack

Mother Nature's Son - nice version by John Denver.

I have trawled this book endlessly but, perhaps unsuprisingly, cannot find many more that work acousticly(sic).

Come on have another look through "The Beatles Compleat", I'm sure you could find several acoustic sets there.

Too short? try a medley!

PB


10 Oct 05 - 02:49 PM (#1580338)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: number 6

"Two of us" from the Let it Be .... a great accoustic number.

sIx


10 Oct 05 - 03:03 PM (#1580348)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

A sterling point, Kevin. A sterling point. You can sing them twice--in fact, because people know the songs and often want to sing along, the second time through is often appreciated--


Here's a bit of help for you, Les--

The trick is not trying to recreate the recording, but to identify the basic sound and feel, and to find a way to voice that on your guitar--

Beatles stuff is actually kind of easy to do on solo guitar, because so much of it was written on a guitar(Cole Porter tunes are a bit trick to arrange for guitar) --

"Eight Days a Week", for instance, is a walk in the park--think about it like this--it has a basic, rockabilly feel, but in Beatle-style 4--Play it in E, to get a big fat acoustic sound--the chords are:

||: E E/ F7 F7/A A/B7 B7:||

|C#m C#m/F# F#7/ C#m C#m/F#7 F#7|

||: E E/ F7 F7/A A/E E/ A A/ EE||

For each measure(4 counts), play two solid downstrokes, emphasizing the low E string, then two down-up strokes, emphasizing the high strings--That's all you need to do (except to remember to really roll when you play it)--

If you want an instrumental break, simple play a "drum solo" rhythm pattern over either the into chord progression or the bridge progression--

The bottom line is that have to become an arranger, which is to say, you have to be a bit creative in finding a way to express the most compelling elements of the song on the instruments you have at hand.

Sometimes it is pretty obvious, and sometimes you have to reach a bit, but you can always find a way to make it work--


10 Oct 05 - 04:11 PM (#1580419)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Thanks MTed that's very detailed and thoughtful advice. The problem with Eight Days is the words aren't .........., how can I put this?

Ooh I need you love babe, guess you know I do
Hope you need my love babe, just like I need you
Hold me love me, hold me ,love me
Ain't got nothing but love babe Eight days a week

Love you everyday girl always on my mind
One thing I can say girl love you all the time
Hold me love me, hold me ,love me
Ain't got nothing but love babe Eight days a week

Not exactly Richard Thompson, is it?

Now, don't get me wrong, Great, rock song, needs nothing doing to it. Lots of other Beatles songs, many listed above, work realy well.

Maybe a medley would work, we play medleys of tunes don't we. Ok I will work on the medley idea. Anybody fancy re-discovering the lost 3rd verse to 'In my life'?


10 Oct 05 - 04:29 PM (#1580433)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Add a verse between one and two thats personal. Then, if you are up to it, an instrumental bridge before the last verse.
Finally, repeat first verse. Possibly even the final two lines from the second.


10 Oct 05 - 05:00 PM (#1580454)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Good call Scaramouche, but as one who peaked putting jokes to the tune of Old Smokey, I think the challenge is out of my league. But I bet it's in someone's.


10 Oct 05 - 05:13 PM (#1580464)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

Les,

I did a bit of Googling and, after a few false trails and dead ends, I think that I've found the lost verse you were looking for.


And of all the words they've written,
You will find that Les has far too few
And the song should be much longer
So he wants to add a verse or two
It was Lennon and McCartney
Who gave us a song that was filled with love
And they did it in two verses
In my life that's quite enough



DC


10 Oct 05 - 06:33 PM (#1580527)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Doug, what can I say .. priceless!


10 Oct 05 - 07:15 PM (#1580558)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Les, I guess am not really a songwriter. It's personal and I keep evading what I'm trying to say!


10 Oct 05 - 07:44 PM (#1580572)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: McGrath of Harlow

I keep evading what I'm trying to say!

That's not a bad line to build a song round.


10 Oct 05 - 08:50 PM (#1580598)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

I suppose you'd be against doing a verse of scat singing;-)


11 Oct 05 - 02:24 AM (#1580745)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

First of all, before you read any further, let me state categorically and unequivocally that I see no need for an additional verse to "In My Life". The song, as it stands, is complete. Given the right interpretation, it expresses everything that is required.

I submit the following only to rise to Les's challenge.


There are places I'll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some for ever, not for better,
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often think about them
In my life I'll love you more

But tonight you're with another
You don't need me or so it seems
All the things I took for certain
Are nothing more than broken dreams
And if we can't be together
I've nothing left, I am on my own
And all I'll have are memories
In my life I'll be alone



DC


11 Oct 05 - 09:11 AM (#1580916)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop

This may be a bit presumptuous of me, but I don't think the question is whether these songs "work acoustically". I think the question is full arrangement vs. little or no arrangement. In other words, if you're just looking to strum chords in the background -- no instrumental breaks, nothing more elaborate to pique the listener's interest -- then I agree, a lot of these songs don't have all that much to them.

The key to taking a song that was structured for a rock and roll band and performing it in another context is to replace the band stuff with something equally interesting and musically valid. Often (usually?) this will call for some radical restructuring of the musical elements. If you have an acoustic group, then arrange the song for an acoustic group. If you're playing solo, you'll have to determine whether you have the skills necessary to pull off a restructuring of the musical elements all by yourself (I mean no offense, Les; I don't know you personally, so I don't know what your capabilities are). If you have neither a band nor an advanced skill set, maybe you should consider skipping some of these songs in favor of others that will work better for you.

That being said, I think it can be very effective to play something for an audience that they don't immediately recognize -- because it has been so radically restructured -- and then watch as they "discover" the familiar song underneath. It can create a real shared sense of discovery between the performer and the audience. My set list generally contains a few of these reworkings of familiar songs, and they tend to be very well received.


11 Oct 05 - 10:26 AM (#1580956)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Paco Rabanne

I would say 'different' not 'incomplete',' many songs don't simply go verse/chorus verse/chorus. A classic that I worked on for my eldest daughter was Willy Nelson's "She is gone." A beautiful song, but very short if you don't ARRANGE it into almost a solo guitar piece with a couple of verses on top. If you just played chords under it, the song would be over in literally a minute.


11 Oct 05 - 01:08 PM (#1581086)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

All good discussion and good advice.

To be blunt, some Beatles songs are good and some are not only not very good (not much of a tune, not much of a lyric kind of not very good, and if pushed I will give examples,) but they are very, yes, very short.

I have followed them since Ellesmere Port Civic Hall 1962 to Paul at the MEN last year, so I am familiar with their work.)

Yes I have been around a lot of very long wrist slashing English Ballads and I don't want to go there. Martin Carthy has resurected quite a few old songs from bits and pieces, so it can be done. Doug has done it twice already in this thread!


11 Oct 05 - 01:24 PM (#1581094)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Oh, and another thing, everytime jazz soloists take their turn they try for that amazing feat of creation the improvisation that will create a new piece of music often out of an already written tune. It happens in the jazz world everyday and no one sees it as anything other than ...................... well?


11 Oct 05 - 02:09 PM (#1581125)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop

A lot of the Beatles' songs -- particularly the early ones -- were written as throwaway pop tunes for a three-minute radio format. Given the context and intent, for the most part they are surprisingly good -- lyrically direct, musically engaging and interesting. But I don't think anyone expected that people would still be covering them, regularly, forty years later.

Often Lennon and McCartney would come up with a good verse or two, and then force themselves to come up with a bridge. Since they didn't want to end the song with the bridge, they would just repeat the first verse. Again, it was disposable pop, and as soon as they were done with one they moved on to the next. There are lots of examples of this on the first few albums.

As for jazz musicians, I think that "something new out of something old" approach is what I was talking about. The difference is that jazz musicians often hope to achieve that spontaneously through improvisation. But you can sometimes hear a more planned approach by jazz musicians in the initial statement of the theme; Coltrane's "My Favorite Things" is a good example of this (there are many others as well).


11 Oct 05 - 02:19 PM (#1581131)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

All true Whistle Stop.

But more, the process of passing on and adding and removing bits, one of the best bits of the oral tradition, is how we end up with 'folk songs' as opposed to simply 'old songs' isn't it?

As has been expressed in other threads, not least by Malcolm Douglass, he of the RVWML, I think, old songs are a lot more common than folk songs but that oral tradition is a fascinating process.

I think Bob Peg pointed out, in a book I could go and find, guitar bands learn most of their songs via the oral proces. What ever we might say Beatles songs are passing into the oral tradition as we tap and mouse!


11 Oct 05 - 03:08 PM (#1581171)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Les, I mentioned this to someone and they put on a Judy Collins recording. On it was an accoustic cover of In My Life.


11 Oct 05 - 03:27 PM (#1581190)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Go on then, how good was it? I bet it was more than a bit good (even though, may I suggest,) a bit short?


11 Oct 05 - 03:47 PM (#1581210)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Oh, not terribly short. I must say I've never paid much attention to Collins until hearing this. Mind you, she lets her voice propel the song.


11 Oct 05 - 11:30 PM (#1581521)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

it occurs to me me to point out that it is the job of the singer to use the lyrics as a vehicle for expression---a simple repeated phrase can convey a lot more that a protracted essay for that reason----Less is more, so to speak--


12 Oct 05 - 02:44 PM (#1581587)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop

Again, it depends what you mean when you say "acoustic" (why do I feel like Bill Clinton when I say that?). Assuming I remember it correctly, the Judy Collins cover of In My Life is an arrangement for multiple instruments; not a "one guitar and voice" arrangement. In fact, I believe that most of the instruments on the Beatles' original rendition are "acoustic," too.

The key here is not the "acousticity" of the instruments. The key is whether a solo performer can do justice to a song that was originally recorded in a more fully orchestrated version. I still say that one can do this, provided one has the skils, and the willingness to tamper substantially with the arrangement.


12 Oct 05 - 05:34 PM (#1581728)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

I am not really sure what Les means, anymore--"short" isn't really a problem--most pop songs are short, except for "MacArthur Park", and "Hey Jude" which, of course, is by the Beatles--The Richard Thompson business is a red herring, since he can slow the tempo down and squeeze a myriad of emotions out of even the most mundane words--


12 Oct 05 - 05:57 PM (#1581742)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Dug

The Beatles are over-hyped and overrated. Some catchy jingles to start and some over-produced over-worked affected bilge to end. As with Dylan, they made use of some good folk music to produce some idiosyncratic sounds.   Now let's all get up off our knees and stop this ridiculous idolatry shall we?


12 Oct 05 - 10:30 PM (#1581911)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: PennyBlack

Hear Hear Dug - They'll never stand the test of Time :o)

PB


12 Oct 05 - 10:39 PM (#1581921)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

good or bad..


so many of us have heard too many beatles songs far too much..


shame really..

overfamiliarity..

it makes it something of a chore now,
to have to motivate myself
to listen to their CDs more than once every few years..
[and i own most of them..]


and its not exactly a high point of a night out
if a live entertainer
decides to inflict a beatles tribute routine..


..on the other hand there were countless other equally good 60's
pop groups that we dont get to hear enough of..


the zombies, hollies and searchers for instance..

let alone the myriad lost & forgotten bands who recorded absolute gems..


13 Oct 05 - 12:35 AM (#1581986)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: mousethief

Interesting when people feel the need to slag the Beatles (or any other cultural icon). Make yourself feel bigger by putting down something larger than yourself? I myself despise most of the music by the Who but am prepared to admit that many, many people love them and therefore there must be something there that I just don't get.


13 Oct 05 - 01:47 AM (#1582005)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.

I cannot abide such derogatory and tersid criticism of the greatest rock or pop group to ever grace the musical landscape. You people should stop kidding yourselves you are anything more than three chord wonders with a vocal range of about a quarter of an octave flat.The Beatles made music that will live on forever and is as valid today as it was back when it was issued to acclaim and unprecedented success.Every single, EP and album has something that stirs the soul and fires the imagination of anyone who is open and susceptible to groundbreaking ideas and approaches to recording compositions that are way beyond the capabilities of the likes of the Hollies et al.Listen to "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" and listen to "And I Love Her" and listen to "Yes It Is" and listen to "I'm Looking Through You" and countless other ACOUSTIC masterpieces and dream of getting anywhere near the pitch perfect harmonies and superbly crafted guitar phrasings that flow through their unmatched stellar progressions as composers, musicians and artists.If you don't allow The Beatles to colour your musical education you will never ever achieve anything with a guitar worthy of any serious evaluation just ask any of the artists you admire if you don't believe me.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


13 Oct 05 - 03:14 AM (#1582027)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Dug and Sidewinder- Thesis and Antithesis?

I think the Beatles have loads of wonderful songs, but also some really yucky ones, like I Am Walrus. There are many bands, and many 60s bands, I prefer. Neither idol-worshipping nor deluding myself.


13 Oct 05 - 03:15 AM (#1582028)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Dug and Sidewinder- Thesis and Antithesis?

I think the Beatles have loads of wonderful songs, but also some really yucky ones, like I Am Walrus. There are many bands, and many 60s bands, I prefer. Neither idol-worshipping nor deluding myself.


13 Oct 05 - 03:58 AM (#1582045)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Oops, forgive the double post.


13 Oct 05 - 06:01 AM (#1582090)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Dave'sWife without cookie

Emmylou harris has done a few nice covers of Beatles songs. her recording of 'Here, there and everywhere' is simple, light and tender without being cloying. On a very early album, PIECES OF THE SKY, she covered 'For No One' and to my mind, it's the best version of that song I've ever heard.

Any woman with a similar vocal range interested in playing some Beatles tunes would do well to listen to her covers for pointers on how to make their songs appropriate for a female voice with a folk/acoustic type arrangement.

I often sang 'Dear Prudence' and 'Across The Universe' using a folk arrangement back when I had people to play music with. (sniff sniff - no Los Angeles Mudcatters)


13 Oct 05 - 10:40 AM (#1582276)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Betsy

I don't want to modify or add to any of the Beatles songs.
I can play dozens accoustically - they were good enough for them and good enough for me .
Most of the so called Beatle song books with chords are generally crap and unplayable for someone of my standard i.e. not knowing jazz shapes and chords on the guitar , but they are emminently playable when you get / transpose them into Majors and Minors .

If you want to add to the verses, do so tongue in cheek, and tell your audience so.

I love the songs for what they are, and they are a treasured part of my life.

I would only exclude No 9 and Helter Skelter and sometimes Yellow Submarine from my last sentence.

Cheers, Betsy


13 Oct 05 - 11:34 AM (#1582327)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

Dug and Sidewinder- Thesis and Antithesis?


... and punkfolkrocker ???


errrmmm.. the voice of rational objective reason..??!!


at what point did i 'slag off' the beatles..

i must have liked 'em enough over the last 30 odd years to invest
many ££££s of my own cash on their LPs and CDs..

but then again i have a very large and diverse and well informed
music collection..

and the beatles are only 1 of the good bands i can choose whether or not to to listen to..

the beatles were clearly one of the best 60's pop groups,
i got no real problems with them..

its the arse headed 'beatle'utopia' sycophants & acolytes
i have 'issues' with..


remember the beatles had the creative genius of george martin
and the full power and support and international clout
of EMI corporate marketing
to keep them over-exposed & tediously over-saturated in the public media arena..


most other equally good and long forgotten bands did'nt..


extreme overfamiliarity with any artist
eventually breeds contempt for that artists most extreme fanworship


13 Oct 05 - 11:53 AM (#1582338)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

I went back to the original post, then listened to several versions of the song in question (In My LIfe), including The Beatles, Judy Collins, Johnny Cash, and Dave Matthews--pulled out some Richard Thompson, just as a reference--

"In My Life" is simple, brief, and direct. That's why its so good.

It'll be around long after this thread is dead.


13 Oct 05 - 12:29 PM (#1582369)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Punfolkrocker, where, pray tell, did I include you?


13 Oct 05 - 12:53 PM (#1582389)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Jon W.

Here's what happened:

In the beginning there were "call and response" songs - work songs, spirituals, etc.

When the blues came along, the "response" part was turned into an instrumental (usually guitar) lick.

When the blues went to the city and became electric, the lick became that much more important.

When rhythm and blues came along, the same phrasing was retained, just speeded up a bit.

When rhythm and blues morphed into rock and roll, the instrumental lick was eliminated from some songs, survived in some, and became the most important feature of others. Those songs from which it was eliminated work well sung with little or no accompaniment (e.g. Yesterday). Songs where the lick survived but was not the most important feature work less well unaccompanied - for instance how can one perform "I Want to Hold Your Hand" without the little chromatic guitar run after the first line of each verse? Songs where the instrumental lick is the most important feature (think "Day Tripper")- well, they just can't be done without it, can they?


13 Oct 05 - 01:35 PM (#1582418)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

Is that what happened? I wondered....


13 Oct 05 - 03:23 PM (#1582515)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Meanwhile in big pubs acroos England the evil hand of Kareoke is stopping the creative and powerful forces of the oral tradition from morphing popular songs into folk songs.


13 Oct 05 - 03:26 PM (#1582521)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Doesn't drink help the folk process?


13 Oct 05 - 06:54 PM (#1582691)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: JWB

Jon W., I think the music industry name for indispensable instrumental licks is "hooks". They're what make you remember the song.

Random thoughts: "I've just seen a face" works very well as a bluegrass number. A number of Lennon/McCartney songs are on their way to being folk songs that people will still be singing a century from now -- they're so well known it's inevitable they'll stick around in the cultural consciousness for a good while; heck, my 19 year old daughter says the Beatles are her favorite group. A lot of the Beatles stuff is silly ("Why Don't We Do it In the Road"), or uninteresting ("Revolution #9"), and those songs won't ever get covered or remembered -- that's the folk process, even for rock music; just imagine how many songs were in public circulation at the same time as those we call the Child Ballads and which didn't survive to be collected by Mr. Child.

That's all I'm saying for now.

Jerry


13 Oct 05 - 09:41 PM (#1582756)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker

hi Le Scaramouche..

theres no problem..

i was just quickly quoting your post
in response to GUEST,Sidewinders enraged beatlemaniac outburst...

"I cannot abide such derogatory and tersid criticism of the greatest rock or pop group to ever grace the musical landscape. You people should stop kidding yourselves you are anything more than three chord wonders with a vocal range of about a quarter of an octave flat..."


i certainly got the impression i was included as one the folks
he was having a go at.. ??!!


.. so then, who has the most crazy scary devout cultworshipping fans..

.. michael jackson.. or.. the beatles..!!!???


14 Oct 05 - 04:25 PM (#1583277)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Dug

I have a friend who spends hours learning songs from recordings.   He faithfully re-creates exactly what he hears, and gets disappointed with himself if he forgets bits of licks etc when performing these songs. This is because he has an idea of the song being the recording and the recording being the song.   Although his guitar playing is complicated and impressive I do not want him to join my traditional group. He says he can learn all the stuff from recording it, etc, but all this shows is that he does not understand folk music.   

Let's take the Beatles song "When I'm 64".   I performed it with him once and he expressed disappointment that I did not play all of the fill-in bits on my fiddle exactly as they sound as played on other instruments on the original recording.   To my mind I was listening to a song and doing things that I considered appropriate to the performance of it.   To his mind what I was doing was just not right.

A song passes into the folk tradition when it distills down to its essence, taking its life and its power from its words and its melody. Then people can take it and create all sorts of different and valid interpretations of it.

Sidewinder - you on the other hand have a fairly subjective and intepretative approach to the rules of grammar. I hope that you can understand proper English, as well as your peculiarly indiosyncratic version of it.


15 Oct 05 - 12:02 PM (#1583615)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

'A song passes into the folk tradition when it distills down to its essence, taking its life and its power from its words and its melody. Then people can take it and create all sorts of different and valid interpretations of it.'

Sounds good to me. Lets get going then.....................

Now 'Things we said today' Just an odd verse or two more maybe?


16 Oct 05 - 02:11 PM (#1584199)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.

I hold my hands up to being a "Beatlemaniac" as I have always done. As for my "idiosyncratic grammar" I make no apologies for my expressive writing.Ain't nothing wrong with tellin' it like it is! I don't subscribe to the principal and practise of an outmoded uniform code in the putting forward of opinions and ideas as some "sheep" seem pre-programmed to comprehend to the exclusion of all other literary configurations.Anyhow, I didn't know I was being graded on my efforts to shed a little light in a sometimes dull environment. FREE THINKING AND FREE EXPRESSION FOR ALL -Except "The Sheep" ofcourse.

I am not a perfectionist and do not expect a cover version to be an absolutely perfect copy of the original.I love Wilson Picketts version of "Hey Jude" and Ray Charles' versions of "Let It Be" and "Eleanor Rigby" and The Stones "I Wanna Be Your Man" etc. as much,if not more than the originals. I really get annoyed when, through sheer jealousy or ignorance, people put down such talented artists no matter who they may be.

Bien Venue

Sidewinder.


16 Oct 05 - 02:23 PM (#1584204)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Ah, yes, but in your post you were putting down anyone else who dared pick up an instrument or belt out a song. At leas that's how it came across.


17 Oct 05 - 07:13 AM (#1584525)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.

Scaramouche,
I beg to differ, I was merely putting asunder those Beatlehaters that because they are unable to get to grips with the songs find it necessary to insult and belittle the artists and their works.And before we start the backlash- I don't think everybody should worship at the alter of "The Beatles" and go around singing "All You Need Is Love" (as I myself do on a daily basis).It is perfectly acceptable to submit an opinion on a song and/or artist that is negative as long as you have taken the time to listen and reflect and evaluate before writing a piece for discerning music fans like myself.That is my perspective on this issue anyway.As for Dug (Professor Higgins) it ain't what you say- it's the way that you say it! Some of the greatest literary figures of all time were poor at spelling and lacked grammatical accuracy but you read their books and marvel at their talent I am sure. Maybe you are vying for a position editing my insights into the mindset and devisive meanderings inherent within our friendly little communications settlement? Or maybe you just want to engage with a superior intellect - Well "It Ain't Me Babe".

Regards.

Sidewinder.


17 Oct 05 - 01:27 PM (#1584729)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

Good luck on improving the Beatles songs by writing new verses, Les--I am sure you'll do well--


17 Oct 05 - 06:41 PM (#1584930)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Dug

Thank you for sharing those thoughts, Mr Sidewinder.   Let's be fair to you and agree that the Beatles still enjoy an enormous amount of respect worldwide.   My earlier post was I suppose an expression of frustration at all of the Beatles idolatry. I don't find their songs particularly significant- and that's a personal thing.

I'd be interested to know which of the greatest literary figures of all time lacked grammatical accuracy, though.


17 Oct 05 - 07:01 PM (#1584942)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: McGrath of Harlow

Shakespeare was a shocking speller. (Even his own name...) Amd his grammar was pretty flexible too.

The important thing with stuff like grammar is that it doesn't get in the way of communicating. That means it'll vary accoriding to circumstances - ie, who it is you are trying to communicate with, and what you are trying to get across.


18 Oct 05 - 02:09 AM (#1585076)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Shakespeare's prime concern was writing something dramatic that could be acted.


18 Oct 05 - 07:25 AM (#1585147)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST

Makes one see Rap in another light?


18 Oct 05 - 10:39 AM (#1585311)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: M.Ted

McGrath's point is well taken--Shakespeare's spelling of his own name was nearly unforgivable, as it was pronounced "Mullins"--


18 Oct 05 - 11:44 AM (#1585372)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,BazT

I agree with the people who've said that the trick to playing "pop" somgs in a folkee stylee is in the arrangement, nit necessarily in writing new verses or anything. At Fylde Folk Festival a couple of months back I heard a chap (who I think was called Pete Rimmer but I might be wrong) play a really nice version of "I've just seen a face". He made it into a great fingerstyle guitar piece, and included a ragtime-ish intro and solo. I was quite inspired by this, and so went home and started trying out the same sort of thing with other songs. At my local singaround last week I played "Teenage Kicks" as a bit of a tribute to the late John Peel. I slowed it down, changed a the rythm a wee bit, and made it a bit bluesy. Now I'm not claiming to have re-invented the wheel or anything, but I was pretty pleased with the result.

And, I've sort of forgotten my point now, but hey ho. I guess I'm just trying to say that wrecking pop songs is fun. ;-)


18 Oct 05 - 11:45 AM (#1585373)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,BazT

Sorry about the rubbish typing. (above)


18 Oct 05 - 01:35 PM (#1585448)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Matt R

"what about an acoustic version of helter skelter"

I've done this ! And it works!


18 Oct 05 - 01:58 PM (#1585464)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

I feel we nearly returned to one of my original points: The living oral tradition!

The original tunes and arrangements cannot be damaged. We who sing and play, can do what we will. Go on just an odd new verse here abd their?


18 Oct 05 - 06:08 PM (#1585703)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Dug

Once more- for the slow learners- let me tell you about folk song...A song passes into the folk tradition when it distills down to its essence, taking its life and its power from its words and its melody. Then people can take it and create all sorts of different and valid interpretations of it.

Honestly, I think some of you just don't take the trouble to read everything!

With regard to the wholeprocess of interpretation, you can do whatever you want with a song.    Your musicianship and your sensitivity can make the song speak- or not. You can inspire others to take the song and make it speak, possibly in a different way. This is how songs pass into the tradition. And yes- I admit that this has happened and is happening with Beatles songs.

About grammar and Shakespeare- can somebody here show me an example of his grammatical inaccuracy?   Look- I know we're not all scholars here and we do our best, but at least let's make our subjects and our verbs agree with each other! Surely that's not asking too much!


18 Oct 05 - 06:10 PM (#1585706)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

Too late to grab my Collected Works, but Shakespeare is rife with grammatical errors, just like pop and rock music. He wasn't creating a textbook but a vibrant drama.


20 Oct 05 - 01:48 AM (#1586771)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.

I think we have digressed from the original point somewhat and I would like take this opportunity to say that in my view it is not really necessary to add any verses or interludes to Beatles songs when performing them.If you want to bore people with 10 minute opuses you need to be looking elsewhere for inspiration.The Beatles music is a part of pop culture and is readily identifiable and cherished in all popular fields of music and can be adapted without such unnecessary alterations.I perform numerous songs by numerous artists but it is The Beatles music primarily that makes people participate and enhances the experience of the performance I have found on many occasions.

FAO DUG: Kerouac wrote on one continuous sheet of paper and was not the best of spellers apparently and Hegel, Kant and Nietchze probably had their bad days and Steinbecks most poignant peices are grammatically challenging to say the least. Shakespeare? Whatever, happened to him? Maybe he was a bit like me but less cultured obviously.

Regards.

Sidewinder.


20 Oct 05 - 05:50 PM (#1587268)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Le Scaramouche

I managed to have another listen to the Judy Collins rendition, it is just acoustic guitar.


22 Oct 05 - 02:18 AM (#1588220)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.

But does she sing it with a Liverpool accent?

Regards.

Sidewinder.


31 Oct 05 - 05:33 PM (#1594430)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Dug

OK Sidewinder- here is your challenge-pull out some Steibeck grammatical lapses (two or three will do) and let's have a look at them.


01 Nov 05 - 12:33 AM (#1594733)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Kaleea

To each her/his own. I got the "complete" book back in 1976 just prior to going over to the other side of the planet & back. I played for & jammed with lots of Musicians & amateursfor a couple of years on my way there & back. In these days & times, I play & jam with lots of Musicians, pros & amateurs, most all genres of Music, from places all over the planet, & often many of these tunes are requested/played. The old '76 book is still around, but in several pieces. I've always been an acoustic Musician, pickin' & strummin' my trusty old J-45.
   I've also played Beatles tunes on my Mountain Dulcimer, Piano, Organ, & a few other instruments. I once played "Eleanor Rigby" on tinwhistle in the Irish style (highly ornamented) & everyone was asking me what was the name of "that old Irish tune" I was playing?
Within you without you is always lots of acoustic fun--if you can find a sitar player. Bouzouki is kinda fun to substitute for the sitar.


01 Nov 05 - 01:59 PM (#1595119)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

Sounds great to me Kaleea. They wrote some brilliant tunes. Lots of accidentals leading to subtle tunes that are not what they first sound like. All kinds of surprising chord progressions. Never doubted the strength of their tunes. I am sure that is why they will last and good tunes can always be played in another way.

I suppose the paradox, and I don't know why I am saying this, is Dylan. Incredible writer of words but most tunes nothing special. OK go on then....................


02 Nov 05 - 11:59 AM (#1595810)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Mr Happy

Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs


The Incomplete Beatles consist of Ringo & Paul, don't know any of their songs!


02 Nov 05 - 12:33 PM (#1595850)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

I think Paul is a great and genuine guy, but many would say he has been incomplete since he parted from John, George and Ringo in that although John and Paul wrote separately the group dynamic created more original music.

Anybody ready to fit a Dylan lyric to Beatles tune?


03 Nov 05 - 07:23 AM (#1596314)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Peter T.

Doing anything to "In My Life" is absurd. As M. Ted says, it is its simplicity that makes it so profound. I find it hard to believe that someone who was, what, in his mid twenties, could write such a song. It is one of only two or three of their songs that I would put on a level with Schubert.

There are some interesting more obscure Beatle songs that work well acoustically -- "Ask Me Why" works nicely because it has a diminished in it that suddenly appears, and delights the ear. I have heard, but not tried, a straightforward version of "She Said She Said" -- this is a really terrifying song done harshly. "I'll Follow the Sun" is a dream to do acoustically.
"You're Going To Lose That Girl" is fun. Something sappy like "Yes It Is" can be done with deep fake seriousness, and it gets across. I could go on.

I agree that the Complete Beatles book is a scam and should be burned in public places. The score collection is a brilliant piece of work -- you get the guitar fingerings and everything.

yours,

Peter T.


03 Nov 05 - 02:34 PM (#1596626)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

Dug,

At least for "In My Life" I think you picked the wrong song. Sure it's short and to your point "hollow". But if anyone else shares my experience when listening to the song, the listener fills in all of the missing gaps with their memories of people, places and things. That is why the song has such impact.

As far as folk music, I always thought it was something that told a story, brought people together, or just plain was something that everyone could enjoy singing together (not for one voice and one voice only). A case in point. When I attended Old Dominion University I was a total stranger. Since I was a Navy brat that had moved around the country all my life I knew absolutely no-one there. I was invited to a small party by someone I had just met and at the party one of the girls pulled out the Beatles Anthology book she had just purchased. Since she didn't play well she let me borrow her guitar. I think I played and we all sang every song in the book. Suddenly I was no longer a stranger.

Maybe the songs aren't folk but where else do you find magic like that from just one group?


03 Nov 05 - 02:56 PM (#1596635)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

Dug,

At least for "In My Life" I think you picked the wrong song. Sure it's short and to your point "hollow". But if anyone else shares my experience when listening to the song, the listener fills in all of the missing gaps with their memories of people, places and things. That is why the song has such impact.

As far as folk music, I always thought it was something that told a story, brought people together, or just plain was something that everyone could enjoy singing together (not for one voice and one voice only). A case in point. When I attended Old Dominion University I was a total stranger. Since I was a Navy brat that had moved around the country all my life I knew absolutely no-one there. I was invited to a small party by someone I had just met and at the party one of the girls pulled out the Beatles Anthology book she had just purchased. Since she didn't play well she let me borrow her guitar. I think I played and we all sang every song in the book. Suddenly I was no longer a stranger.

Maybe the songs aren't folk but where else do you find magic like that from just one group?


03 Nov 05 - 02:57 PM (#1596636)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: GUEST,Chief Chaos

Forgive the double post.


04 Nov 05 - 03:36 PM (#1597538)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Les in Chorlton

OK, I guess this thread has run its course. Thanks for much thought and much wisdom.

Will anybody have any final thoughts as we stumble to 100?


29 Jun 10 - 07:03 PM (#2936914)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Doug Chadwick

I've just come back from an acoustic night where someone sang "In My Life" - once through with a repeat of the last four lines and some exquisite guitar work. Proof for me, if it was needed, that this song is a beautiful song, complete in its own right, with no need for additions.


DC


29 Jun 10 - 08:07 PM (#2936950)
Subject: RE: Incomplete Beatles songs
From: Tug the Cox

5 years later...Les.. ' in My Life' is perfect just at it is. In the sixties, a friend of mine, knowing his teacher wouldn't recognise the Plagiarism, presented it as a poem, with the words.'like Dublin' added after 'there are places I remember' and was highly praised!