Day 41. Your favorite song from the 60s
“And Your Bird Can Sing” – The Beatles
As we continue the “Your favorite song of the XXs” series, you should know I’m technically breaking the rules with my dates. For an explanation, go here.
The 60s start to ratchet up the difficulty for these challenges. And part of that is that music radically changed during the 60s, much of which can be attributed to The Beatles.
You’d have to either be living in a cave or dead not to have heard all the recent hoopla about yesterday’s 50-year anniversary of The Beatles appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” I’ve seen the date referred to as the day the world changed. This isn’t true, but it’s quite possible it’s the day the United States changed musically. The release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band represented another sea change, and a lot of the music that appeared after that would have been completely foreign to the music listeners of February 8, 1964.
Therefore, to me, it’s pretty easy to break the decade into three distinct sections, with the breaks both revolving (ha!) around The Beatles.
- Everything pre-February 9, 1964. (“The Ed Sullivan Show.”)
- Stuff in the middle.
- Everything post-June 1, 1967. (The release of Sgt. Pepper’s.)
What’s less easy is picking a single song from all the wildly differing styles that came out in the course of the decade. (Can you compare “Love Me Do” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”? And that’s the same band!) But I think I’ve done it.
I am one of those seemingly rare people who prefer The Beatles music pre-Sgt Pepper’s. While I like much of what they did later, it didn’t have the sheer joy of their music up to and including Revolver.
I was introduced to “And You Bird Can Sing” watching the old Beatles cartoon. I think they showed it on MTV for a while. They used “And Your Bird Can Sing” as the theme song to the show, but at the time I had no idea what the name of the song was. When they finally released The Beatles catalog on CD in 1987, I discovered the song on Revolver.
It gained a whole new level on my favorite list when Woody and I drove cross-country in 1996. We listened to nothing but Genesis and Genesis-related artists on the road, but when we stopped in towns, we’d take a break from the Genesis and listen to some other things. This song came up several times and, since we share a brain, we discovered we both loved it.
After that, all it would take is for one of us to say “Bomp” (mimicking the first note in George Harrison’s guitar lick in the song) and we’d be off to the races. I still love the song to this day, and even though there were a number of runners-up for the 60’s, I decided this was my winner.
So—quickly—the runners-up were:
- “Runaround Sue”—Dion. A great tune overall, and since my sister’s name is Sue, a favorite at family gatherings with DJs (although she doesn’t run around)
- “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”—The Tokens. How can you not love this song? Wimoweh.
- “Comin’ Home, Baby!”—Mel Torme. Yes, that Mel Torme. Wanna fight about it? Great vibe on this song. And a shared favorite of me and Laura.
- “It’s Me That You Need”—Elton John. This song summed up some pining I did for a girl many years back. But it’s still a good song that is totally overlooked in the Elton John catalog—mostly because it’s a little-known B-side
- “Ride My See-Saw”—The Moody Blues. I grew up with this one. One of the Moodies’ best.
- “Golden/Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End”—The Beatles. The last song(s) on The Beatles last recorded album (although Let It Be was released after, it was recorded earlier). A masterpiece and a brilliant way to end.
Note that they run the gamut from the start of the decade to the end, and also note how different those early songs are from the later ones. I even thought about including “Heartbreaker/Livin’ Lovin’ Maid” by Led Zeppelin, just to push the point, but I didn’t.
So there you have it. Work kept me up (way, way, way) late and I’m just trying to get this one in, so no witty closing today. Maybe I’ll do two tomorrow. But I doubt it.