Friday, 15 October 2010

Silly Love Songs

For some reason I've been listening to Paul McCartney's Silly Love Songs.  It's one of those songs that refuses to leave once it's in your head, even when you try to drive it out with lashings of punk rock or Pink Floyd.

I didn't like this song when it first came out in the mid-1970s.  At the time I thought this was because it was silly and superficial.  I was a very serious teenager. 

Now I think I was just too immature to appreciate it.  For a start, it's not as simple as it seems.  There's a lot going on beneath the surface.  A jaunty bass rhythm, a horn section counterpointing with lush strings, interwoven harmonies and counter-melodies.  McCartney was (and is) no fool musically.

Then the lyrics provide a joyous piece of self-satire, as well as a cheerful poke in the eye for people like his ex-mate John Lennon who seemed to take the art of pop music a lot more seriously than he did.  He asks, "why not have fun?"  Lennon always seemed to win the arguments, but McCartney made a lot more money.  Listeners voted with their wallets.

As time passes I'm also coming around more and more to McCartney's way of thinking.

You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs
I look around me and I see it isn't so.
Seems people want to fill the world with silly love songs
And what's wrong with that...?

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