Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Beatles Song of the Week: "In My Life"



I've loved this song for years...many years. And I loved it years before I even knew that it was a Beatles song at all. The first time I remember hearing it was, of all places, at the end of an episode of Family Ties; Meredith Baxter-Birney sang it at the end of a clip show as her teevee family was gathered around. I heard it again a few years later, in a wonderful cover by Judy Collins, in an episode of The Wonder Years. I didn't learn that "In My Life" was a Beatles song until four or five years after that. Wow.

In fact, for all the years I maintained that I just didn't like The Beatles, it was "In My Life" that kept me from claiming that I hated them outright; I had to stick with the milder claim that I liked them as songwriters but not so much as performers.

As for the song itself, according to Wikipedia, the lyrics form a meditation on John Lennon's childhood and were set to music by Paul McCartney. These lyrics are so poetic, managing to put so much meaning and emotion into just two stanzas! It's really pretty amazing stuff.

There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All this places have 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 stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life-- I love you more


There's a lot going on here -- memories of things that have gone before, elegies for things gone forever, regret for things that have changed, and an admission that the love of the present is so much more potent than the nostalgic feelings for things "that went before". "In My Life" is a love song, and a memorial, all in one. I love this song dearly.

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