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Beatles forums => Songs => Song Of The Week Series => Topic started by: nimrod on December 04, 2012, 01:15:49 AM

Title: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: nimrod on December 04, 2012, 01:15:49 AM
Its Tuesday in Oz, Mondy in the US and somewhere inbetween in the UK so its time for a new one - The Word

and the word is .....LOVE

 ;)

its the anniversary of Rubber Soul this week so a great song from that wondrous album, one of those great songs that both John & Paul both sing on, (and it has a great melisma)  tell us what you think of it...

The format used for this song consists of verses and bridges, which has been ultra common throughout the Beatles catalog up to this point.  However, there is a strikingly unique similarity between this song and their 1963 sleeper “Little Child” that may surprise many.  The verses in both of these songs contain all the harmonies while the bridges are sung solo by John.  Also, the usual pattern for bridges in Beatles songs stipulates that the lyrics are identical whenever the bridge is repeated.  However, with both of these tracks, the lyrics are different each time the bridge occurs, “The Word” having THREE bridges all with unique lyrics.

For a deeper explanation of the lyrics, John relates:  “It sort of dawned on me that love was the answer, when I was younger, on the ‘Rubber Soul’ album.  My first expression of it was a song called ‘The Word.’  The word is ‘love.’  ‘In the good and the bad books that I have read,’ whatever, wherever, the word is ‘love.’  It seems like the underlying theme to the universe.  Everything that was worthwhile got down to this love, love, love thing.  And it is the struggle to love, be loved and express that (just something about love) that’s fantastic.  I think that whatever else love is – and it’s many, many things – it is constant.  It’s been the same forever.  I don’t think it will ever change.  Even though I’m not always a loving person, I want to be that, I want to be as loving as possible.”

original coloured lyric sheet by John & Paul

(http://www.beatlesebooks.com/files/1619622/uploaded/the%20word%20lyrics.jpg)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Mairi on December 04, 2012, 03:54:22 AM
It's a very early hippie sort of lyric, with the emphasis on peace and love. I think I like it better than All You Need Is Love, actually, it's a bit more creative lyrically and it's got all those cool bridges.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Klang on December 04, 2012, 09:33:38 AM

Probably my second fave Beatles song. Definitely my fave on RS. Much under-appreciated by many, I fear.

 :)

Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: tkitna on December 04, 2012, 07:24:27 PM
The Beatles first psychedelic song in my opinion. I like it. Ringo does some good stuff in this tune. Love the bass line too. I dont have much bad to say about it. The falsetto harmonies might get to a normal person eventually, but they dont bother me. Great song and one of my favorites from Rubber Soul.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 04, 2012, 07:25:01 PM
"The Word" has always been one of my very favourite songs. It's pretty funky, Paul's bass is awesome, Ringo's work predicted psychedelic drumming, John's voice during the bridges is at top form, and the harmonium gives an orgasmic ending. The song was also kinda prophetic, announcing the Summer of Love two years before.

Surely the Beatles didn't mean this, but the lyrics always remind me to the Bible: "the word is the light; the word is the way; the word is love." You know, Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: tkitna on December 04, 2012, 07:29:18 PM
Surely the Beatles didn't mean this, but the lyrics always remind me to the Bible: "the word is the light; the word is the way; the word is love." You know, Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).

Awesome. I never thought about it that way, but your right.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: ibanez_ax on December 04, 2012, 10:09:06 PM
It's a very early hippie sort of lyric, with the emphasis on peace and love. I think I like it better than All You Need Is Love, actually, it's a bit more creative lyrically and it's got all those cool bridges.

I couldn't have said it better.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Kevin on December 07, 2012, 12:41:50 PM

Surely the Beatles didn't mean this, but the lyrics always remind me to the Bible: "the word is the light; the word is the way; the word is love." You know, Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).

Afternoon all.
I've always supposed John was well aware of the reference.
Likewise I always assumed the line "In the good and the bad books that I have read" was also a nod to the Bible, also known as The Good Book. (and in good and bad he was referring in both to said Book. A little Lennonism there, a little dig at religion.)
Agree with Mairi, this kicks All You Need Is Love into the dust, though in the AYNIL's defence (something I would normally find difficult to do) it was an attempt at direct messaging, rather than the Dylanesque ambiquity of The Word.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 07, 2012, 01:02:18 PM
I've always supposed John was well aware of the reference.
Likewise I always assumed the line "In the good and the bad books that I have read" was also a nod to the Bible, also known as The Good Book. (and in good and bad he was referring in both to said Book. A little Lennonism there, a little dig at religion.)

There's also "in the beginning I misunderstood, but now I've got it the word is good" sounding like a converted guy, and "now that I know what I feel must be right, I'm here to show everybody the light" sounding like a preacher. The song is really about universal love, but actually that's what religion is truly about. God bless free interpretations. ;D
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: nimrod on December 08, 2012, 12:32:58 AM
Afternoon all.
I've always supposed John was well aware of the reference.
Likewise I always assumed the line "In the good and the bad books that I have read" was also a nod to the Bible, also known as The Good Book. (and in good and bad he was referring in both to said Book. A little Lennonism there, a little dig at religion.)
Agree with Mairi, this kicks All You Need Is Love into the dust, though in the AYNIL's defence (something I would normally find difficult to do) it was an attempt at direct messaging, rather than the Dylanesque ambiquity of The Word.

For me, they are equal in status.....AYNIL of course (brilliantly) written hurriedly as an anthem/single for the tv thing, it does what it was meant to do......and is very memorable

The Word is a different beast, as you say Kevin, Dylanesque, and guess what  ;D

We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multicolored lyric sheet, the first time we’d ever done that.”  As explained in Paul’s book “Many Years From Now,”

The Word is the first song written under the influence so to speak....so they were feeling Dylanish and sort of loving (for want of a better word)

Its a truly great song, not commercial, so its no single and my only quibble with it is its a kind of 12 Bar Blues with added bridges that John sings so not musically that adventurous.......it does sound like a true collaboration though, I can just hear them......John  'so I'll sing these lines after each verse..........etc etc'...Paul, 'ok and I can play that funky piano thing Ive had in my head...etc etc  ;D
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 08, 2012, 02:50:35 AM
JOHN 1980: "'The Word' was written together (with Paul), but it's mainly mine. You read the words, it's all about gettin' smart. It's the marijuana period. It's love. It's a love and peace thing. The word is 'love,' right?"

PAUL circa-1994: "We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multi-colored lyric sheet, the first time we'd ever done that. We normally didn't smoke when we were working."

Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hello Goodbye on December 08, 2012, 03:47:39 AM
I like that song!
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: nimrod on December 08, 2012, 04:31:43 AM
 ;yes
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 15, 2012, 01:16:33 AM
Here's a version by the 13th Floor Elevators:

13th Floor Elevators - The word (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2j5_qQsPtY#)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: In My Life on December 15, 2012, 02:42:26 AM
  I think that whatever else love is – and it’s many, many things – it is constant.  It’s been the same forever.  I don’t think it will ever change.  Even though I’m not always a loving person, I want to be that, I want to be as loving as possible.”

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: tkitna on December 15, 2012, 02:44:34 AM
I like that version from the 13th Elevators.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: nimrod on December 15, 2012, 10:13:33 AM
me too
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 15, 2012, 03:33:50 PM
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8

The whole chapter 1 Corinthians 13 is a beautiful description of what Love is.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: In My Life on December 15, 2012, 06:39:57 PM
The whole chapter 1 Corinthians 13 is a beautiful description of what Love is.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

I think this is one of the most important passages in the Bible.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: DizzymissLizzy909 on December 15, 2012, 07:43:05 PM
This is a great song, and very underappreciated I feel. Musically maybe not brilliant like some of their other work, it's a relatively simple melody but definitely catchy. I just love the lyrics though... straight to the point. They're not just singing about loving a girl, they're just talking about love in general... a good introduction to peace and love of the 60's :)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on December 15, 2012, 07:49:56 PM
I think this is one of the most important passages in the Bible.

Yes, I think so.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: Dcazz on December 20, 2012, 04:02:32 AM
"The Word" has always been one of my very favourite songs. It's pretty funky, Paul's bass is awesome, Ringo's work predicted psychedelic drumming, John's voice during the bridges is at top form, and the harmonium gives an orgasmic ending. The song was also kinda prophetic, announcing the Summer of Love two years before.

Surely the Beatles didn't mean this, but the lyrics always remind me to the Bible: "the word is the light; the word is the way; the word is love." You know, Jesus is the Word (John 1:1).
Interesting. I sometimes think We Can Work It Out as like a conversation bettween God and me.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: BLEEN on January 17, 2013, 02:02:31 PM
Quote
my only quibble with it is its a kind of 12 Bar Blues with added bridges that John sings so not musically that adventurous.......


Hi nimrod. Perhaps John was doing this on purpose to give the bridges a slightly talking/preaching kind of feel? He certainly seemed to be in a bit of a preaching mood during Rubber Soul..........as evidenced here, beginning at the 4:16 mark  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

The Beatles in Studio - Rubber Soul (1965) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrySiRYEln8#) 
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Word
Post by: nimrod on January 17, 2013, 10:28:29 PM
Yes BLEEN you could be right  ;)