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Beatles forums => Songs => Song Of The Week Series => Topic started by: nimrod on August 30, 2013, 12:18:20 AM

Title: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on August 30, 2013, 12:18:20 AM
"I Dig a Pygmy" by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids
Phase One in which Doris gets her oats

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone's
Hard earned pay
You and me Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

Two of us sending postcards
Writing letters
On my wall
You and me burning matches
Lifting latches
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing solo
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing solo
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

We're going home
Better believe it


The song was originally titled "On Our Way Home". McCartney claimed it was dedicated to his wife-to-be Linda Eastman, though the lyrics (e.g.: "you and I have memories/longer than the road that stretches out ahead" or "you and me chasing paper/getting nowhere") sounded to author Ian MacDonald like they were actually addressing Lennon.
An early performance of the song, in a guitar-driven rock style, can be seen in the Let It Be film. Unsatisfied with this style, which McCartney described as "chunky", the band reworked the song around acoustic guitars. The Beatles performed a finished version of the song live at Apple Studios on 31 January 1969; this performance was included in both the Let It Be film and album.

Personnel

Paul McCartney – lead vocal, lead acoustic guitar – Martin D-28
John Lennon – harmony vocal, whistling, rhythm acoustic guitar – Martin D-28
George Harrison – bassline on electric guitar – Fender Telecaster
Ringo Starr – drums

The Beatles - Two of us (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXZRaTrOmgg#)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: blmeanie on August 30, 2013, 12:38:57 AM
I've always enjoyed it, assumed it was about John and paul, had a little bit of a "we're tired" tone to it, yet happy to have gone through it.  At least that is what I always imagined.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: tkitna on August 30, 2013, 03:38:41 AM
I've always enjoyed it, assumed it was about John and paul, had a little bit of a "we're tired" tone to it, yet happy to have gone through it.  At least that is what I always imagined.

Thats a perfect description and how I feel about the song also. I like it.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Klang on August 30, 2013, 08:26:42 AM

One of the many cuts that make LIB one of my faves. Clean and uncluttered, telling a nice story.

 :)

Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on August 30, 2013, 08:28:21 AM
I've always enjoyed it, assumed it was about John and paul,

I suppose its down to who you believe, like Ticket To Ride
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Normandie on August 30, 2013, 01:27:23 PM


I really love this song. It's so relaxing-sounding and, as always, I love the harmonies. I find it very soothing.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Ovi on August 30, 2013, 10:53:09 PM
Even though not suitable at all as an album opener, it is an incredible song, full of emotion and beautifully delivered by John and Paul in close harmony, for one last time. It is about their relationship, even though egos were too big at the time for any of them to admit it (John's spoken beginning is nothing more than him trying to lighten up what he knows will be a sad and uncomfortable atmosphere).

I could never make up my mind whether this or the title track is my favourite tune off 'Let It Be'. The latter is better musically, but the former speaks more about what the album was really meant to be: nostalgic in concept, conservative in instrumentation and announcing an end that will inevitably come.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on August 30, 2013, 11:33:22 PM
Even though not suitable at all as an album opener, it is an incredible song, full of emotion and beautifully delivered by John and Paul in close harmony, for one last time. It is about their relationship, even though egos were too big at the time for any of them to admit it (John's spoken beginning is nothing more than him trying to lighten up what he knows will be a sad and uncomfortable atmosphere).

I could never make up my mind whether this or the title track is my favourite tune off 'Let It Be'. The latter is better musically, but the former speaks more about what the album was really meant to be: nostalgic in concept, conservative in instrumentation and announcing an end that will inevitably come.

good post Ovi but I disagree with it not being a good opener, I think its perfect :)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on August 30, 2013, 11:35:10 PM
I really like what George does on the electric guitar on this track, I realy wish he'd done it on Pauls bass though that wouldve sounded better, an incredibly inventive bass line from George.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Ovi on August 31, 2013, 10:53:14 AM
good post Ovi but I disagree with it not being a good opener, I think its perfect :)

Nah, The Beatles always started their albums with a bang!. Just think about it, 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'A Hard Day's Night', 'Drive My Car', 'Taxman', 'Back In The U.S.S.R' etc. - all rockers. 'Get Back' would've been perfect as an album opener*. 'I've Got A Feeling' would've worked fine as well. To me, placing 'Two Of Us' at the beginning is the hypothetical equivalent of Sgt. Pepper starting with 'She's Leaving Home' or Revolver with 'Eleanor Rigby'.

*And Let It Be...Naked proves that Paul realized this as well.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Normandie on August 31, 2013, 05:39:38 PM

That's a good point, Ovi; I never thought about the way Beatles albums opened, but your post gave me food for thought. I do like "Two of Us" as an opener for this album, though.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: ibanez_ax on August 31, 2013, 11:02:46 PM
I think it's the perfect song to open the album-a tired song by two tired guys who were tired of the whole thing by then (especially John). 
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Dcazz on September 01, 2013, 12:55:37 PM
Good discussion. I think everybody has some good points.
I agree that it's about J&P. and they're nostalgia for a better day. "Chasing paper" is defiantly about their business affairs at Apple. "Going nowhere" is self explanatory. I find the nostalgic part (You and I have memories) is balanced by present verses of their situation. They knew it was over .
I wonder if they collaborated on this one?
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Strawberry Field on September 01, 2013, 05:40:13 PM
delurk time

One day I predict that McCartney will say, "yeah that song is about John and I". How could it possibly be about Linda, since at the time Paul wrote, his relationship with Linda was not even a year and a half old. "You and I have memories long than the road that stretches out ahead" is absolutely directed at John. They had known each other for 12 years at this point. As such, 'Two Of Us' always gives me a sad smile. Love the tune.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on September 01, 2013, 11:01:13 PM
delurk time

One day I predict that McCartney will say, "yeah that song is about John and I". How could it possibly be about Linda, since at the time Paul wrote, his relationship with Linda was not even a year and a half old. "You and I have memories long than the road that stretches out ahead"

For me the clue is the original title "On Our Way Home" I 100% believe this song is about Linda, why would he write a song about John with such a title ?
Its well documented that him & Linda used to drive into the countryside a lot (Sunday Driving) I dont think he went Sunday driving with John :D

Him & John were at loggerheads at this stage, lots of backstabbing going on.....why would you write a nice song about someone who you really dont like ?

I believe it is possible to create memories in the time he had known Linda, and anyway sometimes a lyric doesnt make sense, but fits. (The Movement you need is on your shoulder  ?)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Strawberry Field on September 01, 2013, 11:38:16 PM
Him & John were at loggerheads at this stage, lots of backstabbing going on.....why would you write a nice song about someone who you really dont like ?

Who says Paul didn't like John at the time (1968-1969)? Paul has ALWAYS liked John, no matter the disagreements or separation they have had.

And why can't the lyrics to 'Two of Us' be looking back to a time when John and Paul did go driving around, "burning matches, lifting latches", years before.

Hell for all we know the song is about the (apparent) ending of his close relationship with John and the beginning of his relationship with Linda...at the same time, in the same song.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on September 02, 2013, 02:08:08 AM
Who says Paul didn't like John at the time (1968-1969)? Paul has ALWAYS liked John, no matter the disagreements or separation they have had.

And why can't the lyrics to 'Two of Us' be looking back to a time when John and Paul did go driving around, "burning matches, lifting latches", years before.

Hell for all we know the song is about the (apparent) ending of his close relationship with John and the beginning of his relationship with Linda...at the same time, in the same song.


Quote (Linda McCartney)

"As a kid I loved getting lost. I would say to my father - let's get lost. But you could never seem to be able to get really lost. All signs would eventually lead back to New York or wherever we were staying! Then, when I moved to England to be with Paul, we would put Martha in the back of the car and drive out of London. As soon as we were on the open road I'd say, 'Let's get lost' and we'd keep driving without looking at any signs. Hence the line in the song, 'Two of us going nowhere'.
Paul wrote Two Of Us on one of those days out. It's about us. We just pulled off in a wood somewhere and parked the car. I went off walking while Paul sat in the car and started writing. He also mentions the postcards because we used to send a lot of postcards to each other."

Linda McCartney
A Hard Day's Write, Steve Turner
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: In My Life on September 02, 2013, 03:07:55 AM

Quote (Linda McCartney)


Paul wrote Two Of Us on one of those days out. It's about us. We just pulled off in a wood somewhere and parked the car. I went off walking while Paul sat in the car and started writing. He also mentions the postcards because we used to send a lot of postcards to each other."

Linda McCartney
A Hard Day's Write, Steve Turner

Interesting Kevin. I always kind of dismissed the notion that this song could be about any pair other than Paul and John. I will buy that Paul and Linda's experiences were the inspiration but I still think his waning relationship with John figured in. Maybe this has nothing to do with it but it seems like John's essential harmonies are in the song for a reason.  :)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 02, 2013, 03:34:32 AM
This early version of the song appeared in the Let It Be film...


The Beatles - Two Of us (video - Let it Be) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSF17tLD4po#)



Maybe it sounded like that because Yoko was standing there.   ;D
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: In My Life on September 02, 2013, 03:45:02 AM
This early version of the song appeared in the Let It Be film...
Maybe it sounded like that because Yoko was standing there.   ;D

Perhaps she bet them that they couldn't make her laugh. I think she won.  ;)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 02, 2013, 04:15:56 AM
Perhaps she bet them that they couldn't make her laugh. I think she won.  ;)


But I think she liked that song.  She covered it recently...


Yoko Ono Screaming at Art Show! (Original) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdZ9weP5i68#ws)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: In My Life on September 02, 2013, 04:21:23 AM
But I think she liked that song.  She covered it recently...


Yoko Ono Screaming at Art Show! (Original) ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdZ9weP5i68#ws[/url])


I'm too scared to even listen!
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on September 02, 2013, 08:40:06 AM
Interesting Kevin. I always kind of dismissed the notion that this song could be about any pair other than Paul and John. I will buy that Paul and Linda's experiences were the inspiration but I still think his waning relationship with John figured in. Maybe this has nothing to do with it but it seems like John's essential harmonies are in the song for a reason.  :)

For some reason Beatle fans WANT it to be a nice cuddly song about Paul & John :D

But it isnt, John was writing songs about Yoko and Paul was writing songs about Linda, they were all sick of the Beatles (even Ringo)

John was very good at harmonising with Paul singing the main melody (If I Fell/Love Me Do etc) and I think he enjoyed doing it on this song, it was one of Johns strengths.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on September 02, 2013, 08:51:21 AM
there is a strong resemblance between the melody that John is whistling at the end of this song and the "heba heba hello" chants at the end of Hello Goodbye?
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Strawberry Field on September 02, 2013, 09:16:23 PM
For some reason Beatle fans WANT it to be a nice cuddly song about Paul & John :D

But it isnt, John was writing songs about Yoko and Paul was writing songs about Linda, they were all sick of the Beatles (even Ringo)

But if fans want to see 'Two of Us' as a song about John & Paul, that's okay. Even if Paul McCartney walked up to me today and said, "you berk, that song is about me and Linda and that's it", I wouldn't care, I'd still see it as a song about the past relationship between Paul and John in addition. Very often people are going to take your songs different ways than you originally intended. I know that from personal experience.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Dcazz on September 02, 2013, 11:13:12 PM
But if fans want to see 'Two of Us' as a song about John & Paul, that's okay. Even if Paul McCartney walked up to me today and said, "you berk, that song is about me and Linda and that's it", I wouldn't care, I'd still see it as a song about the past relationship between Paul and John in addition. Very often people are going to take your songs different ways than you originally intended. I know that from personal experience.
Us fans who were teenagers at the time really had no idea they were about to break up! So why wouldn't it seem to be about J&P. If it is about Linda so be it but...
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on September 02, 2013, 11:26:29 PM
Us fans who were teenagers at the time really had no idea they were about to break up! So why wouldn't it seem to be about J&P. If it is about Linda so be it but...

Yes I think every Beatle fan thought it was about J & P Dave, as you say, why wouldnt they ?

I always loved the idea they wrote it together.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 03, 2013, 03:14:36 AM
Us fans who were teenagers at the time really had no idea they were about to break up! So why wouldn't it seem to be about J&P. If it is about Linda so be it but...


We knew as early as the fall of 1969 that The Beatles had broken up.  I remember reading Paul McCartney's interview in a November 1969 issue of LIFE magazine where he confirmed their breakup.


(http://oldlifemagazines.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/v/cv110769.jpg)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 03, 2013, 03:23:11 AM
I first heard Two Of Us when I bought the Let It Be album on its release in May 1970.  I saw the movie that summer.  I knew the songs on the album were recorded before The Beatles split up.  I bought the McCartney album a month before, in April. 

I thought the song was about Paul and Linda when I first heard it.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on September 03, 2013, 03:24:08 AM
I'm too scared to even listen!

Save it for Halloween!   ;D
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Dcazz on September 03, 2013, 03:11:52 PM
We knew as early as the fall of 1969 that The Beatles had broken up.  I remember reading Paul McCartney's interview in a November 1969 issue of LIFE magazine where he confirmed their breakup.


([url]http://oldlifemagazines.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/c/v/cv110769.jpg[/url])
That's the article that first clued me in to any problems!
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: blmeanie on November 09, 2013, 12:44:22 PM
I love that in the early electric version John and Paul share 3 or 4 sincere "fun" moments between them.  Despite the ill feelings at that point, there was enough still under the covers to fall back into the good parts of the relationship "by accident".
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on November 09, 2013, 04:26:35 PM
I love that in the early electric version John and Paul share 3 or 4 sincere "fun" moments between them.  Despite the ill feelings at that point, there was enough still under the covers to fall back into the good parts of the relationship "by accident".

Right.  For a brief moment there they were a band, playing and goofing around like they did before they were fab.  They were having fun!
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Casbah on November 16, 2013, 07:44:57 PM
I wish they had made a full and proper rocking version of this, even as an outtake. A lot of times I find myself preferring the original intent over the polished version, even though this IS a very good song in its own right.  Hey we have multiple Revolution's, right?  glassesslip


I always thought the song was about 2 people, not anyone in particular. Coming from a songwriting point of view, sometimes you just think of events that might happen in someones life. Most likely, it's Paul and Linda but, perhaps reaching for or thinking of a line, McCartney might think of an event or an idea from his past, like the "You and I have memories" line.

So it might be a little of both.



Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on November 19, 2013, 12:52:01 AM
I always thought the song was about 2 people, not anyone in particular. Coming from a songwriting point of view, sometimes you just think of events that might happen in someones life. Most likely, it's Paul and Linda but, perhaps reaching for or thinking of a line, McCartney might think of an event or an idea from his past, like the "You and I have memories" line.

So it might be a little of both.

I'm convinced since quite a long time ago that your own interpretation of a lyric is the one that really matters to you, beyond the original intention of the songwriter. As John said about himself, the artist is just a medium.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on November 19, 2013, 01:06:43 AM
For six years we looked forward to The Ed Sullivan Show to see The Beatles' latest releases.  This was their final appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show...


The Beatles-Two Of Us (The Ed Sullivan Show March 01 1970) (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlZvrptZcDM#)
1 March 1970


They looked tired...and they were going home.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: nimrod on November 19, 2013, 02:18:31 AM
I'm convinced since quite a long time ago that your own interpretation of a lyric is the one that really matters to you, beyond the original intention of the songwriter. As John said about himself, the artist is just a medium.

Songwriters look for things to write songs about constantly...

John buys an poster with interesting words and writes 'Mr Kite'

Paul remembers going on Sunday drives with Linda to see if they can get lost, and writes a song about it

but for the listener it can be about whatever you want.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hello Goodbye on November 19, 2013, 03:50:07 AM
for the listener it can be about whatever you want.


This thread illustrates that point:  http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=5322.msg115511#msg115511 (http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=5322.msg115511#msg115511)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - Two Of Us
Post by: Hombre_de_ningun_lugar on November 19, 2013, 04:11:15 AM
Songwriters look for things to write songs about constantly...

John buys an poster with interesting words and writes 'Mr Kite'

Paul remembers going on Sunday drives with Linda to see if they can get lost, and writes a song about it

but for the listener it can be about whatever you want.

Yes, I think so. I write songs too and something inspires me to start a lyric, but then the words come alone and complete it, perhaps with a different sense than the original intention. So I always think about the original inspiration when I think about my song, but I still know that it can be read in a different way.

One curious song for me is "Triad", written by David Crosby when he was with the Byrds. The song is really about polygamy, starting with the line "You want to know how it will be, me and her or you and me". But when I hear the version by Jefferson Airplane, sung by Grace Slick, she sings "You want to know how it will be, me and him or you and me"; it has a different meaning to me. I think about the "triad" formed by Woman-Man-Jesus in every Christian marriage.