She Loves You - The Beatles

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"She Loves You" - The Beatles (1963)

McCartney and Lennon were inspired to write “She Loves You” by the call-and-response structure of Bobby Rydell song "Forget Him" which warns his young female fans to be wary of dubious male suitors. The “Woooooo” as taken from the Isley Brothers "Twist and Shout" which The Beatles also recorded.

McCartney wrote:

“I originally got an idea of doing one of those answering songs, where a couple of us sing about 'she loves you' and the other one sort of says the 'yes, yes' bit.  You know, 'yeah, yeah' answering whoever who is saying it.  But we decided that was a crummy idea anyway.  But we had the idea of writing a song called 'She Loves You' then.  We just sat up in the hotel bedroom for a few hours and wrote it.”

The song opens with the chorus instead of the first verse- which George Martin had suggested. The unique chord which ends the chorus was Harrison’s idea. This popularized the phrase "yeah, yeah, yeah." Paul McCartney's dad wanted them to sing "yes, yes, yes" instead because he thought it sounded more dignified.

Already maturing at this very early point, one can hear the duality of Lennon’s cynicism and McCartney’s optimism. Thus they two aren’t signing in harmony- but in unison. Sometimes they sound like a third voice which resembles neither of their own, but that of a common voice that was expressive of the Beatles’ own collective persona. As well, they express their different state of mind as a construction in sound, where each can be heard fusing their different outlooks in musical form.

“She Loves You” represents a point in their career where they were confident enough with different types of song forms and began experimenting with various ways of grabbing their listener’s attention. Their intros are no longer solely about “what will follow” but to suck the listener into what was already going on in the song.

Says musicologist Tim Riley:

“Ring’s tom-tom fill is the first sound that doesn’t establish the beat so much as it tumbles down into it. There isn’t a firm downbeat until the final “yeah” at the end of the fall, and the effect is like jumping onto a moving train. The drums alternate between the low tom-toms and the accented snare, making the vocals cries the center of attention. In addition, the brazen performance is coupled with the originality of the narrative twist: the singer still sings in the first person, but he’s singing about someone’s else’s love affair- a friend stepping in to carry a message and give advice. The lyric no longer relies on the music.”

The lyrics were different than the songs they’d written before.  It was not the typical “I” and “you” song.  John Lennon later said that they were beginning to write another “you” and “I” song, but that Paul had the idea of bringing a third person, (known only as “She”) into the mix.

“She Loves You” was about some other girl and you, and considering the way it was performed, it seems as if you’re hearing the greatest news you could ever hear.  “Yes, she loves you! And you know that can’t be bad”.  The focus here on extreme, raw feelings in the choice of words and imagery is a fresh twist; "she almost lost her mind," and "pride can hurt you too."

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