You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - The Beatles

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"You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" - The Beatles (1965)

Recorded in February 1965, Lennon said when he wrote "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" he was just knocking out pop songs, without expressing his own personal emotions to any great extent, adding: 

"I was in Kenwood (his home at the time) and I would just be songwriting. The period would be for just this and so every day I would attempt to write a song and it's one of those that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself, 'Here I stand, head in hand...”

He also said how listening to Bob Dylan was beginning to influence his songwriting around the time: 

"I started thinking about my own emotions - I don't know when exactly it started like 'I'm a Loser' or 'Hide Your Love Away' or those kind of things- instead of projecting myself into a situation I would just try to express what I felt about myself which I'd done in me books. I think it was Dylan helped me realize that - not by any discussion or anything but just by hearing his work - I had a sort of professional songwriter's attitude to writing pop songs; he would turn out a certain style of song for a single and we would do a certain style of thing for this and the other thing. I was already a stylized songwriter on the first album. But to express myself I would write Spaniard in the Works or In His Own Write, the personal stories which were expressive of my personal emotions. I'd have a separate songwriting John Lennon who wrote songs for the sort of meat market, and I didn't consider them - the lyrics or anything - to have any depth at all. They were just a joke. Then I started being me about the songs, not writing them objectively, but subjectively.”

The composition is generally understood to be John’s coy allusion to Brian Epstein’s homosexuality—and the associated pain that comes from secreting the very truth and nature about oneself from the world. The image of John standing facing a wall with his head in his hands was probably a perfect descripton of how he felt when he was writing it.

Session musicians played flutes on the track- the first time outsiders performed on a Beatles record. George Martin’s score called for a concert flute to be played an octave above the alto flute, thus giving the track its layered, velveteen effect.

Although Lennon is speaking to the world at large, what comes across is a sense of sober introspection, not a lesson on human relationships.

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