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Oh Look Out! Part 6, Rubber Soul
by John T. Marck

In Part 6, we look at "Rubber Soul," easily one of the greatest and finest masterpieces The Beatles wrote and recorded. For the first time The Beatles made an album which was more than a collection of singles; an album that was a work of art on its own. "Rubber Soul," marked a new period for The Beatles, a more precise way to make an album. Just as "Beatles For Sale," was the summit of what was known as the British "beat," and "Sgt. Pepper" to come later was their full production extravaganza, and "Revolver," their post-acid period, this album truly marked the beginning of The Beatles giant step into the future.



 

Oh Look Out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 6

Rubber Soul

"All These Places Had Their Moments, With Lovers and Friends, I Still Can Recall...."

As mentioned in other of my articles on the Beatles, their albums were not universallythe same until the issuance of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967. Prior to 1967, albums issued in the United Kingdom and the United States differed. Albums issued in the United Kingdom generally had two additional songs, as well as some of the titles were different. In the case of Rubber Soul, the Britain version had fourteen songs, whereas the US version had twelve. Additionally, the British album contained the songs "Drive My Car, Nowhere Man, What Goes On, and If I Needed Someone that were not on the US version, and the US version contained "I've Just Seen A Face, and "It's Only Love," that were not on the British version.

"Rubber Soul" was released on December 3, 1965 in the United Kingdom, and December 6, 1965 in the United States. This year, 1965, was a turning point for the Beatles; first with the release of their second motion picture Help! followed by Rubber Soul. With this, it seemed that the Beatles had grown up. Prior to Rubber Soul, the Beatles albums were more of a collection of singles rather than an artistic collection. In Rubber Soul we see a new era of fresh ideas, not only musically, but philosophically. At this period, the Beatles were still pressured constantly for more songs, more singles, by the record companies. It is amazing that Rubber Soul is clearly one of the greatest the Beatles produced, as the final songs for it were not written nor recorded until the middle of November 1965, just a mere eighteen days before the album hit the record store shelves.

Much of Rubber Soul deals with songs written by Paul that dealt with his relationship with Jane Asher, the sister of Peter Asher of Peter & Gordon fame. With John Lennon, it would be a period that reflected his life, romantically, and his memorable imagery. But all in all, collectively, it dealt with love, life and relationships.

So now lets take a look at the lyrics to the British version of Rubber Soul. For fans like me who grew up listening to the Beatles, this album needs no introduction. For those who did not, or perhaps are just starting to appreciate their music, this one is not to be missed. If you haven't heard it, get it, and if you have it, play it again. You'll feel better for the experience gained through it. The cover is also an interesting story! All four of The Beatles had gotten together at the home of John Lennon for a photo shoot. The photographer, Robert Freeman, came over and shot numerous photos of the The Beatles. About a week later, he returned to Lennon's home where he met with all The Beatles again for the purpose of selecting the image for the cover. The photos he had taken earlier were in the form of slides. To show them to The Beatles so they could choose the one they liked, Freeman took a piece of white cardboard the size of an album cover, and using a projector, showed the images on this white cardboard. Because the piece of cardboard was slightly tilted, the images seen were somewhat elongated. The Beatles seeing this said, "Wow, can you reproduce the image like that?" Freeman said yes, and the cover was born. And what a great cover it is!

And Now Rubber Soul...

Drive My Car

Drive My Car, written by Paul, has sly mentions of sexual innuendo. It is a role reversal song, whereas the car is owned by the woman, and the baby talked about is the man. It is a suggestion of sexual favors in return for help with her career. It has some good twists and turns and was recorded on October 13, 1965.

Asked a girl what she wanted to be,

She said "baby can't you see

I wanna be famous, a star of the screen

But you do something in between,

Baby, you can drive my car,

Yes, I'm gonna be a star And maybe I'll love you"

I told that girl that my prospects were good,

And she said "baby it's understood

Working for peanuts is all very fine,

But I can show you a better time

Baby, you can drive my car,

Yes, I'm gonna be a star,

Baby you can drive my car,

And maybe I'll love you"

Beep beep mm beep beep, yeah

Baby, you can drive my car,

Yes, I'm gonna be a star,

Baby you can drive my car,

And maybe I'll love you"

I told that girl I could start right away,

And she said listen baby I've got something to say,

I got no car and it's breaking my heart

But I've found a driver and that's a start"

Baby, you can drive my car,

Yes, I'm gonna be a star,

Baby you can drive my car,

And maybe I'll love you"

Beep beep mm beep beep, yeah, beep beep mm beep beep, yeah,

Beep beep mm beep beep, yeah

Norwegian Wood

(This Bird Has Flown)

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) by John, tells of an affair that he had. Lennon said in 1970 that he was trying to write about an affair without letting his wife (then Cynthia) know that he was writing about an affair. Although the theme is obvious, I guess at the time, Cynthia did not realize he was conveying an actual event. With Norwegian Wood, it was the first time that George Harrison played his sitar on a Beatles recording. It was recorded on October 21, 1965.

I once had a girl, Or should I say she once had me, she showed me her room, Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay, and she told me to sit anywhere, so I looked around, and I noticed there wasn't a chair

I sat on a rug biding my time, drinking her wine, we talked until two and then she said, "it's time for bed"

She told me she worked in the morning and started to laugh, I told her I didn't and crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke, I was alone, this bird had flown, so I lit a fire, isn't it good Norwegian wood?

You Won't See Me

"You Won't See Me, " recorded on November 11, 1965,and "I'm Looking Through You," by Paul were two songs relating his dissatisfaction with Jane. As Jane was an actress, and busy with her own career, she and Paul differed in what they believed their relationship should be. Paul believed that she should be at his beck and call, whereas she did not hold to this belief. Consequently, when Paul suffered what he believed to be an indignity by the many unanswered phone calls to Jane, combined with other rejections, he wrote "You Won't See Me."

When I call you up, your line's engaged, I have had enough, so act your age

We have lost the time, that was so hard to find, and I will lose my mind, if you won't see me, (you won't see me)

I don't know why you, should want to hide, but I can't get through, my hands are tied

I won't want to stay, I don't gave much to say, but I can't turn away, and you won't see me, (you won't see me)

Time after time, you refuse to even listen, I wouldn't mind, if I knew what I was missing Though the days are few, they're filled with tears, and since I lost you, it feels like years

Yes, it seems so long, girl, since you've been gone, and I just can't go on, if you won't see me, (you won't see me)

Time after time, you refuse to even listen, I wouldn't mind, if I knew what I was missing

Though the days are few, they're filled with tears, and since I lost you, it feels like years

Yes, it seems so long, girl, since you've been gone, and I just can't go on, if you won't see me, (you won't see me)

Nowhere Man

Recorded on October 21 and 22, 1965, this song by Lennon is distinctive because it was the first Beatles' song not to be about love. It was written as John's desperation of feeling like the "Nowhere Man." One day after writing songs for five solid hours, he feared he could not complete another song for this album. It describes John's deficiency in his belief in himself to finish songs.

He's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view, knows not where he's going to, isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere man please listen, you don't know what you're missing, nowhere man, the world is at your command

He's as blind as he can be, just sees what he wants to see, nowhere man, can you see me at all

Nowhere man don't worry, take your time, don't hurry, leave it all, till somebody else, lends you a hand

Ah, la, la, la, la

Doesn't have a point of view, knows not where he's going to, isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere man please listen, you don't know what you're missing, nowhere man, The world is at your command

Ah, la, la, la, la

He's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody, making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Think For Yourself

George Harrison's one of two contributions to Rubber Soul was that of "Think For Yourself," whereby he is telling not to trust the government, but rather think for yourself. It was recorded on November 8, 1965.

I've got a word or two, to say about the things that you do

You're telling all those lies, about the good things that we can have if we close our eyes

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to, think for yourself, 'cause I won't be there with you

I left you far behind, the ruins of the life that you had in mind

And though you still can't see, I know your mind's made up, you're gonna cause more misery

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to, think for yourself, 'cause I won't be there with you

Although your mind's opaque, try thinking more if just for your own sake

The future still looks good, and you've got time to rectify, all the things that you should

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to, think for yourself, 'cause I won't be there with you

Do what you want to do, and go where you're going to, think for yourself, 'cause I won't be there with you

Think for yourself, 'cause I won't be there with you

The Word

This song is important as it was the first song by Lennon and McCartney that they wrote that contains only one note, recorded on November 10, 1965, fashioned after that of "Long Tall Sally." McCartney said that "to write a good song with just one note like 'Long Tall Sally' is really very hard." Although it appears that this is about the love of a girl, but it is actually is not. The love that is spoken of is about freedom and light, enhanced by the use of LSD.

Say the word and you'll be free, Say the word and be like me Say the word I'm thinking of, Have you heard the word is love? It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, love

In the beginning I misunderstood, But now I've got it, the word is good

Spread the word and you'll be free, Spread the word and be like me

Spread the work I'm thinking of, Have you heard the word is love? It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, love

Every where I go I hear it said, In the good and bad books that I have read

Give the word a chance to say, That the word is just the way

It's the word I'm thinking of, And the only word is love, It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, love

Now that I know what I feel must be right, I'm here to show everybody the light

Say the word and you'll be free, Say the word and be like me,

Say the word I'm thinking of, Have you heard the word is love? It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, love

Michelle

It is said that songs become standards when they sound as if they have been around forever the first time you hear them. This song by McCartney, like his ballad "Yesterday," is one of those songs. Paul got the inspiration for this song from seeing French art students at a party, dressed in their berets and sporting beards. Paul wrote the song at first while sitting with Jane Asher on her sofa. Originally, he had not come up with the girl's name, using lines like "goodnight sweetheart," and "hello my dear," which later became "Michelle ma belle." As Paul could not speak French properly, he asked Jan Vaughan, the wife of an old friend to help him out. It was she that came up with the name of Michelle, and John Lennon thought of placing the words, "I Love You," in the song. It was recorded on November 3, 1965.

Michelle, ma belle, These are words that go together well, My Michelle

Michelle, ma belle, Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble

I love you, I love you, I love you, that's all I want to say

Until I find a way, I will say the only words I know you'll understand

Michelle, ma belle, Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble

I need to, I need to, I need to, I need to make you see

Oh, what you mean to me, Until I do I'm hoping you will know what I mean, I love you

I want you, I want you, I want you, I think you know by now

I'll get to you some how, Until I do I'm telling you so you'll understand

Michelle, ma belle, Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble

And I will say the only words I know that you'll understand, My Michelle

What Goes On?

Ringo's first written contribution credit (with John & Paul) on an album was "What Goes On." Originally it was written early in 1963 by John, and was one of the songs The Beatles played for George Martin for consideration for a single as a follow up to "Please Please Me." The other songs The Beatles played this day for Martin were "From Me To You," "Thank You Girl," and "One After 909." As Ringo said when asked about co-writing a song, he replied, "I wrote about five words." It was recorded on November 4, 1965.

What goes on in your heart? What goes on in your mind?

You are tearing me apart, When you treat me so unkind

What goes on in your mind, the other day I saw you, As I walked along the road

But when I saw him with you, I could feel my future fold, it's so easy for a girl like you to lie, Tell me why

What goes on in your heart? What goes on in your mind? You are tearing me apart, When you treat me so unkind

What goes on in your mind, I met you in the morning, waiting for the tides of time

But now the tide is turning, I can see that I was blind, it's so easy for a girl like you to lie, Tell me why

What goes on in your heart? I used to think of no on else, But you were just the same

You didn't even think of me, As someone with a name, did you mean to break my heart and watch me die, Tell me why

What goes on in your heart? What goes on in your mind? You are tearing me apart, When you treat me so unkind

What goes on in your mind, in your mind, in your mind

Girl

With John's song "Girl," it is typical Lennon. In it he is talking about that special girl, the one we all are looking for. At the time he wrote this, he was opposed to Christianity, and according to Lennon, he is attacking catholic values, using thinly disguised mixtures of lust and disgust. Also, if you listen to the background words, you'll hear the word, "tit," many times over. Lennon said that he needed a filler word, and this was as good as any other. It was recorded on November 11, 1965.

Is there anybody going to listen to my story, all about the girl who came to stay?

She's the kind of girl you want so much it make you sorry, still you don't regret a single day, Ah, girl, girl, girl

When I think of all the times I tried to hard to leave her

She will turn to me and start to cry, And she promises the earth to me and I believe her,

After all this time I don't know why, Ah, girl, girl, girl

She's the kind of girl who puts you down when friends are there you feel a fool

(tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit)

When you say she's looking good, she acts as if it's understood

(tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit, tit) She's cool, ooh, oo, oo, oo, girl, girl, girl

Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure, Did she understand it when they said

That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure?

Will she still believe it when he's dead, Ah, girl, girl, girl, girl, ah, girl, girl

I'm Looking Through You

Another by McCartney, I'm Looking Through You," recorded on November 10 & 11, 1965, was his most resentful song to date. When their relationship came to a head, and Jane decided to leave, Paul wrote this song.

I'm looking through you, where did you go? I thought I knew you, what did I know?

You don't look different, but you have changed, I'm looking through you, you're not the same

Your lips are moving, I cannot hear, Your voice is soothing, but the words aren't clear

You don't sound different, I've learned the game, I'm looking through you, you're not the same

Why, tell me why did you not treat me right, love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight You're thinking of me, the same old way, You were above me, but not today

The only difference is you're down there, I'm looking through you, and you're nowhere

Why, tell me why did you not treat me right,love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight

I'm looking through you, where did you go? I thought I knew you, what did I know?

You don't look different, but you have changed, I'm looking through you, you're not the same

Yeah, Oh, baby you've changed, aah, I'm looking through you, yeah, I'm looking through you, you've changed,

You've changed, you've changed, you've changed

In My Life

What I believe to be one of Lennon's greatest songs is "In My Life." In this he is reflecting on his boyhood days, where he is imagining a bus ride through the streets of Liverpool from his house on Menlove Avenue to the docks, whereby he used all the places that held a special significance to him as a young boy. It was Lennon's nostalgic way of mentioning the friends and lovers and the world he left behind. Upon his tragic death in 1980, this song took on the role as his personal epitaph, something that I believe Lennon would have wanted.This song and "Imagine," are those by Lennon that hold the most meaning for me. This was recorded on October 18 and 22, 1965.

There are places I remember, all my life, though some have changed

Some forever not for better, some have gone and some remain

All these 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

Wait

A simple song that The Beatles collectively didn't like much, it is about a couple who have been separated and now that they are back together, all is well. It was originally recorded during the Help! sessions but rejected by all four of The Beatles. It was included here only because the album was one song short. It was recorded on June 17 originally, and November 11, 1965 for Rubber Soul.

It's been a long time, now I'm, coming back home, I've been away now, oh how, I've been alone

Wait, till I come back to your side, we'll forget the tears we've cried

But if your heart breaks, don't wait, turn me away, and if your heart's strong, hold on, I won't delay

Wait till I come back to your side, we'll forget the tears we've cried

I feel as though, you ought to know, that I've been good, as good as I can be

And if you do, I'll trust in you, and know that you, will wait for me, it's been a long time, now I'm, coming back home

I've been away now, oh how, I've been alone, wait, till I come back to your side, we'll forget the tears we've cried

I feel as though, you ought to know, that I've been good, as good as I can be

And if you do, I'll trust in you, and know that you, will wait for me, it's been a long time, now I'm, coming back home I've been away now, oh how, I've been alone, wait till I come back to your side, we'll forget the tears we've cried

It's been a long time, now I'm, coming back home, I've been away now, oh, how, I've been alone

If I Needed Someone

Written by George, this was probably his best to this point, recorded on October 16 & 18, 1965. Harrison wrote it for his girlfriend Pattie, as an experience using only the D chord.

If I needed someone to love, you're the one that I'd be thinking of, if I needed someone

If I had some more time to spend, that I guess I'd be with you my friend, if I needed someone

Had you come some other day, then it might not have been like this, but you see now I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall, and maybe you will get a call from me, if I needed someone, ah, ah, ah, ah

If I had some more time to spend, that I guess I'd be with you my friend

If I needed someone, had you come some other day

Then it might not have been like this, but you see now I'm too much in love

Carve your number on my wall, and maybe you will get a call from me, if I needed someone, ah, ah

Run For Your Life

Written by Lennon, this was the first song recorded for Rubber Soul, and the last on the album because it was one of the songs he liked the least. Lennon had said that it was one of those songs he just "knocked off for the sake of writing a song." Lennon got the idea of the first line from an Elvis Presley song from 1955 titled, "Baby, Let's Play House." Lennon referred to this as an old Presley song, but it's origin dates back to 1954, when it was written in Nashville by Arthur Gunter. It was recorded on October 12, 1965.

Well I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man

You better keep your head, little girl, or I won't know where I am, you better run for your life if you can, little girl

Hide your head in the sand little girl, catch you with another man, that's the end'a little girl

Well I know that I'm a wicked guy, and I was born with a jealous mind

And I can't spend my whole life trying just to make you toe the line, you better run for your life if you can, little girl

Hide your head in the sand little girl, catch you with another man, that's the end'a little girl

Let this be a sermon I mean everything I've said, baby, I'm determined and I'd rather see you dead

You better run for your life if you can, little girl, hide your head in the sand little girl, catch you with another man

That's the end'a little girl, I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man

You better keep your head, little girl, or I won't know where I am

You better run for your life if you can, little girl, hide your head in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man, that's the end'a little girl, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na

All titles are herein composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except, Think For Yourself and If I Needed Someone by George Harrison, and What Goes On by John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr).

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein are © Copyright 1965 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured.The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws.This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. The same such reference applies to images/photos of album covers used herein.

Copyright© John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author, or the registered copyright holders. Except as otherwise stated above, all information contained in this article, EXCEPT song titles, lyrics, and photographs, © John T. Marck.

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