I just read a poem about the Beatles and singing to the music playing on the car radio. I was so carried away I went over to YouTube and put together this playlist of Beatles songs.
God knows how long the clips can be viewed, though. Many of the songs on an earlier Beatles playlist I compiled on YouTube have been blocked by Apple Corps, the company set up by the Beatles, for copyright reasons.
That seems shortsighted. People should be allowed to see the videos to know and remember what the Beatles were like.
They were the greatest. I remember the anticipation with which we used to look forward to new Beatles records and the excitement of hearing them for the first time. The harmony was divine, the music electric, sounding fresh and exciting even after countless replays.
I know the Beatles have become a distant memory, remembered only by oldies. After all, they had their first No 1 hit, Please Please Me, in 1963 and split up in 1970 – more than 40 years ago.
Those were the days, a great time to be young. The music was great and so were the writers. One could read poems by Philip Larkin, novels by John Updike and thrillers by John LeCarre. There were also older writers still publishing regularly like PG Wodehouse, Graham Greene and WH Auden. Frankly, for music and book lovers, the Sixties and Seventies were great decades.
I may be wallowing in nostalgia, but consider the difference made by the baby boomers, as the young were called then. They included the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Tim Berners-Lee, who were all born in 1955. What a generation!
Enough said. Here’s the poem about the Beatles and singing to the music on the car radio that inspired the playlist. The poem, which I read today on The Writer’s Almanac, first appeared in a book published in 1990. I loved the last lines, which are awash with romance.
By Stuart Kestenbaum
You know the Beatles could have
afforded another microphone,
but George would always stand
in the middle and step up to
Paul’s when it was time to
join in. Because that’s the way
harmony is, you need to share the
electricity, the voice, the words.
Just the way we do when we drive
in our cars with the radio on,
the windows rolled down with fall in the
air, dead leaves swirling in the wake,
or in the spring, the earth damp and soft,
the air hazy with pollen. We hear
the song that moves us, crank the
radio and sing along, at the top of
our lungs, as if we just joined
the group. In tune out of tune,
country western, rock and roll, we want
to harmonize. A whole country of
would-be stars losing love, finding love
with the radio in different
cars, on different paths, the dark
road rumbling beneath.