Song of the Day Jan 1
January 1, 2024
This month I’m focusing on some great hits from the 60s.
Today our song is: Come Together by The Beatles
Wikipedia tells us this about the song:
In early 1969, John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, held nonviolent protests against the Vietnam War, dubbed the Bed-ins for Peace. In May, during the Montreal portion of the bed-in, counterculture figures from across North America visited Lennon, including American psychologist Timothy Leary, an early advocate of LSD, whom Lennon admired. Leary intended to run for Governor of California in the following year's election and asked Lennon to write him a campaign song based on the campaign's slogan, "Come Together – Join the Party!" The resulting chant was only a line long: "Come together and join the party". Lennon promised to finish and record the song, and Leary later recalled Lennon giving him a tape of the piece, but the two did not interact again.
In July 1969, during sessions for the Beatles' album Abbey Road, Lennon used the phrase "come together" from the Leary campaign song to compose a new song for the album. Based on the 1956 single "You Can't Catch Me" by American guitarist Chuck Berry, the composition began as an up-tempo blues number, only slightly altering Berry's original lyric of "Here come a flattop / He was movin' up with me" to "Here come ol' flattop / He come groovin' up slowly". Lennon further incorporated the phrase "shoot me" from his unfinished and unreleased January 1969 song, "Watching Rainbows". The lyrics were inspired by his relationship with Ono, and were delivered quickly, as in the Berry song. Author Peter Doggett wrote that "each phrase [passes] too quickly to be understood at first hearing, the sound as important as the meaning".
When Lennon presented the composition to his bandmates, his songwriting partner Paul McCartney noticed its similarity to "You Can't Catch Me" and recommended they slow it in tempo to reduce the resemblance. Beatles historian Jonathan Gould has suggested that the song has only a single "pariah-like protagonist" and Lennon was "painting another sardonic self-portrait". In a December 1987 interview by Selina Scott on the television show West 57th Street, George Harrison stated that he wrote two lines of the song.