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The Song That Must Not Be Named
12 January 2013
11.48pm
Beatles in the Blood
Nowhere Land
Hollywood Bowl
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Can someone please tell me why (tee he) Run For Your Life is such a bad song? I just don't get it, it's not like it's as bad as Wild Honey Pi

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12 January 2013
11.54pm
meanmistermustard
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I think its the lyric content showing a very dark side of John – "id rather see you dead".

Personally i love the song, always have, the lyrics have never bothered me, if anything i like John writing about that side of his character, a side he alluded to in songs like No Reply and You Cant Do That ie "if you mess me about your rabbit's getting boiled". Admittedly John stole the key lyric "id rather see you dead little girl than to be with another man" from Baby, Lets Play House but thats a fine song in its own write and Beatles stole bits of songs from all over place.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
13 January 2013
8.02am
Gerell
Philippines, the country which no Beatle would dare to perform again.
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Run For Your Life is like Maxwell's Silver Hammer in a serious tone. Good Instrumentals, catchy instruments it shouldn't be a problem as long as you don't listen to the lyrics.

"And in the End the Love you take is equal to the Love you make"
"When I was a robber *Piano Chord* in Boston Place"
"Let's hope this turns out pretty darn good huh"
"Pete may be the best, but Ringo is the star"
Paul:"Don't be nervous John"
John:"I 'm not"
13 January 2013
8.41pm
RunForYourLife
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It's one of my favorites. A lot of people have a problem with the lyrics, but that's the real John Lennon, at least at that point in his life. He claimed that "Help!" and "Strawberry Fields" were his most honest songs, but I think that "Run For Your Life" was one as well, which is why he had such distaste for it. The man was a great musician, but we shouldn't gloss over the fact that he was also a bit of a bastard at times.

"Run For Your Life" was one of George's favorites. Around the time that John gave his interview about how much he hated that song, he was angry at George for supposedly snubbing him in his book, so I feel like that also could've been a factor in his harsh condemnation of it.

14 January 2013
2.40pm
Zig
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It's nice to see this song getting some love. I think the music is great!

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

14 January 2013
3.49pm
parlance
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As I've said elsewhere on this forum, I liked the song musically as a kid, but then I listened to the lyrics. And it's impossible for me not to hear the misogyny in the lyrics, so I skip it entirely now.

I was under the impression that Yoko's influence as a feminist was the main factor in John's condemnation of the song.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

14 January 2013
5.23pm
Linde
The Netherlands
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I was never bothered too much by the lyrics, but it was never one of my all-time favourites anyway.

There are worse songs though. I like the melody of the chorus.

14 January 2013
6.52pm
parlance
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Linde said
There are worse songs though.

I've never understood this as an argument in favor of something. I probably wouldn't listen to those worse songs either.

parlance

 

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

15 January 2013
3.46am
Egroeg Evoli
Across the universe
Apple rooftop
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A while ago (back in good ol' 2010) Zig posted this on another thread:

OK, I think I found a way to make everyone happy. This is by no means my favorite song (not even in the top 10) but I do like the music a lot. For those of you who like the music but don't like the lyrics, I've cheered them up somewhat. Ah one, ah two, ah one two three four!

Well I'd rather see (RAINBOWS!), little girl

Than to be with another man

You better keep your head, little girl

Or you won't know (FUZZY SOCKS!)

You better (BUTTERFLIES!) if you can, little girl

(UNICORNS!) in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man

That's the (KITTENS!) little girl

Well you know that I'm a (PUPPIES!) guy

And I was born with a (DAISIES!) mind

And I can't spend my whole life

Trying just to make you (BUBBLE BATH!)

You better (WALK ON THE BEACH!) if you can, little girl

(CHOCOLATE!) in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man

That's the (PONIES!) little girl

Let this be a sermon I mean everything I've said

Baby, I'm determined

And I'd rather see you (IN A LOVING LONG TERM RELATIONSHIP!)

You better run for your (LAMBS!) if you can, little girl

(BABY CHICKS!) in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man

That's the (BUNNIES!) little girl

I'd rather see (PIGLETS!), little girl

Than to be with another man

You better keep your head, little girl

Or you won't know (SMILEY FACE!)

You better (ICE CREAM CONE!) if you can, little girl

(PANDA BEAR!) in the sand little girl

Catch you with another man

That's the (WARM TOAST!) little girl

Na, na, na

Na, na, na

Na, na, na

Na, na, na

This is possibly my favorite post in the entire forum. :D

By the way, I think Run For Your Life is a good song, regardless of the lyrics.

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

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15 January 2013
4.26am
Ron Nasty
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Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album. I've never understood the problem with the lyric though. Not exactly PC, but the most objectionable line, and its starting point, was written by Arthur Gunter -

"Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
Than to be with another man."

                    Baby, Let's Play House

It's not exactly a Lennon confessional like so many of his other songs. Now his contribution to "Getting Better"…

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2013
4.29am
Egroeg Evoli
Across the universe
Apple rooftop
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mja6758 said
Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album. I've never understood the problem with the lyric though. Not exactly PC, but the most objectionable line, and its starting point, was written by Arthur Gunter -

"Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
Than to be with another man."

                    Baby, Let's Play House

It's not exactly a Lennon confessional like so many of his other songs. Now his contribution to "Getting Better"…

Wait, he actually beat Cynthia?!?!?!?!?

 

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

15 January 2013
4.39am
Ron Nasty
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Apple rooftop
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Egroeg Evoli said

mja6758 said
Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album. I've never understood the problem with the lyric though. Not exactly PC, but the most objectionable line, and its starting point, was written by Arthur Gunter -

"Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
Than to be with another man."

                    Baby, Let's Play House

It's not exactly a Lennon confessional like so many of his other songs. Now his contribution to "Getting Better"…

Wait, he actually beat Cynthia?!?!?!?!?

 

Which is what he admits to in "Getting Better" -

 

"I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man, I was mean but I'm changing my scene
And I'm doing the best that I can"

That he admitted was confessional. RFYL was always just a lyric lifted from an Elvis song and worked into something new.

 

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2013
5.53am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
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Well, at least John was determined to "change his scene" -- so that makes it ok.

(Apart from my dripping sarcasm there, I'm not entirely certain he didn't slip up later: after all "doing the best that I can" doesn't mean you've actually stopped making the mistakes you rather chipperly rue.  Aside from that, though, I thought that was mostly a Paul song -- as usual, about a fictional personage.  I can't find a way out of these parentheses; so I think I'll end here…)

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
15 January 2013
6.11am
unknown
Nowhere Land
Apple rooftop
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mja6758 said

Egroeg Evoli said

mja6758 said
Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album. I've never understood the problem with the lyric though. Not exactly PC, but the most objectionable line, and its starting point, was written by Arthur Gunter -

"Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I'd rather see you dead, little girl,
Than to be with another man."

                    Baby, Let's Play House

It's not exactly a Lennon confessional like so many of his other songs. Now his contribution to "Getting Better"…

Wait, he actually beat Cynthia?!?!?!?!?

 

Which is what he admits to in "Getting Better" -

 

"I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man, I was mean but I'm changing my scene
And I'm doing the best that I can"

That he admitted was confessional. RFYL was always just a lyric lifted from an Elvis song and worked into something new.

 

John didn't physically beat Cyn, that probably means emotionally. I could be remembering wrong, but in Cynthia's book I believe she said he only hit her once, and that was when they were still in art school. 

All living things must abide by the laws of the shape they inhabit
15 January 2013
11.51am
meanmistermustard
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I remember John saying he would hit out at his girlfriends tho mainly when he was a teenager but have no idea where i read that or what source so this comment is practically pointless. Its also been rumoured that John began hitting Yoko before they split in '73 and that was one of the reasons why she kicked him out.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
15 January 2013
12.33pm
Ron Nasty
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A couple of quotes from John, one on each track, that Joe uses in his entries on the songs, taken from David Sheff's "All We Are Saying".

On Run For Your Life: "Just a sort of throwaway song of mine that I never thought much of, but it was always a favourite of George's.

"It has a line from an old Presley song: 'I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man' is a line from an old blues song that Presley did once."

On Getting Better: "It is a diary form of writing. All that 'I used to be cruel to my woman, I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved' was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically – any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything's the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster."

I think both songs raise an eyebrow, but the one he admits his contribution to was about him raises my eyebrow higher.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
15 January 2013
3.49pm
Zig
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mja6758 said
Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album.

By now, we've all read John's comments on how much he supposedly hated the song. That being said, it wasn't just to finish off the album. On the contrary, it was the first song they worked on for Rubber Soul.

That fact doesn't make the song any better or worse, it just disples anyone's (not necessarily yours, mja6758) theory that they needed to throw this song on at the last minute to complete the album. To be fair, the entire album was hastily put together (staring in mid October 1965) in order to get it out before Christmas. Even though I like the song I often wonder, if John was telling the truth about hating the song so much, if it would have been included at all had they been given more time to come up with new material.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

15 January 2013
4.25pm
parlance
Slaggers
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Zig said

Even though I like the song I often wonder, if John was telling the truth about hating the song so much, if it would have been included at all had they been given more time to come up with new material.

Well, I don't think he hated it at the time of recording, even it if was a hack job. Again, I think being introduced to feminism influenced his later embarrassment of the song.

In response to those who mention that it is a borrowed Elvis lyric, I also don't understand the argument that his borrowing it lessens the impact. The fact he borrowed it tells me he related to it on some level. A misogynistic lyric is a misogynistic lyric no matter what the source.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

16 January 2013
3.34pm
Ron Nasty
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Zig said

mja6758 said
Not my favourite Lennon track by a long way. I agree with him about it being a bit of "hack work" to finish off the album.

By now, we've all read John's comments on how much he supposedly hated the song. That being said, it wasn't just to finish off the album. On the contrary, it was the first song they worked on for Rubber Soul.

That fact doesn't make the song any better or worse, it just disples anyone's (not necessarily yours, mja6758) theory that they needed to throw this song on at the last minute to complete the album. To be fair, the entire album was hastily put together (staring in mid October 1965) in order to get it out before Christmas. Even though I like the song I often wonder, if John was telling the truth about hating the song so much, if it would have been included at all had they been given more time to come up with new material.

Hands up, writing something quick, I got part of it wrong. RFYL was the first song recorded for Rubber Soul, I thank you for the correction, and apologise for any unintended confusion.

I do feel you're right though, that weren't RS recorded so quickly, and they'd had the time, the song would probably have been discarded.

I think the main point I was making though, much as is wrong with the lyric of RFYL (and overall it's in my Top 100 Beatles songs, better than average), his contribution to Getting Better can't be ignored.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
8 February 2014
1.45pm
tulane
Decca
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I  think perhaps the reason why John disliked it so much is because maybe he himself considered it a blatant rip off of an old Elvis tune.  The Beatles were of course very eager to innovate and experiment and push the boundaries back by this stage and John was wanting to express himself more with his lyrics, so I believe he may have seen run for your life as a step backwards at the time.  It does seem out of place to me to have something so retro at the end of such a groundbreaking LP.  I think perhaps John felt he was on autopilot on this one and that he wrote this to meet a contractual obligation rather than out of genuine inspiration.

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