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Across The Universe
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31 May 2014
3.25pm
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S. B. Fields
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Some ATU lyric pages on the web cite “shades of earth” and not “shades of life”…

…any comments?

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31 May 2014
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Ron Nasty
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The majority of lyric websites use transcriptions rather than using the published, or even checking what they’ve got against the published, lyric. Some of the lyrics you find on those sites are just plain weird. They’re almost like that game where you take a lyric, get a translation program to translate it into a foreign language, and see what you get when you translate it back, at times.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

31 May 2014
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MrMoonlight
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Ron Nasty said
The majority of lyric websites use transcriptions rather than using the published, or even checking what they’ve got against the published, lyric. Some of the lyrics you find on those sites are just plain weird. They’re almost like that game where you take a lyric, get a translation program to translate it into a foreign language, and see what you get when you translate it back, at times.

Hello new thread ideaa-hard-days-night-george-10

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Starr Shine?, Mr. Kite
31 May 2014
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Should this be in songs place?

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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31 May 2014
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Annadog40 said
Should this be in songs place?

Yes.

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31 May 2014
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I noticed that we had a thread in the songs section for ATU so I moved this conversation to it.

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18 June 2014
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One thing I don’t get: on a lot of lyrics sites and cover versions, they say it’s “they slither while they pass, they slip away…”. However, on all Beatles recordings, I hear it as “they slither wildly as they slip away…”.

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18 June 2014
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MrMoonlight said
One thing I don’t get: on a lot of lyrics sites and cover versions, they say it’s “they slither while they pass, they slip away…”. However, on all Beatles recordings, I hear it as “they slither wildly as they slip away…”.

@MrMoonlight Yeah, I’ve always heard it that way, and I would bet that’s the correct lyric. To me, there’s clearly no ‘P’ sound after what they say is “while they.”

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19 June 2014
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Bulldog said

MrMoonlight said
One thing I don’t get: on a lot of lyrics sites and cover versions, they say it’s “they slither while they pass, they slip away…”. However, on all Beatles recordings, I hear it as “they slither wildly as they slip away…”.

@MrMoonlight Yeah, I’ve always heard it that way, and I would bet that’s the correct lyric. To me, there’s clearly no ‘P’ sound after what they say is “while they.”

I’ve always heard it like that too.

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21 March 2015
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This song is magic. 

It has a transcendent quality, a quality of not being quite of this world. It is suspended between albums and singles and anthologies, none of which are entirely definitive versions. It gives impressions of a greater thing outside our daily lives on Earth; simply the title is enough to conjure up images of stars and planets revolving through the galaxies as they make their way Across The Universe . It has also something of the essence of dreams; a surreality, like the workings of the mind when one is on the borderline of sleep. And in each of its none-too-definitive versions there is something of this, in different ways: this ethereal quality, that sets it apart from other songs; that it belongs nowhere in particular– it is in between. And indeed, its lyric reflects this: it was a song that happened, rather than was written. And so here is a song that transcends bounds of release, recording, production; it stands on its own. “It’s good poetry, or whatever it’s called, without chewin’ it.” 

Part 2 of an ongoing series of Speaking-In-Prose essays on the magicalness of Beatlemaniology, by Silly Girl, who isn’t always silly (just most of the time). 

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote
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21 March 2015
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Across The Universe is a song that I find very hard to criticise.

Ian MacDonald called it a “plaintively babyish incantation” and “rather too obviously the products of acid grandiosity rendered gentle by sheer exhaustion”. It seems too harsh to me. But even Lennon was unhappy with it: “the song was never done properly”, “we didn’t make a good record of it”, and “Paul would sort of subconsciously try and destroy a great song”.

It always sounded to me as “unfinished” in all of its version. I feel it could be a masterpiece but actually it’s incomplete and suspended. Its melody has the typical Lennon’s horizontality that worked well in many songs, but seems to be ineffective here. It deserved a better production and, maybe, a middle-eight and it would sound gorgeous. It’s not a bad song: some of the lyrics are oustanding, but I would not say it’s good poetry. They just didn’t care enough to make it a polished and finished song and Lennon in that period was probably too weak to “demand respect”.

I agree that it has a sort of “transcendent” and “ethereal” quality but after all it’s an unexpressed quality, it’s like an arrow that was never really shot and we’re still waiting for it. 

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21 March 2015
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I find it very easy to criticise. Spector’s is so slow a 2-legged tortoise with a hangover could outrun it (and sound better) whilst the Wildlife mix has Johns vocal speed up horribly and some of the worst backing vocals in living memory. They are horrendously bad. 

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21 March 2015
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I have no problem with either version, but I do like the birds flocking at the beginning, very relaxing! a-hard-days-night-john-1

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21 March 2015
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I usually have morbid thoughts when I hear this song. I’ll put them in a spoiler in case some people don’t want to read them.

The “nothing’s going to change my world” line always makes me think about the break up of the Beatles and about John’s murder…ie things that did change his world.

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21 March 2015
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mccannon announced 
Across The Universe is a song that I find very hard to criticise.

Ian MacDonald called it a “plaintively babyish incantation” and “rather too obviously the products of acid grandiosity rendered gentle by sheer exhaustion”. It seems too harsh to me. But even Lennon was unhappy with it: “the song was never done properly”, “we didn’t make a good record of it”, and “Paul would sort of subconsciously try and destroy a great song”.

It always sounded to me as “unfinished” in all of its version. I feel it could be a masterpiece but actually it’s incomplete and suspended. Its melody has the typical Lennon’s horizontality that worked well in many songs, but seems to be ineffective here. It deserved a better production and, maybe, a middle-eight and it would sound gorgeous. It’s not a bad song: some of the lyrics are oustanding, but I would not say it’s good poetry. They just didn’t care enough to make it a polished and finished song and Lennon in that period was probably too weak to “demand respect”.
I agree that it has a sort of “transcendent” and “ethereal” quality but after all it’s an unexpressed quality, it’s like an arrow that was never really shot and we’re still waiting for it. 

And that’s part of what I meant in my overly poetical prose mini-essay. That it floats, it doesn’t quite belong anywhere, because it isn’t really finished and a part of something (like a proper album that wasn’t Phil Spector trying to piece together a soundtrack out of fragments). 

Ahhh Girl sighed  
I usually have morbid thoughts when I hear this song. I’ll put them in a spoiler in case some people don’t want to read them.

The “nothing’s going to change my world” line always makes me think about the break up of the Beatles and about John’s murder…ie things that did change his world.

So did I, the first time I heard it. It nearly made me cry. Usually his murder doesn’t seem very real to me– I know it happened, but I don’t REALISE it. And when I heard this song the first time, I realised it. Just as I did, later, the first time I heard “Here Today “. Both times I got over it really quick though. a-hard-days-night-george-9

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21 March 2015
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What do people think of David Bowies version? With added John Lennon .

I find it more desperate than the original but a fair attempt at a difficult song

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22 March 2015
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chrisredditch said
What do people think of David Bowies version? With added John Lennon .

I find it more desperate than the original but a fair attempt at a difficult song

Just listened to it for the first time – wish I hadn’t. I like Bowie a lot, but there are times when I think, “Oh David, why?”.

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Beatlebug

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22 March 2015
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Zig moaned in a falsetto 

chrisredditch shouted silently    
What do people think of David Bowies version? With added John Lennon .

I find it more desperate than the original but a fair attempt at a difficult song

Just listened to it for the first time – wish I hadn’t. I like Bowie a lot, but there are times when I think, “Oh David, why?”.

I listened to the first two seconds, and then that was it. I hope those two seconds won’t be in my dreams nightmares tonight. 

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23 March 2015
10.56am
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Silly Girl said

Zig moaned in a falsetto 

chrisredditch shouted silently    
What do people think of David Bowies version? With added John Lennon .

I find it more desperate than the original but a fair attempt at a difficult song

Just listened to it for the first time – wish I hadn’t. I like Bowie a lot, but there are times when I think, “Oh David, why?”.

I listened to the first two seconds, and then that was it. I hope those two seconds won’t be in my dreams nightmares tonight. 

I agree… horrible.

And what about this?

It seems like no one is able to give justice to this song, for one reason or another…

23 March 2015
11.09am
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Bulldog said

MrMoonlight said
One thing I don’t get: on a lot of lyrics sites and cover versions, they say it’s “they slither while they pass, they slip away…”. However, on all Beatles recordings, I hear it as “they slither wildly as they slip away…”.

@MrMoonlight Yeah, I’ve always heard it that way, and I would bet that’s the correct lyric. To me, there’s clearly no ‘P’ sound after what they say is “while they.”

Hey you’re right! Now finally I know why “pass” sounded so strange. It’s actually they slither wildly as they slip away… apple01

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