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Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
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9 November 2019
10.52pm
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Ahhh Girl
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The Beatles ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ is “the perfect pop song”, according to science

Very interesting article. I wonder what McCartney thinks about it.a-hard-days-night-ringo-7

Beatles on top again.

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10 November 2019
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vonbontee
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OK, in my opinion, this is some bullshit. 

Aside from the silliness of using science to judge a work of art, the researchers are only gonna look at pop songs between 1958 and ’91 – and only 700 total out of tens of thousands written? And then strip those songs of melody, lyrics, performers, everything but the chord changes – basically anything that makes them actual songs? And then employ an algorithm that assigns a value based on how “surprising” (to whom?) the chord changes are, ultimately coming up with a top 30 that are voted on by a whopping 39 people? And the winner is “Ob La Di, Ob La Da” (eight chords, most pretty unsurprising to my ears), really? Over “Penny Lane “, “She Loves You “, “Help !” and who-knows-how-many others, just among Beatles songs? I scoff at their findings! a-hard-days-night-john-1

I’d be interested to know what 700 candidates they chose, and how so – sales/chart figures, collective poll results, whatever – because I think there is some scientific value in determining why people’s brains tend to love certain pop music sounds more than others. But their methodology seems to rely on far too small sample sizes to justify any “BEST SONG EVER, PROVEN BY SCIENCE!” headlines. (Which I guess is probably the NME’s doing.)

 

anyways, THIS is the most perfect pop song:

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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10 November 2019
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QuarryMan
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Trying to understand art through the lens of science is futile, in my opinion, but it’s still interesting to see what they come out with.

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I've been up on the mountain, and I've seen his wondrous grace,
I've sat there on the barstool and I've looked him in the face.
He seemed a little haggard, but it did not slow him down,
he was humming to the neon of the universal sound. 

9 February 2021
10.24am
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Ahhh Girl
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I’m watching the Netflix show Outlander. They keep saying a word I’ve never heard before: “braw”. So I looked it up.

braw.JPG

 = means good, fine.

While reading about the word, I saw that the word “bra” in Swedish means good, fine.

So, now when I hear “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da life goes on, bra”, I am going to think about life going on good, fine.

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9 February 2021
12.34pm
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meanmistermustard
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It always surprises me how high John’s vocal is during the choruses considering how much he hated the song. 

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16 February 2024
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kelicopter
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Mod Note: here’s where this conversation originally started: https://www.beatlesbible.com/f…..p386713. 

Two things spring to mind with this topic.

1) How much the understanding and acceptance of trans people has grown since the 60s. There are countless references in songs, film and TV even as late as the 2000s where someone being trans is literally the punch line, so Paul was maybe just trying to be comical or edgy. (Like Lou Reed in Walk On The Wild Side)

2) The Beatles love a play on words, and to subvert a sentence for comic effect. E.g. in Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da when Desmond and Molly swap places in the last verse (“Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face”) – the intention is to sound nonsensical. Now I’m all for a universe where Desmond and Molly are a transgender couple who are now living happily together as the people they were born to be! But I doubt that’s what Macca was going for.

I think it's great you're going through a phase,

and I'm awfully glad it'll all be over in a couple

of days

 

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16 February 2024
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Sea Belt
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I think in Joe’s description it’s implied that Paul didn’t intend to switch the “does pretty face” line and did it by accident, then decided to keep it in; however, I’m not sure I trust memories of tiny things like that.  I think what Paul intended was a light-hearted inversion of what one would expect — why not?  By the way, Desmond staying at home to do his pretty face can be done (or imagined) while remaining firmly heterosexual yet playful and secure in his manhood, or while entertaining bisexual fantasies, without the need to be propelled inexorably all the way from A to Z to transgender.

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

16 February 2024
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Sea Belt said
I think in Joe’s description it’s implied that Paul didn’t intend to switch the “does pretty face” line and did it by accident, then decided to keep it in; however, I’m not sure I trust memories of tiny things like that.  I think what Paul intended was a light-hearted inversion of what one would expect — why not? 

  

LOL, that’s some classical “fan fiction” right there!

So you think you know Paul’s intentions better than him??

It’s a very easy mistake to make, he just mixed up the order of the characters.

It’s just another example of the Beatles and especially Paul to leave “happy accidents” on the records. Just like him laughing on “Maxwell”, the surprise track of “Her Majesty “and many other occasions where they heard weird stuff happening and instead of erasing it they wanted MORE of it!

This started with some overinterpretation of the “Get back” lyrics – sometimes it’s better just to leave things alone.

The Beatles always laughed about people who read too much into their lyrics…

16 February 2024
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Sea Belt
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I revisited the song just now and focused in on the two parts (separated in the song by another chorus):

1) happy ever after in the marketplace, Desmond lets the children lend a hand, Molly stays at home and does her pretty face and in the evening she’s still singing with the band

2) happy ever after in the marketplace, Molly lets the children lend a hand, Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face and in the evening she’s a singer with the band.

On second thought, it seems even odder that Paul would “forget”, since the structure of #2 is clearly switching out the two characters in a mirror image, not just with regard to the “pretty face” component.  That would be an odd thing to “forget”.

Secondly, listening intently over and over (4 times) with my super serious headphones that completely cover my ears, it’s pretty clear that during #1, Paul sings (caps added for emphasis):

1) happy ever after in the marketplace, Desmond lets the children lend a hand, Molly stays at home and does HIS pretty face and in the evening she’s still singing with the band.

Now THAT would constitute a bonafide “mistake” — one, however, that was evidently left in.  I suspect that Paul, exhausted from re-recording and re-cobbling the song with so many takes on so many days, made that mistake toward the end when everything else was perfect, and just left it in hoping nobody would notice.  As it turns out, he was mostly right, and only one person would notice — some nobody on the Internet 54 years later typing in some thread on Beatles Bible…john-lennon-salute_gif

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16 February 2024
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Richard
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Could the accent be misleading you?

I hear it as: “Molly stays at home and does her pretty face”

And in the end

The love you take is equal to the love you make

 

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16 February 2024
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Sea Belt
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I don’t know — all my life I thought he was saying “her” but now after listening intently I have to say I hear more “his” than “her”

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

16 February 2024
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There are tons of instances of a Beatle reading lyrics or singing words wrongly and then being kept in, they did it often. The idea that Paul didn’t on this one specific track, despite what he said years ago being that it was a mistake in the studio, is very much people now wanting to apply a certain and specific reasoning to a song that was never intended.

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16 February 2024
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My understanding is that it was a mistake made earlier in the process but intentionally included in the final take.

"Nothing is Beatle-proof."

16 February 2024
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Sea Belt
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Like I said, this isn’t a simple mistake, like getting one word wrong.

1) happy ever after in the marketplace, Desmond lets the children lend a hand, Molly stays at home and does her pretty face and in the evening she’s still singing with the band

2) happy ever after in the marketplace, Molly lets the children lend a hand, Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face and in the evening she’s a singer with the band.

Assuming it was a mistake as Paul and y’all say, this means that as Paul was singing #2, his first mistake was to say “Molly” at that place where “Desmond” had been previously — all else being the same.  This then also means that as he was singing the phrase “Molly lets the children lend a hand”, he realized in mid-stream he had made this mistake, and made sure to say “Desmond” rather than “Molly” for the next phrase “stays at home etc.” — also making sure to say “his” pretty face and not “her”.  It seems like a complex mistake to make — a bundle of 3 mistakes (and their split-second saves) rolled into one in mid-stream while singing & playing.  Given Paul’s memory “challenges” about the old days, I’m not so sure we should treat it as gospel.

P.S.:  This may be blasphemy, but I think Paul should have switched the phrase “and in the evening she’s still singing with the band” and put that at the end for #2, where it would make more sense 

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19 February 2024
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Sea Belt said
Like I said, this isn’t a simple mistake, like getting one word wrong.

  

No, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility that the initial mistake was then refined after they decided to keep it.

"Nothing is Beatle-proof."

19 February 2024
1.54pm
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I don’t see the issue here; Paul messed up during the 90 hours of recording the song, liked the mess-up and kept it in, accommodating the flub elsewhere in the verse. I don’t think anyone is saying he got it wrong during the final final vocal overdub and that’s how it is on the record. The mistake led to the change.

As said previously, there are multiple instances of misread lyrics, little mistakes or them joking around during recording sessions that were then kept in as it added to the fun and spontaneity of the songs or they simply liked them more.

Hey Bulldog ‘ was ‘Hey Bullfrog’ until Paul started barking (it always sounds like barking at the very end of ‘I Feel Fine ‘ as well).  John then changed it and they sang “Bulldog” when adding the vocals at the end even tho Bullfrog is heard earlier.

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21 February 2024
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Sea Belt said
Like I said, this isn’t a simple mistake, like getting one word wrong.

  

Dude, you just can’t accept the possibility that the actual memory of the actual singer might be more accurate than the fan-fiction interpretation of – and I quote – “some nobody” on the internet…

And you’re obviously no singer, otherwise you’d find it totally understandable that he makes the mistake of mixing up the NAMES (why would he change anything else??!!), but he still KNOWS that it’s supposed to be “Molly”, so after using “his” shortly after “Desmond” he switches back to the correct “she” at the end.

This was happening in splitseconds, and this is just how the brain works.

To suggest that he CONSCIOUSLY decided to sing it EXACTLY like that and would be LYING about it later on, as you suggest, is just ridiculous and prove that “some nobody” is having too much time on his hands to overthink stuff he doesn’t know enough about but assumes he DOES know more about it than the guy who actually wrote and sang it…

As pointed out, they invested a LOT of work into this track to get the right “spirit”, so obviously he didn’t want to sacrifice the great vocal track for this small mistake – and he actually THOUGHT it would be funny to leave it in, because this way people would assume he was singing about some transvestite!

So in a way he chose to leave it in to prank people overthinking Beatles lyrics.

Well, if I was him I’d say

GOTCHA!

21 February 2024
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Illgetyou said

Sea Belt said

Like I said, this isn’t a simple mistake, like getting one word wrong.

And you’re obviously no singer, otherwise you’d find it totally understandable that he makes the mistake of mixing up the NAMES (why would he change anything else??!!), but he still KNOWS that it’s supposed to be “Molly”, so after using “his” shortly after “Desmond” he switches back to the correct “she” at the end.

  

I believe Sea Belt is in fact a singer; at the very least an instrumentalist…

Me, I agree with mmm, and with Paul’s explanation – Paul hits the fourth verse, sings “Molly lets…” by mistake without realizing, and then reflexively follows it up with “Desmond stays…”, also without putting any conscious thought into it, just cause he knows that he’d just sang “Molly” and therefore “Desmond” comes out of his mouth next, almost as a reflex, and maybe doesn’t realize either mistake until its too late, the words are out of his mouth and on tape. And when he realizes, he finds it an amusing quirky mistake and decides to leave it in – a more preferable choice than having to make yet another fix-up to a song which has already taken up a ridiculous amount of time to finish up. As has been said, sometimes the band just found these minor mistakes amusing and would leave them be, eg. John not bothering to go back and change “…feeling two foot small” to the less quirky “two foot tall” 

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GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty. 

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22 February 2024
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vonbontee said
Me, I agree with mmm, and with Paul’s explanation – Paul hits the fourth verse, sings “Molly lets…” by mistake without realizing, and then reflexively follows it up with “Desmond stays…”, also without putting any conscious thought into it, just cause he knows that he’d just sang “Molly” and therefore “Desmond” comes out of his mouth next, almost as a reflex, and maybe doesn’t realize either mistake until its too late, the words are out of his mouth and on tape. And when he realizes, he finds it an amusing quirky mistake and decides to leave it in – a more preferable choice than having to make yet another fix-up to a song which has already taken up a ridiculous amount of time to finish up. As has been said, sometimes the band just found these minor mistakes amusing and would leave them be, eg. John not bothering to go back and change “…feeling two foot small” to the less quirky “two foot tall”

 

Cool, since this is exactly what I was saying, I’m glad we can all agree on that.

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24 February 2024
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I already explained my argument; nobody has addressed its necessary components and how they fit into the argument as a whole. 

Now today I find, you have changed your mind

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