Dear Mr. Manners:
As a men’s advice columnist, you are the person to give advice to the lovelorn. I fell in love at first sound. It was to the music of “The Beatles.” I played their records, “or you could say they played me.” Their lyrics almost completely ignore men, excluding of course, themselves. Based on the few songs about men, one can only conclude they are misandrists. So being a man, not only is my love unrequited, I am their enemy. I will get to the songs shortly. First, let me put things in perspective.
The work of highly accomplished men through history is diminished by critics, if they have ignored or disparaged women in their work. What about the Beatles and men? The first part of their career they wrote exclusively about females. More than that, their lyrics told us not only that the love of a girl was the most important thing, it would be more accurate to say it was all that mattered. Imagine if “The Beatles” glorified boys and men and ignored women. “I wonder if you can?” Or, imagine a female songwriter who focused so much on men as the Beatles did with women.
Now for the Beatles discussion of the unfair sex (as feminist might describe men as). Even in their only songs about girl’s phase, males were not lyrically unscathed in Beatle tunes. (I am going to paraphrase lyrics due to the unlikely possibility of copyright infringement). In the song “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl”, a guy was maligned for the evil act of not taking a girl out on enough dates.
The Beatles first song was “Love Me Do”, released on October 5th 1962. Wikipedia notes that their first song to “completely avoid boy–girl relationships”, was on their sixth album “Rubber Soul”, released on December 3rd 1965 (Wikipedia, Rubber Soul). The song was “Nowhere Man.”. The lyrics described a myopic guy, without opinions, or direction, who isn’t going anywhere
Their next album “Revolver”, had three songs where men were discussed. The first, “Tax Man”, was not about a specific man. Still it fits into the tradition of it being men who take money out of our pay check. We have Uncle Sam, not Aunt Sally.
Also, in that album, ‘’Dr Roberts”, a song about a drug supplier.” Plus, Eleanor Rigby”, in which half of the lyrics are about a failure Priest.
On the “White Album”, there is the song “Rocky Raccoon”, about a guy who tries to shoot off the lower extremities of a man who stole his girlfriend, Lil Magill. You probably know her better as Nancy.
Also on the album, is “The Continuing Story of “Bungalow Bill”, where a man is condemned for hunting tigers. A third is “Happiness is a Warm Gun.” The three-part song, was described by its composer John Lennon as, “the dirty old man, the junkie and the gunman” (Wikipedia, Happiness is a Warm Gun).
On the record “Abbey Road”, the song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” is about a serial killer. “Mean Mr. Mustard”, discusses a cruel, dirty and disgusting man. This is in contrast to his hard working and benevolent sister, Pam, who takes him to see Royalty, where he shouts out obscenities.
Of “The Beatles 188 original songs, the most male positive song is titled “The Fool on the Hill.” In fact though, they did have a song condemned for its sexism. The song being “Run for Your Life.” The song lyrics stated the preference of a girlfriend being deceased, rather than to observe her with another fellow. It was banned by at least one Ottawa station CFRA, due to the belief that it could cause violence against women (https://natalialzam.wordpress.com/…/18/run–for-your–life-the-beatles-and-gender-violence). Good for them.
However, “Run for Your Life” is a lyric about a thought. “Rocky Raccoon’s” words describe a shootout. How can that lyric also not be banned? Of course, both songs continue the theme that the love of a female is what life is about.
Bands have been sued due to claims that their songs led to suicide. Not however, songs which tell us dying for a women’s love is a viable option. For instance, more recent tunes like, “If You Don’t Love Me I’ll Kill Myself” and “I Can’t Stand Losing You.” Yet, men are far more likely to commit suicide then kill a man, let alone the significantly less common act of them killing a woman. Beatle songs such as “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” and “No Reply”, tell us life is pretty much over if your girlfriend leaves you. Such songs get a pass. Why should they?
“The Beatles” were the most successful, discussed, revered and regarded as the most influential rock and roll band of all-time. Despite this, their misandry has been completely ignored. Why can’t we ban all Beatles songs from the radio? The only harm, would be depriving the world of a band that produced some of the greatest music of all time and changed music and the world forever. A small price to pay to make me feel better.
Mr. Manners, in most break ups, you avoid places you have been together. In this case, I have to destroy my Beatle CD’s. That’s over $100 down the drain. What could be worse than that?
No Longer Suffering from Beatle Mania.
Dear Mr. Mania:
Mr. Manners feels your pain. First, he suggests you get rid of all the other things that remind you of your love. If they are valuable, sent them to Mr. Manners and he will dispose of them.
However, you never addressed the issue that most concerns Mr. Manners. That is, how does all this effect Mr. Manner’s? Here’s how it could. What if by some gigantic fluke, I travel to Ottawa, Canada. How will I survive without hearing an obscure Beatles song, that its primary writer John Lennon, thought was the worst song in the entire Beatles catalogue? The ordinary U.S. citizen would attempt to sneak this dangerous record through customs. As usual, Mr. Manners has a better solution.
I discovered that a year after the “Beatles” version, Nancy Sinatra recorded it on her album “Boots. The version is sung from a female point of view. It has never received any flack, let alone been banned, even though unlike the Beatles version, it “charted regionally”, as a single (Wikipedia, Run For Your Life). I searched the internet for Nancy Sinatra and “Run for Your Life.” When I did, I got a second treat. The song was followed by another song from the same Nancy Sinatra album, that being the title cut, “These Boots Are Made for Walking.”
In this romantic ballad, a female pedestrian, states she will one day extend her foot apparel over the entire circumference of a man’s body. It was a number one hit with a kick, and considered to be a song representing female empowerment. It has been covered over 200 times (http//dangerousminds.net/bcomments/listen_to_over_200_different_versions_of_nancy_sinatras_these) which makes it easy to find and more than an ample substitute, if “Run for Your Life” is not available.
Maniac, your problem solved. I look forward to hearing from you again, so I can help with other issues…