From Tue Jan 31 21:26:09 CST 1995
Worst songs? E.g. "I'll Get You"<br>

Worst songs? E.g. "I'll Get You"

Distribution: world

In article <3gfgr5$> (Bob Stahley) writes:

>Right. After thinking about this long and hard (this is *really* tough,
>folks!), the only answer I can come up with is:
> "I'll Get You".
>OK, anyone got any redeeming social value for this one?

Of course!

It fits wonderfully in the Beatles' earliest canon of love songs...the type of songs you sing about your very first, most sweet, most earnestly innocent pursuits.

This is well before there are greater complexities to fret about---no overwhelming sense of loss ("You've Got To Hide Your Love Away"); no ill-treatment ("I'm Looking Through You", "Girl"); no soul-wrung pain ("I Want You/She's So Heavy").

In fact, "I'll Get You" precedes love itself.

Or should we say *mutual* love. For the masculine singer is enthralled by the lady of his everpresent dreams, but she knows nothing of him... not yet. He hasn't even revealed his ardor! The song is essentially his rehearsal for the big event: the declaration, the unmasking, the heart unwrapped and laid bare for the first time...those long-kept inner secrets:

I've imagined I'm in love with you Many, many, many times before....

So she's his lady of deep fantasy! Unbeknownst to her, he's long been bedazzled by her countenance; cf. The Everlys' more thoughtful, more artistically mature treatment of this theme: "Whenever I want you, all I have to do/Is dream...." Unlike the melancholy alarm of "Dream", however ("Gee whiz!/I'm dreamin' my life away..."), the message of "I'll Get You" is more brash, more positive:

It's not like me to pretend

(viz., I don't intend to make this a *pretend* romance)

But I'll get you, I'll get you in the end, Yes I will...

You might call the singer awkward (the lyrics certainly suggest it!), even overconfident, in fact---but why not? He's in a real state, preparing for this much-anticipated conquest; and I dare say, from the sound of his prose, it'll be his first. But like any careful young swain, he's exploring all the parameters before he approaches the young lady.

How do we know he's practicing? Well, you'd *never* be so blunt, so unrelenting, with actual words spoken to your intended enamorata ("I'll get you"), but, as a would-be lover, you need that built-up self-confidence to make a successful foray. This is his inner monologue. She won't hear one word of it; it's all for show.

We already know he thinks about her, needs her; but there's a hint that she hasn't so much as glanced his way before this, hence the declaration:

Well, there's going to be a time When I'm going to change your mind

Did he try to capture her attention before this? Did she misunderstand? Did she laugh it off? Or was she involved with another? The lady's preoccupation's are dimly understood, but it's clear he won't take no for an answer, this time:

So you might as well resign yourself to me Oh, yeah....

Or, at least, that's what he tells himself. If his attempts are wellplaced, she'll be able to imagine his feelings ("It's easy 'cause I know"), and perhaps return them in kind. Sometimes all it takes to generate love's spark is to be told someone's inflamed by you! Compare another treatment from a different song by the Fabs, a much more gentle, mannerly, and intimate approach:

Let me whisper in your ear,
Say the words you want to hear....

One can well imagine the young gentleman, having properly psyched himself into a courageous mind-set via the pep talk of "I'll Get You", changing his tactics to those demonstrated in "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"

And who, may I ask, could resist such an entreaty? Or perhaps he'd take a more direct route of "Love Me Do", packed to the brim with simple, mantra-like pledges:

You know I love you.
I'll always be true.
So ple-ee-ee-ease,
Love me, do.

A number of the Beatles' earliest songs revolve around approaching a first love. Clearly Lennon and McCartney were older and had passed beyond this state themselves, but it's intriguing that so many of their first compositions (the ones which came to light at the very dawn of their belief that they were indeed real songwriters) explored multiple facets of early romance: visual recognition ("I Saw Her Standing There"); first approach ("I'll Get You", "Do You Want To Know A Secret?", "Love Me Do"); the primary blush of love's initial warmth ("Ask Me Why", "From Me To You"); tentative explorations of passion ("Please Please Me"); and first heartbreak ("Misery").

These sorts of songs appeal to *all* listeners on the verge of similar excursions, no matter what their age; they can mean as much to you if you're fourteen as well as forty-one! But there's so much they leave out---and rightly so. This is the beginner's packet, the songs that act as love's primer. Later on there's time enough for more...the realization that love is "more than just holding hands". As the Fabs told us, it's much *much* more than that. Once you've been through the mill a few times ("I'm A Loser", "Norwegian Wood"), had your heart bashed and battered ("I'm Down", "For No One"), been ill-used and abused ("Yer Blues", "Oh, Darling!"), even found an occasional island of respite after all those storms ("In My Life", "I Will"), it's easy to lose sight of simpler pleasures...even simpler pain.

But that's all right. Let's not terrify the innocent, for now. :-) --

"I guess by now you've got the gist". (saki) Click here to return to the rmb home page.

Click here to return to saki's index.