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  • February 2019
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The Beatles and #MeToo

It was 55 years ago today (Feb. 1, 1964) when I Wanna Hold Your Hand became the first #1 hit for The Beatles in the USA. I was a very young lad when The Fab Four made their big splash. I went along for the ride because my two older brothers were in high school at the time and bought all the albums. So, I’ve been a Beatles fan for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can only remember a little bit of the music that I listened to before I listened to The Beatles.

I have several favorites, or near-favorites on my Beatles playlist. There’s one song that haunts me. For many years I paid no attention to the lyrics. This song has a great beat and an awesome sound. It’s a real toe-tapper. But then there’s the lyrics.

Lyrics – Run For Your Life

  • I’d rather see you dead, little girl,
  • Than to be with another man.
  • You’d better keep your head, little girl,
  • Or I won’t know where I am.
  • You’d better run for your life if you can, little girl,
  • Hide your head in the sand, little girl,
  • Catch you with another man,
  • That’s the end ah, little girl.
  • Well you know that I’m a wicked guy
  • And I was born with a jealous mind.
  • And I can’t spend my whole life
  • Tryin’ just to make you toe the line.

Repeat 2nd stanza.

  • Let this be a sermon,
  • I mean ev’rything I said.
  • Baby, I’m determined
  • And I’d rather see you dead.

Repeat 2nd stanza

Repeat 1st Stanza

Repeat 2nd Stanza

John Lennon wrote these words. I guess this was before he tried to be a pacifist. He admitted in a 1980 Playboy interview that he treated women badly. “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’ve heard many people argue that even though John wrote these lyrics, he wasn’t writing about himself. Apparently, he was writing a story about some crazy jealous dude – but not him. Based on his own words as a younger lad, and based on his statements that he wished he had never written this song – I tend to believe that it’s autobiographical.

It’s a shame that this song has such nasty lyrics. Take this same beat and melody and put it with decent lyrics and it would probably be my favorite Beatles song. Bummer.