Thursday, January 19, 2012

In My Life

(I hope you will turn up your sound and enjoy the melody.)

"In My Life" is one of my favorite Beatles songs, and not just because my nephew sang it at my son's wedding. The lyrics were written by John Lennon, inspired by Kenneth Allsop's remark that Lennon should inject more of his own life into the music he wrote. Apparently, the journalist had learned more about John from reading "In His Own Write" than from any of his lyrics.

With that in mind, "In My Life" began as a self-described rambling poem where the composer sort of took a bus ride through his childhood haunts, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Lennon was not happy with the result, calling it "the most boring sort of 'What I Did on my Holidays Bus Trip' song." He reworked the lyrics into a much more generalized reflection on his past, and very few of the original lines remain.

While the lyric was written entirely by Lennon, the music was a collaboration with McCartney, and George Martin wrote the bridge. Released on the Rubber Soul album in 1965, In My Life is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, as well as fifth on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. It also placed second on CBC's 50 Tracks, and Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000.

As for me, I will never forget the sound of my nephew accompanying himself on the piano as he sang this beautiful song to my son and daughter-in-law at their wedding dinner in 1999. (And they have been making beautiful music together ever since!)

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed.
Some forever, not for better;
Some have gone and some remain.
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall.
Some are dead, and some are living.
In my life, I’ve loved them all.

But of all these friends and lovers,
There is no one compares with you.
And these memories lose their meaning,
When I think of love as something new.
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before;
I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
In my life, I love you more.

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before;
I know I’ll often stop and think about them.
In my life, I love you more.

-John Lennon


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42 comments:

Jocelyn Christensen said...

Those words are iconic!

Eva Gallant said...

Interesting!

Nonna Beach said...

Excellent choice for your 'I' word

One of my favorite Beatles songs also Sue. I actually like that Lennon went more general with the lyrics because we all can relate to places and times in our own lives through the song...it's a good fit for everyone, therefore more commercial too !

Anna M said...

that was nice listening to the piano only while reading the lyrics. great stuff

Grandma Honey said...

That song has always been a favorite of mine. I used it in a video I made after my husband died. It fit perfectly.

Lola said...

Agree those words are truly *i*conic and a favourite of mine too!

Great post as always, Sue!

ellen b. said...

Oh yes, this is one of my favorites too. How fun to have it played at a wedding! Thanks...

Momza said...

my mom had this album when I was a kid. I used to listen to it ALL THE TIME and loved it.
Songs say what's in out hearts...In My Life is a treasure.

anitamombanita said...

GREAT song!! One of my faves...and Rubber Soul is still my fave Beatles album. Thanks for filling in some of the details behind the song. That was cool.

Judie said...

Sue, it IS my favorite Beetles song! Thank you for a great post and the wonderful music!

Birgit said...

Hi Sue,

First of all, thanks so much for leaving comments on my blog. That certainly makes blogging extra special! :)

What a great choice for Alphabe-Thursday!

Are you interested in winning a white cotton T-shirt with a pink heart and the words I ♥ Oktoberfest in size L? Then come over to my blog until Sunday, 22nd January, and leave a comment here.

Have a wonderful 2012,
your blog friend from Munich, Germany,
Birgit

Brian Miller said...

nice...love me some beatles and particularly john....this song among them...

Short and Sweet said...

GREAT post and I love the music. I still have that album and, yes, that song definitely has a wonderful meaning.

EG Wow said...

Wonderful song to sing at a wedding!

Short and Sweet said...

GREAT post and I love the music. I still have that album and, yes, that song definitely has a wonderful meaning.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I have always loved this song! Great I word!

jeannette said...

There's only one song I like from the Beatles. It's "Yesterday."
Probably because Hollywood is not even an hour from where i live, celebs are to me, just like my neighbors: people with quirks and idiosyncrasies!

RobinfromCA said...

I love this song. I hadn't heard the story behind it before. Very interesting!

Gattina said...

He was a genius ! Sad that he had to die so early !

Pondside said...

This has always been one of my favourites too, as it is one song that captures me in word and melody. Perhaps it's because my life, for so long, was all about people and places I'd known and left.
It must have been quite a moment when your nephew played and sang for the wedding!

karen said...

One of my favorite songs as well. So haunting and sweet.

Cherie said...

I have to agree with Jocelyn - Iconic! He was a great talent and I love this song.

Lisalulu said...

my daughter's group sang this at their High School graduation. Such a memorable song for many reasons

Darlene said...

I still love listening to Beatle music, anytime, anyplace. This was so interesting, reading about how this particular song came into being. John Lennon was really a good lyricist. This song is truly one of my favorites.

I remember too how beautifully Tyler sang this at Matt's wedding. It seems so long ago. He did such a beautiful job. I wish we had recorded it. I also wish he would sing more often. I have always loved his voice.

storybeader said...

This is just beautiful. Thanks for writing down all the lyrics for us. *sigh* {:-Deb

Leovi said...

Yes, very good lyrics and great music.

VK said...

Jus wrote it down as one on my "Wedding song list," as I sang full heartedly while it was playing.
I usually turn off the music, but this time I turned off MY music so I could listen.

Dina @ 4 Lettre Words said...

Wow...what a special young man! That's always been a fave.

Garden of Egan said...

I love his handwritten words.

yaya said...

You took me back in time and put a smile on my face! I love that album and still have it along with the other Beatle records that are packed away. It's such a beautiful song and very appropriate for a wedding or a video about ones own life. Thanks for reminding me of its lovely sound and great lyrics.

Mumsy and Furkids said...

If I ever heard this song before I don't remember it. What a perfect song for a wedding. Hugs

Jo said...

this truly was one of the best Beatles songs. I love this song ... it is beautiful and so thought provoking ... and memorable ... what a lovely "I"

☆☆Mumsy said...

Fantastic song, and beautiful lyric! I love music that has soul. Have a great weekend Sue.

Donna said...

My room mate in nursing school was a HUGE Beetles fan (even met them) so played albums in our room all the time! This was one I know well by heart and enjoy singing too. Now later in my life, I enjoy the lyrics for a different reason. John Lennon was so beyond his time, I think, in writing almost philosophically.

Caroline said...

This is one of my all-time favorite songs. My parents were huge Beatles fans so I grew up listening to all of their music.

Such talent...amazing talent!

:)

Cheryl said...

I started a post a week or so ago featuring the lyrics of this song. I was going to accompany them with photos, old and new.

As so many posts over the last 5 or 6 months, I never finished it. Nice to a completed post using this song. It's a song that can be interpreted in many ways depending on my mood.

H said...

So many Beatles songs are iconic and it's interesting to see how their style changed with the influences on them. John Lennon and Paul McCartney were undoubtedly the greatest English songwriters of the 20th century.

Andy said...

Hello Sue.
I did not know this one.
The piano music is lovely. How touching to have your nephew sing this.
Wonderful entry for this week.
Thanks for sharing & visiting.

Into Nothingness...

Splendid Little Stars said...

wonderful, wonderful post! I didn't know the back story.
What a lovely song to be sung by a special person on a wedding day!
I'm sharing this with my John Lennon loving husband!

Em said...

we are huge beatles fans around here:) i grew up being quizzed on who's voice was who's in the songs on road trips. intense beatle parents!

Cathy Kennedy said...

Impeccable "I" choice! I think this is a lovely song by the Beatles.

Jenny said...

What an innovative and lovely post for the letter "I".

I don't know if I've ever read the lyrics of this song as a poem, but it is fabulous, isn't it?

Thanks for the warm hug of your words today!

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