Just Because It’s Obvious Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Profound

Or, The song I can’t stop listening to

I’ve been listening to the Beatles a lot lately, now that their catalog finally went digital.  I grew up with them, but hadn’t listened to them regularly outside of maybe five songs since…oh, gosh, junior high?  Half a lifetime ago. 

One of the things that is standing out to me now, is how great they were at stating the obvious in a way that made it profound.  This includes songs like “Yesterday” and “Strawberry Fields” that aren’t love songs, but one of my favorite examples is a love song.  “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” specifically.

Had it been another day

I might have looked the other way

And I’d have never been aware

But as it is, I’ll dream of her 

T0night.

I mean, that is totally obvious. It’s a truth of every single choice that we make, that choosing one path by necessity closes off others, and that we don’t always understand what those others are.

And yet the way they put the song together makes that notion haunting, because it’s this guy glorying in the fact that he’s just met his dream girl, and that he met her by what feels to him a happy accident, and that if he had made just one choice differently than he wouldn’t even have known what he was missing.  But he did meet her, and so we can be happy for him, and with him we can experience that retrospective fear of “what if anything else had happened instead?”

Brilliant.

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4 Comments

Filed under Muse Music, Ramblings

4 responses to “Just Because It’s Obvious Doesn’t Mean It’s Not Profound

  1. I find incredible power in the obvious. It seems, to me at least, an affirmation of what we know and believe in. I think that quite often we want to hear the obvious so that we can feel validation.
    How obvious do you think Lucy in the sky with diamonds is? 😉

    • Absolutely! I think one of the most powerful moments a writer can create in their reader is a moment of perfect sympathy, where the reader says “I have felt this before, exactly” or “this is something I have always thought and never put into words”. that sense that you are not the only one who has been there is beautiful. perhaps even it’s at the heart of why we write–we want to put our experience of the world out there for others to see, not because we want to show how fabulous our view is but rather to gain validation that it is NOT fabulous, that it is a perfectly normal view of the world that other people have and can relate to.

      As to Lucy.,.I think even if they didn’t mean to write a song about LSD they described a trip so perfectly well by accident that everyone is going to Occam’s Razor the song and take the reference as the simplest explanation. So, in a word, very? 🙂

  2. Oh that is just one of my favourite songs ever! Wonderful post!

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