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"Girl"

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Is there anybody going to listen to my story
All about the girl who came to stay?


'Course there is John: "Girl", along with Macca's Mademoiselle, was one of the most widely played radio songs from Rubber Soul round the time of release — still are, if Spanish FM's anything to go by... Their mutual reappearance on The Red Album also served to sustain their popularity.

Lennon's plaintive recollection (or fantasy?) of his 'amor ide├íl', "the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry", unfolds to reveal all his habitual hang-ups. He's "tried so hard to leave her" — fully-entitled, if she really has been treating him the way he tells it — but he's hooked right in there, somewhere between the pain and the pleasure, the push-me-rounds and put-me-downs. An early vision of 'Mother Superior', could it be?

Still you don't regret a single day...

The music matches the dual sentiments of the tale, the reality and the romance, with absolute precision. Lennon chops away mesmerized at his acoustic, Ringo chasing him up with the whiplashes of original sin and the work ethic both at the same time. George and Paul, meanwhile, go lightly waltzing through the clouds, until they too grind into line for the backbreaking final slog of a Greek Chorus.

And what of those sharp intakes of breath after each mention of the nameless "G-i-i — i-i-r-l"? Even "after all this time", I can never decide if they're sighs of desire or of disdain...

At least singing "tit-tit-tit" as the backing under the bridge (just to see if they could get away with it) must have given them all a little light relief from the drama!

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