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"Michelle"

Categories: Beatles songs

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Paul had been peddling "Michelle" as a then-nameless, haw-hee-hawing party-piece piss-take of the Jacques Brel/Gay Paree scene for some time before John pushed him into polishing it up for the Rubber Soul album. The wife of an old schoolmate, Ivan Vaughan, came up with "Michelle ma belle" and helped out with the French bits, Lennon lifted "I love y-o-o-o-o-u" from Nina Simone, et voila!

These are words that go together well.

Alongside the wooing vocal harmonies, the inSeinely plinking guitar parts "von tres bien ensemble" with the 'Bizet bass' and nonchalant percussion to really get you onto the boulevard; stripy T-shirts and neckerchiefs de rigueur. An accordion has been a nice addition on Macca's most recent tours, taking the original gag an affectionate step further.

Like so many of his treaclier offerings (or — in this case — garlicky), "Michelle" is another love/hate relationship of mine: so, so perfectly lovely — but so, so excruciatingly irritating.

I'm hoping you will know what I mean.

Ah, "my Michelle": I shall definitely have her humming round my head for the next week or so now... C'est la vie!

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