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"Tell Me Why"

Categories: Beatles songs

Ripping in to pick up the pace, and to set us up (on the British album, at least) for the first side's grand finale, "Tell Me Why" is the most out-and-out rocker from the movie. According to John, "They needed another upbeat song and I just knocked it off".

Having said all that — me and him — it ain't precisely yer standard Beatles rocker, either. In the midst of its souped-up doo-wop structure, the call and response vocal and Ringo's killer drum-fills, it's Lennon's lyric which once again calls the attention. His juxtaposition of stances, alternating accusations and penitence, are quite compelling: as are his voice shifts to express them.

Full-on fury: Well, I gave her ev'rything I had, but she left me sittin' on my own!

Choked-up desperation: If there's somethin' that I've said or done, tell me what an' I'll apologize!

And hats off all round for those fab falsettos!

Paul later speculated that the song could have been a subconscious expression of the already strained relationship between John and Cynthia. The pros and cons of Beatlemania, from the POV of the only married Beatle: though it was almost certainly Mr Lennon who was doing most of the lying at the time, the truth be known.

However, as it probably never will be, stuff the analysis — let's just sing along, anyway:

Tell me why-y-y-y she cried
And why she li-i-ed to me-e...
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