The Word (song)
|Song by the Beatles from the album Rubber Soul|
|Released||3 December 1965|
|Recorded||10 November 1965
EMI Studios, London
|Rubber Soul track listing|
"The Word" is a song by the Beatles first released on their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It has been cited as the first instance in which the Beatles began writing about love in more abstract terms, versus concrete girl/boy terms, a la "She Loves You", with preaching lyrics such as "The word is love" and "Say the word and you'll be free".
The song was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to Lennon, it was written together but it was "mainly mine". They wrote it after smoking marijuana, something they hadn't done before in a composing session, which from McCartney's perspective (opposite to Lennon's), "got in the way of songwriting". Paul on the subject:
“ We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multicolored lyric sheet, the first time we'd ever done that. We normally didn't smoke when we were working. It got in the way of songwriting because it would just cloud your mind up — "Oh, shit, what are we doing?" It's better to be straight. But we did this multicolor thing. ”
Musically, the song is based upon a driving rhythm with few chord changes and a simple melody in the key of D major. Paul McCartney said of this song, "John and I would like to do songs with just one note like 'Long Tall Sally'. We get near it in 'The Word'".
John Lennon gave Yoko Ono the original sheets to the song just before their relationship began.
Paul McCartney has played a medley version of "The Word"/"All You Need Is Love" on his On the Run Tour. The concert in Bologna, on 26 November 2011, was the first time that "The Word" was performed on stage by any member of the Beatles.
- John Lennon – lead and harmony vocal, rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, piano
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
- George Martin – harmonium solo
- 13th Floor Elevators
- The Harvey Averne Dozen - from "Viva Soul" 1968
- Mindy Smith - "This Bird Has Flown : A 40th Anniversary Tribute To The Beatles' Rubber Soul" 2005
- Aldridge, Alan (1990). The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics. Boston: Houghton Mifflin / Seymour Lawrence. ISBN 0-395-59426-X.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Pollack, Alan W. (4 May 1993). "Notes on The Word". Notes on ... Series.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company.