The Beatles Essay

In song #1, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, features both John Lennon and Paul McCartney on the acoustic rhythm guitar, George Harrison on the acoustic lead guitar, Ringo Starr circulates between the tambourine, shaker, and maracas. Johnnie Scott plays the tenor and alto flutes (MacDonald, 148). In song #2, I’m Down, has a little different setup on instrumentation with McCartney on the electric bass, Lennon on the electric guitar, organ, Harrison on lead Electric Guitar, and Starr on the drums, bongos. (MacDonald, 148).

The resemblance for song #1 and #2 is that both use guitars but take note that McCartney switches from acoustic guitar to the bass. There are more differences than similarities. Ringo Starr switches in song #1 from tambourine to the drums in song #2. In I’m Down, an electric bass and electric guitar was used different from You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, where there were three acoustic guitars and no bass. I’m Down, has a strong electric guitar solo in the middle of the song, song #1 doesn’t offer that, but has more of a smooth laid back melody between the two acoustic guitars.

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A rock n roll vibe is what is heard in I’m Down and in You’ve got to hide your love away, a strophic acoustic form is heard. 2. Discussion of Influence or Inspiration You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away has a huge influence from Bob Dylan. Dylan was a huge influence on Lennon’s writing in the 1960’s. “You’ve Got Hide Your Love Away is my Dillon period. It’s one of those songs that you sing a bit sadly to yourself, ‘Here I Stand, head in hand…'”(John Lennon, Anthology, 158). It would be easy to see Dylan singing this instead of Lennon.

I’m Down has an obvious rock n roll feeling similar Little Richard. McCartney explains, “A lot of people were fans of Little Richard so I used to sing his stuff but there came a point when I wanted one of my own, so I wrote I’m Down,” (www. beatlesbible. com/songs/im-down/, April 13th, 2013). The Beatles being from the UK were often influenced by many American Bands. Chuck Berry being on of them. “Chuck Berry was perhaps the most fundamental progenitor of the Beatles’ sound,” (www. liverpoolcityportal. o. uk/beatle/beatles_influences[->0], April 13th, 2013). The solo’s of electric guitar can be heard in both Berry’s Johnny B Goode and I’m Down. Between both Beatles songs the differences seem to override the similarities. They both have a completely different feel.

One screaming rock n roll and the other acoustic folk. The influences of each song clearly point this out. Bob Dylan an acoustic player and Little Richard a Rock N Roll player are two completely different sounding musicians. 3. Discussion of the Lyrics The lyrics of song #1 have a poetic feel to them. You’ve got to hide your love away, can be categorized as (2) sexuality or (8) abstract or poetic image making. The sexuality can be seen within the lyrics and even in the title of the song. Homosexuality is what the song is about when reading the lyrics carefully. Almost like a picture story you can imagine a gay individual who has to had his love and everywhere people stare at hime making the person feel two-foot small.

After understanding the deep meaning of the song it becomes more personal and beautiful. That is where an abstract and poetic image is made. The lyrics of song #2, I’m down, can be categorized as (3) alienation. The lyrics are very repetitive, repeating I’m down over and over again. The lyrics make someone feel estranged or outcasted. How can you laugh when I’m down, paints an image of someone being bullied or alienated at school or someone even in a relationship.


1. Macdonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head the Beatles’Records and the Sixties. London: Pimlico, 1995. Print.

2. The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle, 2012. Print. 3. “ I’m Down.” The Beatles Bible. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. . 4. “Liverpool – Liverpool City Portal – The Liverpool Merseyside Tourist Website.”Liverpool – Liverpool City Portal – The Liverpool Merseyside Tourist Website. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2013. .

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