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Music

How The Beatles used song titles to connect with their fans

@TylerGolsen

The Beatles were all about the connection they had with their fans. While screaming teenagers had followed popular music since the earliest days of rock and roll, nobody had ever quite seen or heard the kind of reaction that fans had to the Fab Four. During the peak of their mop-top years, it wasn’t hard to see why: with songs like ‘Thank You Girl’, ‘P.S. I Love You’, and ‘Baby It’s You’, it was almost as though the band were speaking directly to their listeners.

That wasn’t just by coincidence either. From the earliest days of their songwriting partnership, John Lennon and Paul McCartney recognised the importance of keeping things simple and direct when it came to lyrics. In the book, A Hard Day’s Write – The Stories Behind Every Song, Lennon uses ‘From Me to You’ as an example of how The Beatles would purposefully try to build a connection between them and their audience.

“Paul and I kicked some ideas around and came up with what we what we thought was a suitable melody line,” Lennon explained. “The words weren’t really all that difficult – especially as we had decided quite definitely not to do anything that was at all complicated.”

“I suppose that is why we often had the words ‘you’ and ‘me’ in the titles of our songs,” Lennon continued. “It’s the sort of thing that helps the listeners to identify with the lyrics. We think this is very important. The fans like to feel that they are part of something that is being done by the performers.”

McCartney directed similar sentiments to the song ‘Love Me Do’. “This was a very simple song that fell into the category of ‘fan songs,’” McCartney told Billboard. “All our early songs contained ‘me’ or ‘you.’ We were completely direct and shameless to the fans: ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Please Please Me’, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’”

Even though McCartney indicates that it was a “shameless” approach, the results were undeniable. The Beatles became a commercial force that was unmatched in its time and mostly hasn’t been replicated since. Eventually, the band’s writers tried to move towards more mature lyrics, but the universal concepts of love and connection never wavered from their songs.

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