Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oh My Love

I recently found this list on the redoubtable Stereogum of the 10 Best John Lennon songs. I've often mentioned how much I love such lists, and I give props to anyone foolhardy enough to even taking a public stab at such an endeavor.

And it's a good list. It's not perfect, it's not the one I would have put together, but then I repeat myself. But it's good, really good. And while a few personal faves have been omitted—I not only prefer "Watching the Wheels" to "Staring Over," I think it's superior, but can see the reverse argument—I really only have one major beef, and that's that any list which omits this is seriously flawed.

The lyrics aren't my favorite of Lennon's—considering his (deservéd) reputation as one of the greatest lyricists ever, they tread perilously close to a sorta lovesick zen version of a McCartney song—but they're fine, effective even, and the music...oh, the music. As a guy who knows a thing or two about both music and lyrics said not too long ago:
"There have been many great songs which have had really appalling lyrics, but there have been no great songs which have had appalling music."—Peter Gabriel
These lyrics are lightyears away from appalling—they are, in fact, quite appealing and have a certain painting on rice paper ephemeralness—and the music is simply transcendent. "Oh My Love" is the single prettiest song John Lennon ever wrote, and that's saying something.

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