Do you like the Beatles? I think their music is here to stay. One night a few years ago, while visiting in Vienna, Austria, I was determined to find some gorgeous open-air concert in the park. The only gig going was a tribute to the Beatles. Alan and the kids loved it, but it wasn’t at all what I’d had in mind! :( Last Friday Alan and I joined some friends for an evening at the Picnic
Pops…and guess what? It was a tribute to the Beatles as a joint venture between the Grand Rapids Symphony and a group called “Classical Mystery Tour,” composed of four guys who dress, act, and sing “just like the Beatles” (or so I was told by Alan, who would know). I mostly ignored the Beatles as a teenager (which was 1963-1970…and exactly their hay day), but this time ’round I was genuinely trying to understand their messages, since they’d had a tremendous influence on Alan. However, try as I might, I couldn’t figure out half of what they were singing, and of the lyrics my ears could decipher, I couldn’t understand half of what the Beatles meant! Is it just me, or did other people have a bit of trouble understanding what the Beatles said and what they meant? Or, as the Beatles put it, were they just trying to say “Give peace a chance,” “Let It Be,” and “All you need is love.”? Despite my personal best effort to ignore the Beatles’ influence in my teen years, their music was everywhere, and I remember people using “Strawberry Fields Forever” almost as a mantra that meant???”Do whatever you want because nothing matters anyway.” Is that what they were saying? ” Got any thoughts?
“Always, no sometimes, think it’s me
But you know I know when it’s a dream
I think I know I mean a ‘Yes’ but it’s all wrong
That is I think I disagree
Let me take you down, cos I’m going to Strawberry Fields
Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about
Strawberry Fields forever.”
I heard “Hey Jude” about a zillion times but always thought it was about a girl (“Judy?”) and only knew the line: “Take a sad song and make it better.” Just looking up the lyrics for the first time this morning, I did think there’s something to these lines:
“And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder.”
Too true. Pretending not to care only makes things worse.
And, how about “The Long And Winding Road”? Alan and I had a really rocky relationship (as epitomized by our polar-opposite musical tastes). Still, the words of this song would come to me time and time again as we trudged our way through trying to develop a good relationship:
“The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door.”
When Alan turned 64 last month, his brother reminded him of the Beatles’ song, “When I’m Sixty Four.” I’d never even heard of that song before, but it definitely reminded me of my relationship with Alan, which never would have gone anywhere were it not for Alan’s persistence. I wonder if he was influenced by this song:
“Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?”Yes, I still need Alan, and I still feed Alan now that he’s 64! After the performance, one of the “Beatles” threw his pick into the audience. Bob, who’s much younger but a great friend to Alan, disappeared into the dark and returned triumphant! He not only found the pick, he presented it to Alan. What a guy! And, I am glad to have the pick. You know what it says?
“When you were young and your heart was an open book
You used to say live and let live…
But if this ever changing world in which we’re living
Makes you give in and cry, Say live and let die.”
Dear friends who read this, if you’ve been influenced by the depressing philosophy of our culture’s music, can I encourage you? If you’re thinking that all you need is love—but you can’t find anyone who truly loves you—then look up! There is a God who loves us. All we need is His love. If you—like me—look around at the violence in our world today and feel discouraged, please know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and it’s only through Him that peace has a chance. Don’t just “let it be.” Entrust it to God. And please, please don’t just live and let die. Please live and help others live…lives that are abundant and blessed by God!
“The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Numbers 6:24-26, ESV).