googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: Truth In Song Writing

Truth In Song Writing

I've been reading Janis Ian's autobiography Society's Child and one of the surprises is learning that she wrote the song the book is named after about something that never happened, at least not to her, personally. Such a "personal" song but completely invented. That was one of the things that influenced me about The Beatles, almost all their songs seemed to be about them. Perhaps Yellow Submarine, Eleanor Rigby and Paperback Writer aren't specifically about any of the band members but most of their songs seem to come from personal experience.

I remember an interview with George Harrison talking about a conversation he had with Paul Simon. He said he was asking Paul about his song The Boxer and that Paul couldn't answer his questions because The Boxer was about some boxer, not him. Paul Simon often writes "in character" which baffled George who said he didn't think he could write that way. All George's songs are in one way or another about George.

I started to wonder could The Beatles have written Society's Child? They did write some political tunes but only in how the politics affected them personally. Probably the most political song, John Lennon's Revolution, is essentially about how he was being pestered by various political groups to support their cause. It's really an anti-political song. George Harrison's Taxman was his complaining about the high tax rate he had to pay in England and the most political Paul McCartney ever got was complaining that the English banks wouldn't give him a loan in the song You Never Give Me Your Money. It is this tendency The Beatles had of showing us, the fans, their lives through their song lyrics that went a long way toward making us feel we knew them and made us bond a lot more than with other bands. This aspect of The Beatles songwriting heavily influenced me. Unfortunately, no one cares to hear about my life so my music doesn't have quite the same effect, or success.

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