Friday, August 21, 2015

"The Ballad of John and Yoko"

Bill Crider posted this as a "Song of the Day" at his blog, and I couldn't resist commenting, because I have thought about this song a lot:

For such a charming and funny song, "The Ballad of John and Yoko" actually posed a challenge to pop singer-songwriters that has not been much taken up: to dash off songs as quick commentaries on what is going on right this minute. Doing this well would require keen observational and verbal skills, as well as ready access to catchy and functional tunes that can frame the lyrics (so perhaps it simply takes too much talent!). The notion of newsy songs is related (as Lennon's title indicates) to the ballad tradition, which has had some continuing relevance in folk music, Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" perhaps being the best-known example; and also to Tom Lehrer and Mark Russell-style satiric political songs. But I'm not aware of anyone out there doing quite what Lennon did here.

No comments:

Post a Comment