Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Misery"

My Beatles criticism project continued:

With a flourish of George Martin's piano as intro, Lennon, in his best melodramatic voice, intones "The world is treating me bad.......," and then with tongue planted fimrly in cheek, "Misery!" So begins this mid-tempo shuffle.

As an arrangement there isn't a lot of variety in the song, excepting Martin's piano offering a bit of spice. Lyrically it's no great shakes either. Boy loses girl and is none too happy about it. The second verse offers an almost disastrous near-rhyme in the line, "I've lost her now for Sure, I won't see her no More" which gets by only because of John's broad Liverpudlian accent and the goodwill generated by the next (and best) lyric in the song, "It's gonna be a drag-------Misery!"

The bridge follows and re-introduces the piano which adds a Chopinesque flair after the line "I'll remember all the little things we've done" but the jokeyness of the song returns as the piano hits single notes to accentuate the words "only one " twice.

A new third verse is followed by the bridge repeated, changing the second "Only One" to "Lonely One". The third verse is revisited as the fourth verse, and the song fades out as the words "In Misery" are repeated interspersed with various "Ooo"s and "La La"s.

There is no doubt that the song is slight. Were it played completely straight it might have been truly terrible. But the good humor of it all and its gentle mocking of youthful sensibilities of "love lost" redeems it somewhat.

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