Song of the Day #106: ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ – The Beatles

On their fifth album, The Beatles returned to the formula that served them so well on their third. Help! is a soundtrack album that’s split between songs from the film and new material. But, just as the movie Help! is no A Hard Day’s Night, neither does the album quite live up to its predecessor.

It’s still an amazing record, however, and it caps off the band’s “early” years before they entered their experimental phase and really began to change the landscape of popular music.

Help! features such Beatles classics as the title track, ‘I’ve Just Seen a Face,’ ‘You’re Gonna Lose That Girl,’ ‘Ticket to Ride’ and ‘Yesterday.’ It’s amazing that I can write in muted terms about an album with that many wonderful songs… a testament to the truly astonishing artistic success of The Beatles.

And I haven’t even mention today’s song, which is my favorite on this album and one of my all-time favorite Beatles songs. ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ is one of John Lennon’s finest moments. It’s clearly inspired by Bob Dylan, who was an influence on the group in many ways, but it’s so much more than a sylistic trick.

The song is generally interpreted as John Lennon’s take on manager Brian Epstein’s homosexuality. In that context, the title pretty much says it all. The lyrics are a bit more cryptic, but the second verse is devastating:

Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say

Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #106: ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ – The Beatles

  1. Dana says:

    I never knew about that possible interpretation of the song. Very interesting. And another standout Beatles song, although I’ve always been parial to Ticket to Ride.

  2. Amy says:

    Wow. It seems so utterly obvious as I read your commentary and listen to the song, yet I never before listened to the lyrics with an ear to understand them rather than just hum along until the chorus.

    I like how you managed to be true to your word that this week’s theme is pure Beatles, no politics, yet also managed to choose a song that is all the more powerful after Tuesday’s vote asking gay couples to continue to do just that.

    Thanks for opening my eyes to the power of this song, one I’ve always enjoyed on a superficial level but for which I’ll now have a much greater appreciation.

  3. pegclifton says:

    I’ve never thought about these lyrics before, I agree with Amy, I have a much greater appreciation of the song now.

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