Song of the Day #130: ‘In My Life’ – The Beatles

rubbersoulFor this week’s theme, I will continue the Beatles album-by-album song selection I started a month ago. I’ll pick up where I left off, starting with the band’s fifth album, Rubber Soul, and continue through their final album, Abbey Road, which will be the focus on Sunday. I will dedicate two days to the double-sided self-titled album (popularly referred to as The White Album).

And what better way to start than with ‘In My Life,’ a leading candidate for Best Beatles Song Ever and, for that matter, Best Song Ever. This is one of the simplest yet most profound songs I know.

I think a lot of its appeal boils down to those famous first six notes. I wonder what it must have been like for John to noodle around on a piano or guitar and stumble upon that combination of sounds. Did he know he had a classic on his hands right off the bat? But then, I suppose these guys had that feeling all the time.

This is one of the songs I sang to both my daughters before bed for years (the other was also by The Beatles, ‘Blackbird’) I like that the lyrics can apply to romantic love as well as the love for a child.

There are places I’ll remember all my life
Though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #130: ‘In My Life’ – The Beatles

  1. Dana says:

    and I would add love of parent, place and time. The “you” is amorphous, and I assume purposely so.

    This song touches my soul in a way that few others do. It remains my favorite Beatles song, year after year, which, as you suggest, just might put it up there as the best song ever. High praise for a relatively “simple” song, but that was Lennon’s gift.

    I look forward to another Beatles week–this time exploring some of the truly greatest albums by the greatest band of all time.

  2. Amy says:

    I also love what a profound statement it makes about the subjective nature of relationships, and how memories themselves can be altered. This is a deceptively simple song, I think, as it actually sheds light on some fascinating and complex emotions. The notion that memories can “lose their meaning” is so powerful. While I agree that this is one of the best songs they ever recorded, and is on the short list as one of my favorites, I’ve always found it to be a somewhat sad song. The fleeting nature of life is captured so perfectly that I get choked up whenever I listen to it.

  3. Kerrie says:

    I’m with Amy 100%. Even just reading the lyrics (without the music) chokes me up a little. For me, the tune takes it to the next level in terms of emotional impact. It’s also one of my favorite Beatles songs.

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