Song of the Day #527: ‘Act Naturally’ – The Beatles

It’s interesting that The Beatles have always been considered a true band, with every member as theoretically important as the others. This despite the fact that John and Paul wrote and performed 90% of their songs. Contrast them to The Rolling Stones, where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards share the spotlight and most people probably couldn’t name all the other members of the band. But everybody knows John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Ringo is certainly the main beneficiary of this. He wrote only a couple of the band’s songs and, while he’s certainly a fine and under-appreciated drummer, he’s not really the architect of The Beatles’ sound in any real way. His main contribution was his personality and considering the importance of the band’s image and performance outside the studio, that was no small matter.

And Ringo, of course, was sometimes allowed to sing. Usually on throwaway songs that John, Paul or George probably couldn’t be bothered with. His charmingly off-kilter vocals were well-matched to the underdog tracks.

One Ringo song I’ve heard a lot lately is ‘Act Naturally,’ a cover of a country song by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison that appears on the Help! album. This is one of the songs that wasn’t in the movie and the band recorded it because it’s about movies. Ringo would go on to have the most successful film career of the group, so it’s appropriate that he sang this song.

They’re gonna put me in the movies
They’re gonna make a big star out of me
We’ll make a film about a man that’s sad and lonely
And all I gotta do is act naturally

Well, I’ll bet you I’m gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar you can never tell
The movies gonna make me a big star
‘Cause I can play the part so well

Well I hope you come and see me in the movies
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally

We’ll make the scene about a man that’s sad and lonely
And beggin’ down upon his bended knee
I’ll play the part but I won’t need rehearsin’
All I have to do is act naturally

Well, I’ll bet you I’m gonna be a big star
Might win an Oscar you can never tell
The movies gonna make me a big star
‘Cause I can play the part so well

Well I hope you come and see me in the movies
Then I’ll know that you will plainly see
The biggest fool that ever hit the big time
And all I gotta do is act naturally

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #527: ‘Act Naturally’ – The Beatles

  1. Amy says:

    I can’t get over how country this is. I’m listening the day after I read your entry, and I had initially forgotten that you said this was a cover of a country song. So… I was sitting here wondering when the Beatles went through such a blatant country phase 😉
    They sound rather “natural” at it, and Ringo doesn’t sound half bad. A cute song I’ve never heard before, so thanks for featuring it. As for Ringo’s success in film, I think you may be overstating it a bit 😉

  2. peg says:

    I agree, it’s a cute song.

  3. Clay says:

    Clearly you’ve never seen Caveman! 🙂

  4. Dana says:

    Please do not feature another Ringo song. Thank you.

  5. Clay says:

    I guess you’re not going to be a fan of the upcoming Ringo Starr theme month. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.