Song of the Day #1,537: ‘Not a Second Time’ – The Beatles

Yesterday I looked at how Bob Dylan shaped my musical tastes for decades. Today I’m paying tribute to the other important formative band of my adolescence — The Beatles.

I got into The Beatles a year or two after I discovered Dylan, when I was around 17. I spent a ridiculous amount of time that summer typing out the lyrics to all of the band’s songs on an electric typewriter (the sort of story I can tell my kids to explain how unplugged we were “back in the day”).

If Dylan formed the basis for my love of ‘Folk Music Derivatives,’ The Beatles are responsible for my love of ‘Pure Pop.’

Granted, it is shortchanging the band to describe them as ‘Pure Pop’ given all of the musical directions they took in the latter half of their career. But rest assured, I didn’t run out and buy and Ravi Shankar albums after hearing The Beatles’ use of the sitar on Revolver. I didn’t go hog wild for psychedelia after blasting ‘Tomorrow Never Knows.’

The Beatles are the greatest pop band of all time, and that’s plenty.

I do give them a check in the ‘Folk Rock Derivative’ category as well, because they did let folk influences — particularly Bob Dylan — seep into their songs. ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,’ one of my favorite Beatles tracks, is a direct nod to Dylan.

The Beatles don’t make the cut on ‘Melancholy’ or ‘Piano Men,’ and despite a few noble attempts by Ringo Starr, they aren’t ‘Country Plus’ either.

You know you made me cry
I see no use in wond’ring why
I cried for you

And now you’ve changed your mind
I see no reason to change mine
My crying is through, oh

You’re giving me the same old line
I’m wond’ring why
You hurt me then, you’re back again
No, no, no, not a second time


8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,537: ‘Not a Second Time’ – The Beatles

  1. Dana says:

    While I don’t disagree that the Beatles, particularly early on, could be categorized as pop, I’m not really understanding how their “pure pop” influenced you to buy so many other pop artists. It seems to me there is quite a lot of pop that you probably reject out of hand. So again, I suggest that, when you love an artist who inhabits pure pop, it is the quality of the songwriting to which you gravitate more than the genre itself.

  2. Clay says:

    Yes, that’s a given. I wouldn’t argue that I like bad songwriters simply because of genre. Similarly, if you’re a fan of movie westerns, that doesn’t mean you’ll like crappy ones. Maybe you’ll be more open to watching a western that hasn’t gotten stellar reviews, though.

    • Dana says:

      So, to your point, one might expect that if you gravitated to the pop genre or genome, you would like those who are considered the good to even great artists of that genre–those might include, for example, Duran Duran, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston, the Bee Gees, Beyonce, Madonna and Michael Jackson (the KING OF POP!) The fact that you marginally like to actively dislike some of those artists suggests to me that you only really like pure pop when it is being done by exceptional artists of the craft–like the Beatles, for example.

      • Clay says:

        I don’t see those artists as descendants of The Beatles (or The Beatles’ brand of pop). Most of them lean more to the R&B side.

        I’m thinking more along the lines of Squeeze, Fountains of Wayne, Barenaked Ladies, Michael Penn, Josh Rouse, Ben Folds. AKA White People pop!

        • Dana says:

          Ah, I see…not a fan of the Black pop:) — A bit ironic since the Beatles pop influences really derive from black artists (Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Motown artists, etc…) Still, even if you can explain away your pop aversions as musical racism (:)) — it doesn’t really explain your lack of interest or dislike of other white pop artists such as Duran Duran, Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees and Madonna. As Amy said early on in this genome project the far more interesting analysis would be why you don’t like artists of the genomes you claim to otherwise like, rather than categorizing the artists you do like into these genomes.

  3. pegclifton says:

    It’s funny, while we were in England, I thought of you typing all those Beatles’ lyrics when you were in college. They have certainly endured from the time I was 17 and hearing about this new rock group from England to my granddaughter’s love of their music 🙂

  4. Rob says:

    Funny that Dana mentioned the Bee Gees as fitting into “pure pop”. I could not agree more. Certainly an argument could be made that they moved to R&B in the mid seventies, but everything before that was pure pop. Listen to “Odessa” from start to finish and tell me with all seriousness that was not Beatles influenced. They returned to pop in the 80’s with stunning singles like “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, “You Win Again, and “One. In my opinion, when one speaks of pure pop songwriters/artists, the Bee Gees should be part of that discussion.

  5. Clay says:

    Sounds like I need to listen to some more Bee Gees. My knowledge of them extends only to the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack (which I love).

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