Song of the Day #4,763: ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ – Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr is the next inductee from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame class of 2015, and his inclusion is certainly an example of the Hall getting sentimental.

Starr was the last of The Beatles not in the Hall as a solo artist, with John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison having been inducted in 1994, 1999 and 2004, respectively. Harrison made it in three years after his death, and I could see the Hall wanting to avoid another posthumous ceremony.

It’s hard to separate any of The Beatles from their time with the Fab Four. Would the solo output of Lennon, McCartney or Harrison warrant Hall of Fame inclusion if it was their only career output? Hard to say. It’s easier to say that Ringo Starr’s would not.

That said, Ringo has released 20 solo albums over 50 years and has done a marvelous job bringing other musicians together to help spread his message of “peace and love.”

It was on an early Ringo Starr album (1973’s Ringo) that John and George teamed up to record ‘I’m the Greatest,’ a song rewritten by John for the occasion. That was the only time three Beatles performed together between their 1970 split and John’s death in 1980.

Today’s track, one of Starr’s biggest hits, was written with Harrison, but credited solely to Ringo in an act of graciousness by George. That’s just the kind of thing people did for him.

Of course, you don’t make it into the Hall of Fame for being a nice guy. And the Hall kind of acknowledged that this was a stretch by inducting Starr in the ‘Musical Excellence’ category rather than as a ‘Performer.’ The former category includes artists who have had a “dramatic impact on music” while the latter honors those who have “changed the course of rock & roll.”

Ringo unquestionably did both of those things as a Beatle. Has he done either as a solo artist? That’s a harder call.

[Intro]
It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy
It don’t come easy
You know it don’t come easy

[Chorus 1]
Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

[Verse 1]
Forget about the past and all your sorrows
The future won’t last
It will soon be over tomorrow

[Chorus 2]
I don’t ask for much, I only want trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it just ain’t easy

[Verse 2]
Open up your heart, let’s come together
Use a little love
And we will make it work out better

[Chorus 1]
Got to pay your dues if you wanna sing the blues
And you know it don’t come easy
You don’t have to shout or leap about
You can even play them easy

[Verse 3]
Peace, remember peace is how we make it
Here within your reach
If you’re big enough to take it

[Chorus 2]
I don’t ask for much, I only want trust
And you know it don’t come easy
And this love of mine keeps growing all the time
And you know it don’t come easy

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,763: ‘It Don’t Come Easy’ – Ringo Starr

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I feel similarly about Ringo’s induction into the Rock Hall; however I will say that I had grown up assuming that he was the least successful former Beatle, but that’s not the case at all.

    I recently heard an interview with Elton John in which he talked about his friendship with John Lennon who shared his frustration/jealousy at Ringo’s great commercial success and the fact that Lennon was the last of the former Beatles to have a hit song (“Whatever Gets You Through the Night,” which Elton sang on and was Lennon’s only number 1 single as a solo artist in the US).

    So, if commercial success and hit records are measuring sticks for the Beatles’ solo inductions, Ringo arguably had a more dramatic impact on music than John and probably George and even Paul as well, particularly if you separate out George’s solo work from The Traveling Wilburys and Paul’s from Wings.

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