Certain Songs #34: The Beatles – “Hello Goodbye”

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Single, 1967.

You say goodbye

Immediately and forever dismissed as a trifle – I mean it was overshadowed by its own b-side! – when compared to the titanic accomplishments of The Beatles in 1967, “Hello Goodbye” is a song for which I have no good defense loving as much as I do.

I say hello

Therefore, I blame Sir Paul McCartney’s impeccable popcraft for winnowing this song insidiously into my head, and would like to point out that while the 1966 Beatles is clearly one of my favorite things ever, my heart has never been deep into their 1967 music.

You say goodbye

And I also blame Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Well, not the album, which, you know is Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but rather the fact that it has been lionized as THE GREATEST MUSIC THAT ANYBODY HAS EVER DONE OR WILL EVER DO WORLD WITHOUT END AMEN for my entire life and I’ve never once agreed with that sentiment. I mean, I’ve never even thought it was the best Beatles album, for fuck’s sake.

I say hello

So that means while I’ve enjoyed and acknowledged the greatness of songs like “A Day in The Life” or “Strawberry Fields Forever” or “I Am The Walrus,” etc. maybe I’m subconsciously punishing them by being contrary and not loving them as much as conventional wisdom says I should.

You say goodbye

On the other hand, free of dealing with “Hello Goodbye” on anything but the level of just a pop song – my default preference – it turns out that I can listen to it endlessly hello goodbye hello goodbye hello goodbye hello goodbye.

I say hello

So in other words, the reason this has always been slagged – it’s lightweight, just wordplay, and nothing more than a great hook, but certainly NOT ART – is the reason I love it.

Aloha!

Official video for “Hello Goodbye”

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