Certain Songs #29: The Beatles – “I Want To Hold Your Hand”


Single, 1963.

Now we come to the part I’ve actually been dreading: The Beatles.

Not because I don’t love The Beatles, because that’s beyond contrary – there is literally zero point to disliking the Beatles – but because I’ve never been able to get any perspective on The Beatles.They’ve been there my entire life, and despite – actually because – I’ve consumed countless books and films and articles and videos about them, what can I possibly say that’s even remotely new?

After 50 years, it’s like coming up with a hot take on the sunrise. The sun rises every single day, and it is always fucking awesome.

I mean, take this song: what could I possibly say about it that others haven’t already said? I mean, even fucking Bob Dylan weighed in on it. So I guess I could point out that it invokes The Handclap Rule (that handclaps make a good song great and a great song immortal), the bridge (twice!) provides a modicum of normality amidst what’s a pretty insane arrangement, and Ringo’s drums just before each chorus are fucking masterful, but I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first.

So I guess all that’s left is to wonder what would have been like to first hear this on the radio as a teenager? In the U.K., they were at least prepped by “She Loves You,” but here in the U.S., “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was so far beyond just about everything else that it must have been like a bomb detonating.

Official video for “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

My Certain Songs Playlist on Spotify

Every “Certain Song” Ever

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