Christmas is also, in my view, the one time of the year when us Beatles fans (and
we are legion, we are many, we are One) can put to rest the one burning question
that has plagued us all our lives: who was the finer Beatle? John? Or Paul? The
answer lies in the Christmas songs both men produced.
So here, now, we shall lay it to rest, and decide who the finer tunesmith was
by selecting a few lyrics from both John and Paul's Christmas ballads.
Here are some lines from Lennon's "Merry X-mas (War is Over)"
so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight
And now here are some lines from Paul's song "Wonderful Christmastime."
choir of children sing their song
They practiced all year long
Ding dong, ding dong
Ding dong, ding dong
'em all year to learn that song, huh? No wonder the world's going to hell in a
Actually, I'm just busting Paul's balls a little
bit. Both, in their own way, are good songs. Like who you want, it makes no difference.
I apologize for going off on a tangent here, but I believe you can get a good
handle on a person's true character when you ask them who their favorite Beatle
If they like John, they will usually also like Bob Dylan,
or Tom Waits, or J.J. Cale or any other person that writes extraordinary lyrics
but can't sing them worth a damn.
If they like Paul then chances
are they also like the stuff he did with Michael Jackson but won't, under any
circumstances, admit to such, even if Donald Rumsfeld had them shipped to Gitmo,
stripped naked, and had Lindey England point at their genitals and smile for a
If they like George then this is usually a quiet person,
one that loves both melody and lyrics, and has a fine appreciation for Indian
music. They also probably spend a lot of time smoking hash and getting their wife
stolen from their best friend.
If they like Ringo . . . Ah,
who am I kidding . . .?
All of them, Paul, John, George, and
Ringo made some amazing music, if not the best music. One of my favorites, even
though it wasn't one of their best songs, was one of the simpler ones from my
personal favorite (John): "All You Need Is Love."
In this time of year, when the stress is high, when we have to navigate a virtual
tidal wave of pissed housewives trying to get their screaming brats what they
want for Christmas at the department stores, when the homeless are freezing their
assess off, when the slogan of the year is "Love Thy Neighbor" but no
one really practices it, when we try to scrape enough money together to buy shit
we can't afford for people that probably don't deserve it, the lyrics to that
song, that simple but effective song, really send out a message; one that should
be heeded around this time of year, and throughout the days thereafter: all you
need is love.
I hate to sound like a softy schmuck, especially
when my last few columns have dealt with a reenactment of the "Deliverance"
rape scene, bashing the government for the response to Hurricane Katrina, and
a dead Elvis impersonator, but I honestly do believe that if you have some sort
of love in your life, whether it's from your mommy, your friends, your dog or
cat, or that imaginary friend that lives in your pants that tells you to do naughty
things in church, then with that love you have a world of possibilities. And what
those possibilities are, are completely up to you.
he decided to become a corpse, my dad showed me the Beatles. In fact, my first
memory was when I was barely 3 years-old and hearing over a late night football
broadcast that John Lennon had been shot. His murder, like Christmas, also fell
in December; December 8 to be exact. The 25th anniversary of the death of the
guy that said "All you need is love" and "War is over if you want
it" and "come together" is approaching fast. And although I'm not
a Christian and do not like having religious beliefs pressed on me and believe
that most of it is crap used to keep the masses in servitude, I gotta admit that
I'm a fan of The Jesus. He was a cool guy, that Jesus. He was a long haired hippy
that traveled around the Middle East trying to get a bunch of people to live in
peace together, telling them, in so many words, that "All you need is love"
and "War is over if you want it" and "come together." The
funny thing was the guy was a Jew, and He was born in Northern Africa. So, what
would Big Jesus celebrate this time of year? Christmas? Hanukkah? Kwanzaa? Or
would He, like Lennon, just wish everyone a nice day and tell them to knock off
all the bullshit?
My dad, also, was a fan of Lennon and The
Jesus. He didn't go to church. I never saw him pray. But whenever some racist
asshole would make a remark about the Jews or blacks, he was the first one to
tell them to shut up and knock off the bullshit. He never read the bible, but
he practiced "Love Thy Neighbor" more than any person I've ever seen.
And he never took music lessons, but could sing every Beatles song perfectly.
And in this time of year, I think about those three guys, Lennon, Big Jesus, and
my dad. All of them cool in their own way. All of them had long hair at one point
in their life. And all of them died before they had a chance to be old men.
And much like "come together" or "Love Thy Neighbor" my dad
had his own special saying that kind of goes along with the previous two and helps
me get through this time of year with all the stress, fighting, greed, and general
crap that we all have to deal with.
"Son," he said,
"everyone has to wipe their ass at some point during the day."
Death is the great equalizer. The toilet is equal to death in that regard.
So, have fun this Christmas, give a little cheer to the ones that need it, think
of someone else, say "Hi" to a stranger, listen to the Beatles, love
thy neighbor, and don't forget to wipe.
Your friend and most
Sir Michael Edward McHone, son of Charles,
Duke of Earl, Duchess of Disaster, Jester of the Masses, and the Ayatollah of