Monday, August 4, 2014


What was it about The Beatles?  I was hearing snatches of their songs as I was reading out on the balcony yesterday afternoon and at first I thought a neighbor must be playing a medley on their sound system.  Then I realized, no, there was a Sunday "Concert in the Park" with a band that played exclusively old Beatles numbers.

We wandered over a little later and stood for a while looking down over the scene (George is not allowed in this particular park, so we couldn't walk down the path into the little canyon where the concert was taking place.)  We've been to this concert series before, but we have never seen such a huge gathering of people, young and old, for any previous event.  They filled the canyon, wall to wall and end to end--people with beach chairs and blankets, picnic baskets, bottles of soda pop and wine, all dressed in light, bright clothes that made a pointillist painting of the scene...

Not an empty space on the "dance floor"--a wide patch of grass directly in front of the hillock where the band was playing, where the crush of people pranced and swayed to the music.

A truly lovely picture, then.  And I thought, what was it about The Beatles?  Every one of the songs the band played seemed at once familiar and fresh and joyful.  Most of the people there, I thought, like myself, could probably sing the words to every one of them.  There is a lilting ease to the melodies, a simplicity and unpretentiousness to the words, a playful, un-malicious humor, all of which uplift the soul and make you want to sing along.  They touch you at the heart of your humanity.

There must have been hundreds there who were too young to have known The Beatles in their heyday, many of them not yet even born.  You'd have to be, what?, older than forty now to have been alive at the time.  That they, too, seemed as familiar as myself with all the songs is a tribute to those four lads from Liverpool who made magic together with their music for a few short years.  It's a wonder that so many of their songs live on and on in a culture ready to dispose as soon as it consumes.  So... oop-la-dee-la-dah!

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