I've Just Seen a Face - the Beatles
I've probably said it before and I'll probably say it again, McCartney was the great musician while Lennon was the great artist. Not to say that Lennon wasn't a pretty good musician, nor McCartney a pretty good artist. But you take the point. Nowadays, people tend to dwell on the later more ground breaking albums from "Rubber Soul" onwards, which is a shame as their earlier releases are also terrific, stuffed with little gems like this McCartney number from "Help", itself one of their best LP's.
The words in this song are what drives it along, each line overlapping into the next, the phrases running into each other, creating the excitement that he feels, having just seen the woman for the first time, and immediately fallen head over heels in love with her:
"I've just seen a face, I can't forget the time
or place where we just met. she's just the girl for me and I want all the world to see we've met..........
Had it been another day I might have looked the other way and I'd have never been aware but as it is I'll dream of her tonight...........
I have never known the like of this I've been alone and I have missed things and kept out of sight but other girls were never quite like this.........."
Over dinner, Jeremy regaled us with "his versions" of my stories from our schooldays (see yesterday's post) and mentioned that his enduring memory of our "lost weekend" in the Outer Hebrides, bicycles, James Taylor's mother and all, was on the first night when we were camping in the north of Skye, preparatory to catching the ferry to Harris the next day. Ricky and I wanted to climb a nearby hill for the view, and, much against his inclination, we persuaded Jeremy to join us. As is often the case with these climbs, it took longer than we thought, and having reached the summit we were faced with a race against the fall of night to make it back down to our campsight. We realised that the only way we could make it was to take a "short cut" down a hundred foot precipice which had, we could see, plenty of good indentations in the rock face to serve as footholds. For Ricky and myself, used to this sort of adventure, it was a piece of cake. But a quarter of the way down Jeremy froze and refused to move. Ricky and I, faced with potential disaster, had to position ourselves beneath him on either side of his feet, and literally place said foot in each next foothold, all the time reassuring him that he would make it and making sure he kept hanging on. It took us about forty minutes, but it seemed a lot longer, and it was dark by the time we reached our campsite after all. Even now, Jeremy says, he has nightmares that hark back to the incident, and which usually finish with him falling just before he wakes up in a cold sweat.
Although we got him up there against his better judgement, Jeremy has never in any way reproached us, and, the other night, after years of falling dreams, there was no suggestion of regret or resentment. So this one's for you Jeremy, a little love song to listen to before you go to sleep each night and to help you remember those good times.
"Falling, yes I am falling
and she keeps calling me back again."