[20] The Beatles, ‘The Ballad Of John And Yoko’

“Beatles!” Junior exclaimed, as I introduced her to the sleeve. “I like Beatles.” She may have meant “beetles”, but managed some booty-swinging to the last verse, a small nod of appreciation for the rock’n’roll version. She spent the rest of the time squeezing between the sofas to fetch the baby doll, complaining about getting stuck. The band themselves were in a bit of a fix, although this sunny record has its head firmly in the sand.
The ditty itself – a tale of John Lennon and Yoko Ono hopping around the continent acting the halfwit – is a solipsistic frippery, but I’m soft on it. My warm feelings extend from its timing: April 1969, and The Beatles are limping to a conclusion, hamstrung by legal divisions and poisonous in-fighting. Yet, amid all this, the two most obviously at loggerheads are working hard together – Paul McCartney indulging Lennon, Lennon enlisting his help with the writing, and the pair of them playing every note of the song, nary another Beatle in sight. It feels like the last true collaboration, two against the world.

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