“Don’t let me down”, The Beatles
While The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down” might not be the most complex song lyrically produced by the iconic quartet, the song emerged from a complex set of emotions. A choir of four Do not let me downs surrounds each verse as Lennon begs his second wife, Yoko Ono, to make their love a lasting love.
I’m in love for the first time / Don’t you know it’s gonna last / It’s a love that lasts forever / It’s a love that has no past, Lennon sings in the second verse.
âIt was a very tense time,â McCartney told biographer Barry Miles for Many years from now (1997). âJohn was with Yoko and had become a heroine and all the paranoia that came with her and he was putting himself in danger. I think as much as it excited and amused him, and [at] at the same time, it secretly terrified him. So âDon’t Let Me Downâ was a real pleaâ¦ He said to Yoko: âI’m really going overboard on this one. I really show my vulnerability, so you mustn’t let me down. I think it was a real cry for help. It was a good song.
Lennon’s relationship with Ono certainly caused tension in the Lennon family, but it also influenced the Beatles as a group. The Beatles’ sudden and explosive pairing with Ono therefore inspired a plethora of musical content in the late ’60s and early’ 70s (see âHey Judeâ for an example). Despite the personal spillover into the professional, The Beatles got together to record the song in 1969 with keyboardist Billy Preston.
“We recorded it in the basement of Apple (Apple Corps Limited) for So be it and later did it on the roof for the movie, âMcCartney told Miles. âWe suffered a lot for this one. I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a few words, but I don’t think so. It was John’s song.
“Don’t Let Me Down” is credited to the prolific Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, but was primarily written by Lennon. The three-and-a-half-minute track debuted as the reverse of the song “Get Back” and peaked at No. 35 in the United States. Billboard Table 100 hot. Falling perhaps into the category of underrated love songs, “Don’t Let Me Down” has an addicting quality as the pain of Lennon’s turmoil seeps through the lyrics.
âAt the end of the day when you drown you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly happy if someone had the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just said. scream“said Lennon Rolling stone in 1970.
Listen to The Beatles’ âDon’t Let Me Downâ below and see if you can hear a snippet of Lennon’s genuine angst.
Photo by John Pratt / Keystone / Getty Images.