On The Beatles last song


Is it any good? That’s the point. But does it need to be
Is the question. As it is, this last Lennon is reason
Enough to tune in. As McCartney and Starr
Lay the ground for the unwound road death
Soon shortened and an ironically McCartneyesque
Lyric, as most of latter Lennons are, shows no sin.

But it is discernible all the same, even though
He was always straightforward. Just listen to God
Or Mother, Woman, or, poignantly Borrowed Time,

Which is on Milk and Honey. That haunts,
While Now and Then empathises, as the Fab Four
Fall in together for a final refrain all feels fine.

With the full and touching story enclosed, especially
With a trip through Love Me Do on the flip side.
This is perhaps Paul and Ringo’s love letter to John
And to George lost so young.  At 40 and 58. But then
George was even while older, the youngest.
And in so many ways the most witty in terms

Of what was said if not sung. Both of these dead men
Were brave, facing attacks from a lunatic fringe
Hanging heavy; both became sacrificial so that their
Partners in song could go on. I’m sure that Townshend
And Daltrey feel this, in losing Moon and Entwistle,
And thus The Wheatles with bass and drums left

Could seal song. But then each great group has a pact
From which time and tide make an island. Now and Then
As a title provides enough premonition to make all

Of Lennon’s lasts prophecies. And The Beatles
Were and are biblical. They are enough these days
To believe in. Never of course quite the image
Upon which we were raised, we still see

A fresh formation for Gods as we currently
Understand them. And so this song, sweetly spun
From the 60s, has its late 70s shimmer
As well as a repeal for the day to reconsider the past
And the riches won, lost and squandered. Its stately
Piano chords show this as its slow swirl of guitars

Hold full sway. It is literally a song of two worlds;
Earth harmonizing with Heaven.  A song séance
Singing, through an Ouija led microphone.
McCartney’s own fits right in as does some
Of Geroge’s last playing. AI reconstructed,
Harrisons’ HAL has more tone. And Lennon

More gain than Free as a Bird did for starters.
And this is a John we imagine as he becomes
Instrument. And not the often edgy legend
Of old, complete with familial trauma,
And a secret service file squatting over what
They deemed dark intent. His ghost and glasses

Refract the former complications of living,
What with half the band Angeled and half angled
Now at the edge of the within and without,
Or stood by the Blue Jay Way leading nowhere,
With two nowhere men returned to us
And to those they left behind, like Kane’s sledge.

Now and Then’s not the song that should have
Formed their finale. Alive now, I am certain
They would have done one of their old fan club
Christmas songs. Or sounded like ELO,
Or Tears for Fears. Or Oasis. Or perhaps
They’d have Floyded, or Rock n’ Rolled the last gong.

Something momentous to end Pop Music’s first
Genius story. Four middle to working class heroes
Who in four short years near evolved. This last leaf
Leaves the tree which will remain ever standing.
It is not complete. Men were murdered by cancer
And gun. Nothing’s solved. And yet what was soured

Tastes sweet thanks to the elegance of it. The dignity
And the beauty of friends in flesh playing in perfect
Sync with the soul. It is not the reunion we sought
But it is all we have. And feels fitting. As boys in their
40s and 80s stand equal, knowing that while Then
Holds the substance the long and absent now
                                           still feels whole.



                                                                              David Erdos 2/11/23    






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