The Word (2:40)

Cover of Rubber Soul

From Rubber Soul and 17 other releases

“The Word” is a song by the Beatles first released on their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It has been cited as the first instance in which the Beatles began writing about love in more abstract terms, versus concrete girl/boy terms, a la “She Loves You”, with preaching lyrics such as “The word is love” and “Say the word and you’ll be free”.

The song was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. According to Lennon, it was written together but it was “mainly mine”. They wrote it after smoking marijuana, something they hadn’t done before in a composing session, which from McCartney’s perspective (opposite to Lennon’s), “got in the way of songwriting”. Paul on the subject:
“We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multicolored lyric sheet, the first time we’d ever done that. We normally didn’t smoke when we were working. It got in the way of songwriting because it would just cloud your mind up — “Oh, shit, what are we doing?” It’s better to be straight. But we did this multicolor thing.


Musically, the song is based upon a driving rhythm with few chord changes and a simple melody in the key of D major.Paul McCartney said of this song, “John and I would like to do songs with just one note like ‘Long Tall Sally’. We get near it in ‘The Word’”
George Martin plays the harmonium solo in the track. McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison sing the song in three-part harmony. Lennon sings the middle eight by himself.
Samples from this song are also included on Love released in November 2006, in the track “Drive My Car/The Word/What You’re Doing”.

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