Song 5: The Beatles/Come Together
The choice of a song to represent the Beatles is an extremely difficult and subjective one. Every one of their songs is somebody’s favorite and somebody’s least favorite. There are people out there who like “Yesterday” and not “I Am the Walrus,” “She’s Leaving Home” and not “I’m So Tired,” and those people have a right to live, I suppose.
I am picking “Come Together” for a couple of reasons. One is that, as the first song on the last Beatles album, it represents a turning point in the history of rock — the end of the Beatles and the end of the 60s, post-Altamont, post-the MLK and RFK assassinations, and post-the 1968 Democratic convention — what Hunter S. Thompson called the point where “the wave finally broke and rolled back.” After that, we have the beginning of the 70s, where rock, the pot culture, and political idealism gave way to disco, cocaine culture, and self-serving decadence.
The other reason I’m picking this song is that — socio-cultural analysis aside — it is, when push comes to shove, my favorite Beatles song. So I’m going to cut short the screed and just talk about the song a little.