Kiddo#3 discovers the Beatles

“Mom, have you ever heard of a band called The Beatles?”

That was Kiddo#3, nine years old, while I was driving. I had a momentary disconnect, because at his age, I’m certain I had their entire discography memorized (well, the ones my mother played) and I’d heard about them so often that the Day The Music Died was not when Buddy Holly died, but the day the Beatles broke up.

It wasn’t only me. My entire grade school class could hold discussions about Beatles music, discuss the history of the Beatles, talk about their movies, and recite their lyrics. My 5th grade strings concert was all music by the Beatles.

But for all that, I guess Kiddo#3 didn’t get that kind of indoctrination. There aren’t huge album covers to prop in front of the stereo anymore, just the itty-bitty iPod screen. So instead of choking with laughter, I replied, “Yeah, I’ve heard of them.”

His teachers had played Octopus’s Garden for music class. He wanted to hear it again. I said, “Would you like to hear any other songs they wrote?” Yes. Yes, he would.

For the past year, I’ve had to play through an endless Weird Al Yankovic playlist whenever we take a long drive, which happens about once a week. I like Weird Al. He’s a brilliant guy, and what he does guarantees an endless variety of musical genres. But still, you know. I seized opportunity by the throat and created a 62-song playlist of Beatles favorites, and then on the next car trip, I plugged it in, leading off with Octopus’s Garden, and then the songs I thought would appeal more to younger kids. Yellow Submarine. When I’m Sixty-Four. With A Little Help From My Friends.

They sing in the back of the car. “O-da-blee, o-ba-da…” It’s cute. I don’t really want to correct them.

And Kiddo#3 hates Twist And Shout. “Why are they all singing like they have sore throats?”

We drove to New York. We listened the whole way.

While looking at my star ratings, I discovered I haven’t given many of their songs five stars. There are a lot of 4s and 3s, but I can only figure that when I did the ratings, I wasn’t comparing their songs to everyone’s songs, but rather to their own songs. PS I Love You would be the pinnacle song if any other group produced it, but the Beatles did it and I gave it four stars because it’s not quite Eleanor Rigby.

And my Patient Husband and I discovered once again that when we like the same groups, we don’t like the same songs. He five-starred “Get Back,” whereas I think of that as three, maximum. He’s not sure why I’d give five stars to We Can Work It Out.

Regardless, now I have small boys wandering the house half-reciting Beatles songs and telling each other “that’s a three-star,” as if they have iPods of their own (they don’t.) And it’s very cute.


  1. Jason Block

    Now if you would have introduced them to the Stones, then I would worry 🙂

    1. philangelus

      Weird Al has a compilation song where he does use all Rolling Stones songs, but when the kids asked me recently what were some songs the Rolling Stones did, I could only think of one, and it was the one my guitar instructor tried to teach me. Go figure. 🙂

  2. nantubredesigns

    Oh my gosh, I clearly remember receiving the Beatles’ first album for my 10th birthday! We had just moved to Germany (Air Force) and that music certainly made a difference regarding my adjustment to a new school, community, and country. And the Beatles never even knew me, LOL

    1. philangelus

      Would you believe I have a copy of “I wanna hold your hand” in German? 🙂

      1. Ken Rolph

        Why not? They started their career climb in Germany. Where do you think 8 days a week comes from? I have plenty of songs in various languages from way back last century. Abba, Leslie Gore. They sang in French, German, Italian, Spanish and who knows what else.

        Inspired to type this because before I checked blogs I was listening to an Abba CD with Honey Honey (Swedish), Waterloo (French), Ring Ring (German) and Dame Dame Dame (Spanish version of Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!).

        Why would I be surprised at your possession of a German Beatles song?

        1. philangelus

          Because whereas you’re wise in the ways of the world, I’m American and therefore the stereotype is that we believe only one language exists. 😉

          It’s not shocking that groups with international appeal would be recording in various languages. That’s to be expected.

  3. Ken Rolph

    A colleague just posted yesterday that she went to a concert by Herman’s Hermits in South Australia. The band opened the session by asking how many of the audience thought they were dead.

    I heard my first Beatles song on Wombarra Beach when I was 14. My cousin Christine was holding her trannie (new blue transistor radio) up to her ear. What was coming out was “I wanna hold your hand”. Music of the 1960s was the music of my teenage years. I can name you more than one Stones song. It would give me satisfaction.

    So many things have disappeared from the general culture of the young. Jan has kids in her senior high school class who have never heard of Marilyn Monroe. There is a longer list, of course, but that one sticks in my mind. I feel my world slipping away from me. And now you have gone and let Annette Funicello depart from us. Careless of you. When I heard I watched all the beach movies in tributes. A whole slab of commentators of my generation in Australia posted remembrances in tribute. She was the first woman I was seriously in love with.

  4. cricketB

    I was updating my GoodReads feed, and realized the same thing. There’s also the series effect. McMaster-Bujold’s latest is decent enough on it’s own, but it’s even better if you catch even half of the references to earlier adventures. Single phrase. Restrained expression. And on to the next topic.