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photos by Lara Shipley

Hard Day’s Night

October 18th, 2010 · 19 Comments

This has always sort of bugged me:

You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything

So, first, rhyming “things’ with “thing” is kinda cheating, but let that pass. What’s that “just” in the second line all about? She’s going to give you everything?  Well, that’s not a “just,” is it? It’s everything! Just sounds weird.  Anyway.

Tags: Art & Culture



19 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gary // Oct 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

    It’s not “just everything”, it’s “just to hear”. Maybe the person who says it is lying but that’s not important to the speaker.

  • 2 Gabe // Oct 18, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I can’t quite tell if you’re being faux-naïve here, but: You know ‘give me everything’ refers to something specific and dirty, right? See also ‘took her home, I nearly made it’ and the whole plot of ‘Norwegian Wood.’

  • 3 EmmaZahn // Oct 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    But why on earth would I moan
    cause when I get you alone
    it’s gonna feel alright.

    So they needed a theme for their movie and shoehorned in lyrics, something they kept doing to put out as many records as possible even when the lyrics didn’t make sense

    What’s the big deal. You think people would start playing records backwards or something just to figure them out? Nobody’s that dumb, right?

  • 4 Gil // Oct 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    And, I think “everything” here means all the things she’s said she’s going to give him. Not literally everything.

    And, even so, as Gary indicates. Just hearing her say it is small compared to actually getting it.

  • 5 Freddie // Oct 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    No no. It’s “It’s worth it just to hear you say, ‘You’re going to give me everything.'” See, that way it makes sense following that first line. He works all day to get the money to buy her things, and then it is made worth it when she says, “You’re going to give me everything!” His hard work and expense are rewarded only by her recognition, which is the whole point of the song; the hard work, and other material costs, are rendered unimportant merely by her appreciation.

  • 6 LP // Oct 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Now if you want some really troubling Beatles lyrics:

    Well I’d rather see you dead, little girl
    Than to be with another man
    You better keep your head, little girl
    Or I won’t know where I am

    You better run for your life if you can, little girl
    Hide your head in the sand little girl
    Catch you with another man
    That’s the end’a little girl

    Those are from a jaunty little tune called Run For Your Life.

  • 7 Noah Yetter // Oct 18, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Late Beatles > Early Beatles

  • 8 Mark // Oct 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Just this post alone has resulted in something like 10x as much time spent thinking about this song as Lennon put into it the night he wrote it.

  • 9 Nattering Nabob // Oct 19, 2010 at 3:37 am

    Or maybe just hearing her say it makes the hard day’s night worthwhile, even if what she says is something she can’t actually end up doing.

  • 10 Rob Wynne // Oct 19, 2010 at 7:39 am

    *rolls eyes*

    The basic storyline of “A Hard Days Night” is simply this:

    “I work my ass off every day, and when I get home my girlfriend takes all my money and spends it on herself. But she puts out, so it’s ok.”

    Just sayin’.

  • 11 Beatle Economics: Hard Day’s Night // Oct 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    […] Julian Sanchez has apparently always been “bugged” by this couplet from the title track from the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night soundtrack: You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything […]

  • 12 Freddie // Oct 19, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Truth: libertarian positions on property rights should have libertarians fighting against pension reforms that are really robbing from earned, contractually obligated prior compensation.

    Sad truth: libertarians once again supporting boilerplate Republican “soak the worker” policies. I am disappoint.

  • 13 sam // Oct 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Late Beatles > Early Beatles

    Is there a more interesting creative arc than the one that connects “I Want to Hold Your Hand” to “Eleanor Rigby”?

  • 14 TD // Oct 19, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    Now, I love, love, love the Beatles. Especially that ’64-’65 period when Lennon was absolutely nailing it — including “A Hard Day’s Night.”

    But I have to confess that the very phrase “a hard day’s night” has always driven me a little nuts. Yes, I know it’s a cutesy Ringo malapropism, etc. But it doesn’t really work in the context of the song. In the setting established by the narrator, it hasn’t *BEEN* any kind of night; it’s BEEN a hard day, and now it’s nighttime.

    The phrase “eight days a week” was a Ringo malapropism too. But in its song, the line worked: It was hyperbole acting to convey the narrator’s overwhelming affection. But “a hard day’s night” is an ill fit within the universe of its song.

    (And it’s a REALLY ill fit as the movie title.)

  • 15 chrismealy // Oct 21, 2010 at 2:40 am

    This is a close enough reason to link to “Work All Week” by the Mekons:


  • 16 squirrel // Oct 22, 2010 at 12:59 pm

    It’s not you really want “everything”. I mean, where would you put it?

  • 17 James Kabala // Oct 23, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    I once read a piece by a journalist who had observed Lennon and McCartney writing “With a Little Help from My Friends.” They were stuck on the line that ultimately became “I can’t tell you but I know that it’s mine.” Lennon’s first wife Cynthia was also present and suggested “I can’t tell you but I just feel fine.” Lennon rejected the suggestion on the grounds that “just” was a useless filler word. I guess that shows Mr. Yetter is right.

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