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4.05-GETTING BETTER (Beatles)

Beatles

LISTEN

                   It's getting better all the time.

I used to get mad at my school. (No, I can't complain.)
The teachers who taught me weren't cool. ( No, I can't complain.)
You're holding me down
Turning me round
Filling me up with your rules!

         I've got to admit it's getting better.
         It's a little better all the time. (It can't get no worse)
         I have to admit it's getting better.
         It's getting better
         Since you've been mine.

Me used to be angry young man.
Me hiding me head in the sand.
You gave me the word.
I finally heard.
I'm doing the best that I can.

         [Chorus]

                   Getting so much better all the time!

                   It's getting better all the time
                   Better, better, better.
(2x)

I used to be cruel to my woman.
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved.
Man, I was mean but I'm changing my scene
And I'm doing the best that I can.

         [Chorus]

                   Getting so much better all the time!

                   It's getting better all the time
                   Better, better better. (2x)

                   Getting so much better all the time!

[Coda: fade]


Getting Better benefits from a couple of techniques used in Lucy. A droning single guitar note appears again, but there is a difference in technique. Whereas Lucy’s guitar mimicked the rhythm of the melody, in Getting Better the guitar note sets up a mechanical rhythm. Paul McCartney had constructed a hit single titled She‘s A Woman in November 1964 with a similar technique, but there the rhythm is staccato and played as chord rather than a drone. The other technique used on Lucy was the broad drone of a tambura played in open chords, producing at atmospheric effect similar to cicadas singing or the sun sparkling on water. The tambura enters strongly in the third verse, which is the confession of a mean and cruel man who has changed his life and seen the light. It seems like an enlightenment comes only with a full confession, for previously the singer has described himself as angry and mad when accompanied with a more typical rock music background. It is because of the use of the tambura as an instrumental indicator of enlightenment in the final verse that Getting Better sounds like a psychedelic song.

According to Robert Fontenot on Ask.com, the cut Getting Better was one of the last songs that both Lennon & McCartney worked on together. It seems that Lennon wrote the verses, and McCartney wrote the B and choral parts. According to Wikipedia, Lennon had explicitly claimed the third verse, at least, as he developed into a feminist advocate later in life. The “cool” and “school” rhyme would be repeated in Lennon’s song Good Morning Good Morning on the same album.

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