Heartwarming: The Beatles
The Beatles did their share of WAFF-worthy work. Here's a list:
- "Hey Jude", written by Paul for Julian Lennon in the middle of his father's messy divorce.
- George's support of "Octopus's Garden", only the second song Ringo had ever written, because Paul and John were so dismissive of the drummer's work.
- "Octopus's Garden" is an example in itself. "Knowing they're happy and they're safe...."
- And "Here Comes The Sun." Quite a few of their songs will give you the warm fuzzies, really.
- John managed at least two with "In My Life" and "Julia".
- You can't forget "Honey Pie," "Something," "Do You Want To Know a Secret," or "All You Need is Love." Really, the list could go on and on...
- Solo example, but definitely related: "Walk With You" from Ringo's 2010 album Y Not. Ringo and Paul, the last two surviving Beatles, harmonizing on a song about The Power of Friendship? Excuse me, I have something in my eye...
- During the recording of The White Album, Ringo got fed up with being dismissed and temporarily quit the band. After two weeks, he was convinced to return. When he came back to the Abbey Road studio, he found his drum kit had been decorated with flowers, along with a note from George reading "Welcome home."
- A lot of these seem to center on Ringo for some reason. The day after the rooftop concert, Ringo, who was famously self-deprecating about his skills, received a postcard from one of his bandmates. It read: "You are the greatest drummer in the world. Really." This was from Paul, who was notoriously hard to please. Ringo published that postcard, along with many others from fellow Beatles, in the book Postcards from the Boys.
- This may have also been an in-joke; some time earlier, when an interviewer asked "Is Ringo the best drummer in the world?", John answered "He's not the best drummer in the Beatles."
- He may not have been the "Best" drummer, but he was the "Starr" drummer...
- "Dear Prudence" was written for a real girl (Mia Farrow's sister), because John was saddened by how reserved and shy she was. That's right. One of the biggest musicians of all time took the time to write a beautiful ballad just to get a girl he had just met to cheer up. If the freaking Beatles write a song just for you to get you to cheer up and you don't feel better, there's no hope for you.
- George Harrison's cover of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", from the last album he recorded before he died, is, while slightly lacking in lyrical depth (though it's by no means shallow), one of the most cheery, heartwarming songs ever made.
- When the Beatles were on tour, they still took time to celebrate Brian Epstein's birthday. Actually, considering how often people hear about cold, corrupt managers, the close relationship between Epstein and the Beatles in general fit this trope. It made his possible suicide even more tragic (it was ruled as accidental and none of the Beatles ever disputed it).
- "With A Little Help From My Friends" is arguably this.
"Do you need anybody?""I need somebody to love..."
- If the song itself somehow doesn't qualify, this home recording of a young Sean Lennon singing it to his father and giggling over the "I need somebody to love" lyric certainly does. What makes it especially heartwarming is that in his 1980 interviews, John liked to boast that Sean had no idea that his father was a Beatle and didn't even know who the Beatles were, and that they didn't play Beatles records in the house... and yet here Sean not only has a favorite Beatles song, but he apparently knows who Paul and Ringo are along with his dad. Oh, John...
- At concerts, Ringo used to announce that he was about to sing by saying, "Here he is, all nervous and out-of-tune...Ringo!" (Truth in Television—stage fright was, and continues to be, a huge problem for him.) So when John and Paul wrote a song around the concept of themselves as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, they made Ringo the lead singer—and wrote him some lyrics in which he apologizes for possibly singing off-key. Then he does a call-and-response thing with the others about how much they all need each other. Aww.
- "Let It Be". Written by Paul during a period of high tension between the band members. The song itself was inspired by a dream in which Paul was visited by his long deceased Mother telling him to 'Let It Be.'
- Listen to "All You Need is Love" from the "Love" album when you're about to fall asleep, in a completely dark room, and have headphones on. The song is segued wonderfully with the beginning instrumentals of "Good Night" and just as the music is fading out one then gets to listen to the boys goof around in the studio for a few seconds and then hear John say "good night to you's all, and God bless ya!" Warm fuzzy feelings abound.
- Saturday Night Live - an installment of the "Chris Farley Show" skit has Chris in his usual mode, squirming anxiously as he asks the most inane questions - here to guest Paul McCartney - and cursing his own stupidity. Eventually he asks "Remember when you were in the Beatles? And you sang 'And in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make'? ...Is that true?" Paul matter-of-factly replies that, in his experience, yes, it is. Farley just beams with delight - his show ends up as great as he always wanted it to be.
- This exchange from a 1966 interview is aww-inducing:
Reporter: What musician and composer do you respect most?
Paul: No, I don't know, really! (pause) John Lennon.
John: (bashfully) Paul McCartney.
- This quote from John Lennon's September 1980 interview in Playboy magazine:
"Ringo was a star in his own right in Liverpool before we even met. He was a professional drummer who sang and performed and had Ringo Starr-time and he was in one of the top groups in Britain but especially in Liverpool before we even had a drummer. So Ringo's talent would have come out one way or the other as something or other. I don't know what he would have ended up as, but whatever that spark is in Ringo that we all know but can't put our finger on... whether it is acting, drumming or singing I don't know... there is something in him that is projectable and he would have surfaced with or without the Beatles. Ringo is a damn good drummer. He is not technically good, but I think Ringo's drumming is underrated the same way Paul's bass playing is underrated. Paul was one of the most innovative bass players ever. And half the stuff that is going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period. He is an egomaniac about everything else about himself, but his bass playing he was always a bit coy about. I think Paul and Ringo stand up with any of the rock musicians. Not technically great... none of us are technical musicians. None of us could read music. None of us can write it. But as pure musicians, as inspired humans to make the noise, they are as good as anybody."
- "Free as a Bird". Ringo, George and Paul got together to record incidental music for the Anthology Project, but realized that they wanted to record some new songs instead. Only problem? No John. At this point they could have either written something without him or abandoned the idea of a new song altogether. Instead, Paul asked Yoko if she could give them any demo tapes of John that they could finish. It should be noted that the remaining Beatles had to fill in a gap where John hadn't finished the lyrics and made all of us weep by going with the following:
Can we really live without each other?When did we lose the touch,That seemed to mean so much?It always made me feel so . . . free.
- "She Loves You" is pretty adorable. It's from the point of view of a guy telling another guy that, no, it's not over between you and the girl you love, even though you hurt her badly—I just talked to her and she still loves you, ya lucky dog! Now go apologize to her and make everything right!
- In the early 70s, at a time when the band had recently broken up and Paul and John were still supposed to be at each other's throats, a fan encountered John strolling around Greenwich Village with an "I Love Paul" button from the days of Beatlemania. Wondering if he was making some kind of ironic statement, the fan asked him why he was wearing it—to which John replied, without missing a beat and without a trace of sarcasm, "Because I love Paul."
- Good Ol' Freda is a 2013 documentary where Freda Kelly looks back on her past as secretary to the Beatles and founder of their official fan club. A Liverpool girl, she started at age 17 as a big fan when they were barely known outside the Cavern Club and stayed through the end. She was a hard-working professional who both guarded their privacy (and still does) and cared for the (fellow) fans. Plenty of 'Awww' moments (love her relationship with Ringo's parents). She's still a secretary, still in Liverpool, and seems the very nicest person.