Paul McCartney Thought John Lennon Was Imitating Bob Dylan In Beatles Song

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How can it be less in a band as gifted as the Beatles, their fifth album “Help!” is a phenomenal catalog of songs that show the constant climbing of the group as writers and performers.

John Lennon shines in the album’s title track, a playful infectious chorus with a depressing lyric; on the Dylanian “You’ve got to hide your love away”, with a subliminal message for manager Brian Epstein.

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John’s composition “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”, a song that could have been perfectly composed by Bob Dylan, whose influence on the Beatles is more evident than ever during this album (but also the next “Rubber Soul”).

In 1965, Lennon revealed which songs of the band’s he cherished most. “One I do which I like is, ‘You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.’ But it’s not commercial.”

In 1971, Lennon pretty succinctly explained the track: “It’s one of those that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself, ‘Here I stand/Head in hand.’ I started thinking about my own emotions.”

It was a significant success for Lennon and the band, though it’s unclear when the judgment was made. Lennon proceeds: “I don’t know when exactly it started, like ‘I’m A Loser’ or ‘Hide Your Love Away,’ or those kind of things. Instead of projecting myself into a situation, I would just try to express what I felt about myself which I had done in me books.”

There was one individual who the Fab Four had reached the previous year that may have had a contribution in the determination to approach songs uniquely.

“I think it was Dylan who helped me realize that,” the bespectacled Beatle continued with a degree of love. “I had a sort of professional songwriter’s attitude to writing Pop songs, but to express myself I would write ‘Spaniard In The Works’ or ‘In His Own Write’ —the personal stories which were expressive of my personal emotions.

“I’d have a separate ‘songwriting’ John Lennon who wrote songs for the sort of meat market, and I didn’t consider them, the lyrics or anything, to have any depth at all. Then I started being me about the songs… not writing them objectively, but subjectively.”

As Lennon explains the song in his 1980 Playboy interview: “That’s me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon… influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.”

In 1984, Ser McCa was pleased to validate it too, advancing one step distant to imply Lennon was attempting to mimic Bob. “That was John doing a Dylan… heavily influenced by Bob. If you listen, he’s singing it like Bob.” Acknowledging the impact Dylan had on both of them.