Britain in Hamburg

 

 

 

On my travels, I have found the one thing that unites people of all ages throughout the world is an appreciation of music and song.  Whether you are 6 or 100, the words and tunes of songs linger in the mind, with the ability to evoke powerful emotions and stir up memories. 

My own favourite as a child was:

"Love, love me do/

You know I love you/

I'll always be true/

So please, love me do/

Love me do./

 

And back in the Swinging Sixties, when this simple pop song encapsulated a basic human need, it had the power to resonate with, and  transform, a generation, as well as start a new musical genre.  As Paul, John, George and drummer Pete Best (subsequently replaced by Ringo),  aka The Beatles, did  in 1962 with "Love me do", a two-minutes-long pop song they performed live in Hamburg at the start of their career, when they were penniless musicians,  honing their songwriting and musical skills. The following year, "Love me do"  was released on their first album, "Please, please me" and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. 

 

Now in his 70s,  and with his sixteenth solo album, "New",  just released,  Paul McCartney  is still writing pop songs and singing about love, albeit with the insight, reflection and compassion that comes with age. It's often said that: "if you can remember the Sixties, you weren't there".  Well, Paul enjoyed  all the excesses of the 60s, just like many other young people when Beatlemania was at its height, but  he continues to swing!

 

So, how does he do it? When a ZDF journalist recently  asked him if his songs were "therapy" for him, he confided that it was "always a therapy to write new songs".  So, for those who may have thought "Memory almost full" might have been his last album before sliding into comfortable senility, "Kisses on the bottom" showed not only that he still had a healthy appetite for love and life but a playfulness, too.

 

Perhaps his latest album "New" will bring him back on a visit to where it all began, Hamburg. Wouldn't that be just fab?

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