Song Lyric Sunday — Contradictions and Juxtapositions

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams has given us the theme “contrasts.” I thought about this for a long time and was having difficulty, so I went to Dictionary.com and to its thesaurus and entered the word “contrast.” One of the synonyms was “oppositeness.” BINGO! What song is more illustrative of oppositeness than The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye”?

“Hello, Goodbye” was written solely by Paul McCartney, but it was credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was released as a non-album single in November 1967, and was commercially successful around the world. It reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1967.

Alistair Taylor, McCartney’s friend who was visiting him, asked Paul one day how he wrote his many songs, and how he came up with his ideas. Paul took him into his dining room to give him a demonstration of his hand-carved harmonium. As an experiment, Paul asked Taylor to shout out the opposite of whatever he sang, such as black and white, yes and no, hello and goodbye, etc. From this, the song was born.

John Lennon hated the song. He viewed it as inconsequential, saying it was “three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions.” What further infuriated Lennon was that his “I Am The Walrus,” was issued as the B-side to McCartney’s A-side “Hello Goodbye.” Shortly after the song was released, McCartney, somewhat defensively, given Lennon’s criticism, justified the song, explaining that, “The answer to everything is simple. It’s a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That’s the amazing thing about life.”

Here are the lyrics to “Hello, Goodbye.”

You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello

I say high, you say low
You say why and I say I don’t know, oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
(Hello goodbye hello goodbye) Hello hello
(Hello goodbye) I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
(Hello goodbye hello goodbye) Hello hello
(Hello goodbye) I don’t know why you say goodbye
(Hello goodbye) I say hello/goodbye

Why why why why why why do you say goodbye goodbye, oh no?

You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello

You say yes (I say yes) I say no (But I may mean no)
You say stop (I can stay) and I say go go go (Till it’s time to go), oh
Oh no
You say goodbye and I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello
Hello hello
I don’t know why you say goodbye, I say hello hello

Hela heba helloa
Hela heba helloa, cha cha cha
Hela heba helloa, wooo
Hela heba helloa, hela
Hela heba helloa, cha cha cha
Hela heba helloa, wooo
Hela heba helloa, cha cah cah [fade out]

12 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Contradictions and Juxtapositions

    • Fandango September 13, 2020 / 11:07 am

      Seems a lot of us chose this song. It’s perfect.

      Like

  1. newepicauthor September 13, 2020 / 7:12 am

    I agree with John, as it really is a stupid song, but I love those Sgt. Pepper uniforms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango September 13, 2020 / 10:12 pm

      Thanks. A number of others also chose it!

      Like

  2. ghostmmnc September 17, 2020 / 1:42 pm

    Very good choice. I’ve always liked this one. Funny to think they had a controversy about it at the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. leigha66 September 19, 2020 / 12:21 am

    You could have picked another McCartney duet…ebony and ivory.

    Liked by 1 person

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