In the final track of 1965’s Rubber Soul, one of the Beatles’ most celebrated albums (and source of several of my favorite songs), the Fab Four send a message that’s a little…different from their other stuff.
That’s “Run For Your Life,” and it’s not a secret embarrassment. It’s a song that the Beatles apparently felt was good enough to be included with romantic classics such as “I’ve Just Seen a Face” and “Michelle.” And yes, you heard it right–the first line of the song is “I’d rather see you dead, little girl/ Than to be with another man.” As the lyrics go on it becomes clear that the title of the song means that his girlfriend should literally run for her life from him, if she so much as flirts with another guy.
By now everybody knows that John Lennon was violent toward women, but this is evidence that the other Beatles were willing to collude in a song that threatens a woman’s life over something as trivial as a man’s jealousy.
This weird discovery of mine doesn’t make Rubber Soul a bad album. It’s just a reminder that, in tumblr parlance, your fave is problematic.
You’re welcome, America.