I’m going to say it right here, a lot of Beatles music sucked. They had a period of huge success where people would take anything they produced and hold it up like it was gold, but it wasn’t. They had a number of good songs, a few great songs, and a whole lot of junk. I guess you could say this is quite similar to U2’s output, although I would distinguish the junk part a little differently. I mean, there are Beatles songs I’ve heard once and never want to hear again, they have aged so badly. There are people who would say that about some U2 songs, doesn’t mean I agree with them, or that they have to agree with me.
Happiness Is A Warm Gun is one of those songs. I’ve heard it a very few times, don’t care for it, and don’t want to hear it again. I’m talking about the Beatles version here. The lyrics are decidedly repetitive, as are many Beatles songs, and the music is probably interesting for the 60s when it was made. These days there’s nothing special about it, although for whatever reason U2 decided to pretty much copy the music as it was, not putting many twists on it anywhere. I mean, sure there are differences, but it just seems to me that many of the songs that U2 have covered, they have put their own twist on it, taken it in their own direction and made it sound like a U2 song. This one doesn’t sound much like that at all. Even the singing is more Beatles than U2, Bono sounding much like them (may be a compliment to him), but indistinct and some slurring of words is not that good to me.
So what’s the point of the song? Well, take it literally and you’re talking about gun culture, something that I don’t think was that big in the UK back in those days. References to the US today would probably be a bit of a stretch, although not necessarily, sadly enough. I’m not going to get into that now though, that’s one of those topics that deserves its own space, and once again, sadly it will.
The alternate hypothesis is that it is about a woman, more specifically about sex. Read it that way and you can’t avoid it, in somewhat blushing ways given the time it was written in. Oh, there might be a few people who don’t get the references, I might not get them all myself, but you’ve got to admit that’s a little risqué even now. I guess I should give Lennon some credit for that, right? Maybe if he deleted one or two (or a hundred) of the title from the lyrics, it might be worth listening to.
So my theory was that things would be easier now that U2 are in Europe. The shows would be in the afternoon and I’d be able to listen at work. Well, here we are on just the fourth day in Europe and I missed the entire show, got caught up in other things and wasn’t able to listen at all. Hope that changes, I don’t want to miss too much, do I?
My rating for Happiness Is A Warm Gun: 1 / 10