The Word is pivotal song for The Beatles and John Lennon in particular. It marks the transition of the word love being used as a weapon to posses an individual, (Run For Your Life, I’ll Get You) to a more universal all encompassing love of all existence.
How did John Lennon make this transformation?
Was it through hours of study of ancient texts?
Did he have access to a wise guru who imparted the knowledge of the ages upon him?
Was he visited by a Flaming Pie?
All he did was drugs.
Users of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide otherwise known as LSD or acid often experience a dissolution between themselves and the "outside world". See
There is little doubt that Lennon experienced something like this before writing The Word.
President Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in 1969. Unfortunately the war had been lost several years earlier. Surrender was finally acknowledged by Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy on May 13, 2009, when he announced that The Administration would not use the term "War on Drugs," in future as it was thought to be counter-productive. Many believe that this will lead to the full legalization of narcotics in the 3rd or 4th Obama administration.
We firmly believe that drugs should not be legalized as it will lead to decreased quality and a substantial rise in price.
Enough politics, back to the music
The song itself is a re-worked 12 bar blues not unlike Dr Robert or Little Child. Musically they could write this kind of song in their sleep, which they often had to do due to the touring, recording, promotional schedule of 1964/7 .
Ringo is is extremely tasteful and the usual horribly loud tambourine is nowhere to be heard. We may be mistaken but it sounds like there are two bass parts on this recording. On the left Channel a simple part follows the bass drum while on the right a more McCartneyeque riff twists and turns it’s way through the song.
The most druggy element of the recording is performed by the least druggy of humans. George Martin plays a distorted harmonium that references the indian influences that were to become standard during the next few years of Beatle recordings.
The Word was, of course, love.
The Beatles used the word Love 613 times in the lyrics of their songs. Strangely this is the same number of commandments in the Old Testament.
Coincidence? We think so.
The word “Beatles” was used only once in all of their songs but as you can see by the graphic insert that they used one word more often than any other by a very wide margin.