112 – Hello, Goodbye – Sharlotte Gibson

Original version recorded: October/November 1967
Ukulele version recorded: January 2011

Sharlotte Gibosn: Vocals
Nathan MacCormack: Celllo

Gregory Clark: Vocal Guru
David Barratt: Ukulele and everything else

Written by Paul McCartney
Credited to Lennon McCartney

Essay: Sean Redmond

Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste, Brooklyn


You Say Yes, I Say No. Zen koan? Child’s play? Some say one, some say the other. “Hello, Goodbye” is a lot like a child playing opposites day:

“You’re hungry?”
“Nope, I’m full.”
“Then why are you eating my banana?”
“I’m not eating your banana.”
“Stop eating my banana!”
“What, banana?”

And it’s true. There is no banana. Not any more. Frustrating? Yes. Insightful? Yes. I was going to eat it the banana. But now the banana is gone. The child was eating it but was not. Did I ever have the banana? We played a game of contradiction until there was no contradiction.

A koan from The Gateless Gate. A monk asked Zhaozhou, “Does a dog have Buddha-nature or not?”
Zhoazhou barked, “Yup!”

You say high, I say low.

A friend asked Paul how he wrote his songs. “Sit down with me at the harmonium,” Paul said and they sat down, the friend at one end and Paul at the other. “Play a note,” Paul said, the friend played a note at his end and Paul played a note at the other. “I’ll sing a word,” Paul said, “You sign the opposite.” The friend agreed.

“White!” Paul sang. “Black!” his friend answered.
Paul, “Yes!” His friend, “No!”
“Goodbye!” “Hello!”

Child’s play? A musing on duality? Paul’s role was to be something of the blessed simpleton, mother nature’s son, compared to John. “Hello, Goodbye” is Paul’s “Imagine” but he doesn’t have to run down the list of what needs changing–no countries, brotherhood of man, etc.–maybe it’s enough, when you say “stop,” to keep believing like a child in the optimism of “go.” Even when someone says goodbye, it pays to say hello. John hated “Hello, Goodbye,” but it ran out 1967 as the #1 single, proving that being simple but exuberant about it is often the road to success.

That’s just the route Sharlotte Gibson takes in this beautiful version. You know her without knowing her as one of backup singers on American Idol where she has to make her job look easy while helping talented but maybe struggling amateurs look good every time. Sometimes diving in, sometimes flying above an orchestration at once luscious and spare, she lays on just enough vocal soul to bring out the heart in a nonsense song. When do you say “yes” when I say “no?” “Hello, Goodbye” is a one-sided version of a two-sided conversation and that only happens in love. No opposition is simpler or plays a bigger role in our lives than that opposition between me and you. Gibson’s singing brings us someone turning over the big problem in a little way. I don’t know why you say goodbye, but there’s no need to overthink it. I say hello.

What banana? Yup!

And one last thing — listen to this with your headphones on.


ok so i grew up watching and listening to my mom sing in lounges, my brothers singing in children’s theatre, and my dad singing in the car…

i heard everything from grace slick, stevie nicks, stevie wonder and the beatles to aretha franklin, gladys knight and earthwind and fire, to bill cosby, steve martin and robin williams, to the allman bros, to kiss to peter frampton and the bee gees to neil diamond and the monkeys- my mom played everything!!! she sang everything!!! She particularly loved the diana ross and the jacksons, the beatles, paul mc cartney & wings, the doors, david bowie and led zeppelin.

i tried following the steps of my mother and brothers by getting into children’s theatre and school choirs and musicals in town. i remember being fascinated with the music of the beatles, and even more excited when i was introduced to the movie SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND!!!!!! That movie and TOMMY made such a HUGE IMPRESSION ON ME musically, i was changed for life!!!!

i have written songs of hate, love songs and wedding songs and owe a lot of my vocal ear and arranging to all of the Beatles, some of the Jacksons, Stevie Wonder and Babyface. I have had many pleasures, but some include having backed up on stage and or record Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Peter Frampton, Gladys Knight, Earth Wind and Fire, Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, Al Jurreau, Chaka Khan, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Reba MacEntire, Barry Gibb, Rod Stewart, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, Queen Latifah, Jay Z, Usher, Mariah Carey, Barry White, Toni Braxton, Steven Tyler, Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, Dave Mason, Eagles Of Death Metal, Joan Osbourne, Berlin, Lynard Skynard, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Moore, Beyonce’, Christina Aguilera, Natalie Cole, Zucchero, Carlos Santana, Rob Thomas, Ru Paul, Cee Lo Green, Leona Lewis and at least half of the American Idols in the world… truly, the list goes on. I finally had the pleasure to have met Chuck Berry, Nancy Wilson, Robin Williams, Jermaine Jackson, Mickey Dolenz, Mohammed Ali and some other of my childhood entertaiment heroes… and i ALMOST met Paul McCartney in Koln,Germany back in 1999 when he and Whitney Houston were touring at the same time, but so was Iggy Pop and he very cordially invited me to hang out with him in our hotel lobby, something nice on the river… it was 12 years ago, but i remember Iggy’s son, Eric was a superhottie!!!!

ok Sharlotte’s Web has been made up of literally whoever gets dragged in.. the latest constant is the drummer mike baker, who has played with colbie caillat, and john mayer, and is now with Orianthe. he’s fabulous and i love him!!! all the other players come in and out


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