Nov 11

The Beatles: “Birthday”


Yep, it’s still white.

Similar to my post of September 20, it’s a birthday song today, this time for the older of my two sons. As I noted then, I’m only going to do these this year — I don’t really know if I could keep coming up with birthday songs that really qualify as “great” songs worthy of being Reselected.

In any case, this time I’m doing one of the most obvious rock ‘n’ roll birthday songs, The Beatles’ “Birthday,” released in 1968 on The Beatles (aka The White Album). It’s a great Paul McCartney rocker, despite the fact that John Lennon later said that he thought it was “garbage.” (Certainly, it’s a bit of a throwaway song for Paul — he was clearly capable of much more in the way of creativity. But John was also a bit cranky when it came to assessing Paul’s Beatles work in interviews, so I try not to pay much attention to those proclamations of his.) Along with “Helter Skelter” and “Back in the USSR,” it was one of Paul’s attempts on The White Album at asserting himself as still being capable of really rocking out. And as contrived as it may be in that sense, it works: the song does indeed rock. And without any sort of research to prove this, I’m guessing it’s now the second-most commonly played song to mark people’s birthdays (although note that I don’t say “second-most commonly sung” song — it’s pretty hard to sing this and make it sound halfway decent; then again, the same could be said for good ol’ “Happy Birthday,” what with all the off-key singing it typically inspires).


  1. Terry McDermott says:

    i’m at loss. first thing: what no unlike button that i would click rapidly for the next 5 minutes. second: are you daft man? third: i’ve rarely heard a good version of happy birthday sung, particularly at work where the insert name here line, which descends into the sound of rutting pigs.

    1. Dave Gershman says:

      I’m at a loss too: Is a “No Unlike” button a “Like” button, or were you looking for the “Unlike” button? And “daft”? No — certainly not the best Beatles song, but still probably one of the best “birthday”-themed songs to choose from, and given my needs for the day, it fit the bill. But now you see why I decided not to pursue the birthday themes beyond these two birthdays!

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