'Heaven’s Holding a Half Moon’

‘Jung the Foreman Prayed at Work...’

‘Make Me a Deal, and Make it Straight!’

‘At the Back of the Holy Temple’

‘Angry Tears Are Too Dear, You Won’t Let Them Go’

‘Watch Out! You Might Get What You’re After'

‘There’s a Killer on the Road’

'Words are Flowing Out Like Endless Rain into a Paper Cup'

8 - Across the Universe
'Words are Flowing Out Like Endless Rain into a Paper Cup'


Anyone who listens regularly to Desert Island Discs will know that, unsurprisingly, many guests pick a Beatles track and a lot of them have picked this one as their favourite. I hate to be predictable but I can’t help it: from all the brilliant and varied output of the Beatles over nine years I have to pick this too. It has a beautiful chord sequence and melody which somehow make it both joyous and slightly mournful at the same time. The test of a good song is whether if it is stripped back from any glossy production it can still stand the test of being sung with just a the strum of a guitar for accompaniment - this surely passes that test.


What’s it about? At first the words seem like nonsense but then I found a key - it stuck me, surely this is the transcript of a transcendental experience. Anyone who has been blessed with such an experience will recognise this in lyrics such as:


          ‘Pools of sorrow waves of joy are drifting through my open mind
          possessing and caressing me.’


I find this song immensely touching. Put the wonderful lyrics together with the beautiful melody and you have the magic which is created when everything comes together in a song.


John Lennon was a complex man who, along with his musical genius, had his share of faults like everyone else but you have to admit he was onto something special and songs like this show him at his best. I want to end this with my favourite line - even just typing out these words makes my heart swell:


          ‘Limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns,
          It calls me on and on, across the universe.’




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