Monday, October 10, 2005

Her Majesty

Her Majesty

Her Majesty (1999)

Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
but she doesn't have a lot to say...

-- "Her Majesty," Lennon/McCartney, Abbey Road

But the artists and critics have plenty to talk about...

From soundscapes.info -- Alan W. Polack's Notes on "Her Majesty":

Just when you think the last recorded Beatles album is over, just as you're letting out a deep sigh in reaction to "The End", you're startled by one crashing D-Major chord that's followed by this irreverent little fragment of a ditty. Its ending is as abrupt as its start is sudden. Before you've quite had a chance to react to it, it's already altogether come gone.

By this point, the Beatles had pulled this kind of stunt just enough times for you to recognize it with an indulgent smile, but not too many times that you'd be annoyed that it's getting old. In contrast to "The End", "Her Majesty" it provides sufficient comic relief to those for whom the previous track is too sombre or stuffy, without ruining or even diluting that same track's lush sentiment for those who like it just the way it is.

Lewisohn's characterization of Paul arriving early at the studio on July 2, 1969 to quickly get this song down on tape before the others arrived implies that the song was hot off the composer's pen that very morning. However, an outtake of "Her Majesty" from the 1/24/69 "Get Back" sessions at Apple shows the song was already quite worked out well in advance. This outtake runs for over two minutes and consists essentially of five repeats of the single verse we find on Abbey Road; there is no alternate bridge section, nor even extra lyrics for a second verse, aside from some scat singing in places. What sounds like George and Ringo attempt half-heartedly to vamp along, but even at this early date, Paul clearly performs here what we are familiar with as the finished guitar part.

In terms of style, "Her Majesty" sounds like a strange cross between "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" and the "Goodbye" song Paul wrote for Mary Hopkin.

Everything old is new again -- and updated. From BBC News, 5-30-2002:

It was 25 years ago that the Sex Pistols released a song proclaiming, "God save the Queen, and her fascist regime."

It was banned but sold by the bucket load, and the emergence of punk took a bite out of the Queen's 25-year jubilee.

The Pistols debut was re-released as Buckingham Palace prepares to welcome dozens of pop acts who will help celebrate the Queen's fiftieth year on the throne.

[...]

ROBIN DENSELOW:
They're building a stage at Buckingham Palace and preparing for a most unusual Royal Event, the first ever public concert to be held inside the Palace gardens. There's to be a classical concert on Saturday and, more surprisingly, a pop show a week today . The 12,000 to attend each event were chosen by ballot from the two million to applied and should experience something rather different from the standard pop festival diet of mud and lager. They'll all be presented with a hamper, including half a bottle of champagne, chicken and pasta salad and a poncho, in case of rain. As for the Queen, she'll arrive sometime during the event which the Palace Communications Secretary told me aims to reflect the importance of British pop during the Queen's reign.

SIMON WALKER:
(Palace Communications Secretary)
We're celebrating 50 years, and what better way to look back on the last 50 years than through pop music.

ROBIN DENSELOW:
The Queen is not exactly an avid pop concert attendee, is she?

[...]

ROBIN DENSELOW:
It promises to be a bizarre and intriguing event and raises a whole host of questions. Why should the monarchy want to embrace pop culture to this extent right now? And why do so many singers want to appear? This, after all, is another jubilee year. It's 25 years since the advent of punk and that very famous snarling anthem attacking the Queen.

MUSIC:
SEX PISTOLS -
"God Save the Queen"

God Save the Queen
And her fascist regime
They made you a moron
Potential H-Bomb


ROBIN DENSELOW:
25 years ago today the Sex Pistols released their much banned "God Save The Queen", launching punk against the monarchy. Never a band to miss out on the publicity cue, they released the song today and are to hold their own Palace concert at London Crystal Palace in July. Punk shook up British pop and it spawned a mass of good music and angry musical good causes such as "Rock against Racism". But now with pop stars playing the Palace has the establishment won over the music business?

MUSIC:
CHUMBAWAMBA-
"Her Majesty"

Her Majesty's a very nice girl
But I think she ought to call it a day
Her Majesty's a very nice girl
With no good reason to stay


ROBIN DENSELOW:
There's a new song out from a band not invited to the Palace. Chumbawamba have revived The Beatles "Her Majesty", in a way that would no doubt displease Sir Paul. Outside the Palace gates band member Alice Nutter argued the jubilee is celebrating all the wrong things.

ALICE NUTTER:
(Chumbawamba)
We were invited. It would have been fantastic. We would have loved to be invited. Imagine people actually getting up on stage and doing and saying awkward things because it's not about doing and saying awkward things. It's not about celebrating British culture that's fantastic and interesting. It's not about a big creative explosion that came 25 years ago with punk. It's about safe British culture that doesn't say anything, about manufactured boy bands and about rock stars that were fantastic at some points but have stopped saying things that are engaged with the world now.

Well, I guess the old pretty nice girl with her fascist regime in today's image made the world safer to propagate more Milli Vanilli and Vanilla Ice. Goo Goo G'joob. Made you a moron, indeed.

But why have I wasted your time considering human regency? To see "Her Majesty" in true form, simply seek out the nearest feline positioned with paws outstretched like a Sphinx.

All right, you pussies.  Kneel before Zod...

Trust me. I "ain't no human being."
[Painting seen at VirtualMall.ca]

No. Trust me. Cleaning Her Majesty's litter box is always a royal pain...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Her Majesty

It's not called the Queen
City for nothing.

German hostels swizzle
Pretzel bow ties.

Underground beer cellars
Are uncorked for the festival.

Buckled clogging shoes
Clatter over brick streets.

Accordions and organ
Grinders wheedle for monkeys.

Butchers display hog
Guts beside spiced bratwurst.

Rock music has transgendered
Into polka bands.

Cops with billy clubs leer
At circumspect Jewish bankers.

Cheers confetti the burial
Urn of the Reds' manager.

She is reverentially hauled
Into the abandoned ball park.

Pigeons whiplash the spectators
Out for the bonfire.

Then the mighty Ohio rises
To drown its refugee railroad.

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