‘Yesterday’, the song, was first released in the album ‘Help’ back in August 1965. Paul McCartney is said to have composed the entire melody in his dream while he slept at his then girlfriend’s home on one night. But soon after Paul began to feel that he had subconsciously plagiarized the song, only he did not know where from. Let’s learn the meaning behind the lyrics of the song “Yesterday” by the legendary band, The Beatles.
On having consulted various experts and concerned people and only after becoming sure that the music was his own original composition, Paul went on to write the lyrics. ‘Yesterday’ is one of the most recorded songs in the history of popular music. Its entry in Guinness World Records states that, by January 1986, 1,600 cover versions of the song had been made.
Introduction: Yesterday Lyrics
In January this year, 2019, the world completed 50 years of having last seen a concert by the rock band, the Beatles. The Beatles were arguably the most influential band of all time. Beatles, who redefined rock music for generations to come, gave us countless timeless hits. Led by the band’s primary songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the Beatles built their reputation playing at clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg.
They went on to become the bestselling band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million albums worldwide. Even though we must revisit each of their classic recordings, ‘Yesterday’ could be chosen to begin with, for the appeal that it carries for all of us who miss something or someone from our past.
Yesterday Lyrics Meaning
Let’s dissect the meaning behind the lyrics of the song “Yesterday” by The Beatles section-wise. This number is a melancholy song wherein Paul writes and sings about his long-lost love and also of the time when his head and shoulders were lighter and freer.
Paul McCartney is pondering about the time when he was so far from the present trials of his life, only he did not know it. Life was full of limitless possibilities and everything came easier, or so it seems. “A memory is a beautiful thing, it’s almost a desire that you miss.”. These words by Gustave Flaubert ring so true. But also equally true are the words by Andre Gide – nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness.
And Paul also wants those happy times back which only doubles the agony he is already in, with his present. He says he believes in yesterday. As if yesterday was a person and he could trust much more than his ‘today’. He misses his own past self, a self that he believes was so much better than his “self” as he sees himself now. And the big beautiful yesterday overshadows all of his today.
In so many instances we wish only if we could travel back in time and change that one thing that we did or change the way we did it! Paul thinks on the same lines and yearns for the past. He seems to have hurt the love of his life with something he said. And he regrets the same immensely. Because of his deeds or words, his love left him for good, without having had any exchange of arguments or of even goodbyes. And he sure does regret it, regret it thoroughly.
Living life and being in love seems like a cakewalk to Paul. But a cakewalk only in the past. As of today, Paul feels lovelorn and yearns for his time with his love which was yesterday. Now all he wants to do is beat himself up and hide in a corner, away from the world. He desperately misses the days gone by. That is what nostalgia is, isn’t it? It converts the memories of the past into something even sweeter than they were and you can’t help squirming in the pain of separation from the past or your version of it.
Conclusion: Yesterday Meaning
All of us have dear memories of people, of places, of things. There is a strong reason why the ‘good old days’ are called by that name. How much do you miss your own yesterday? What do you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of the song “Yesterday” by The Beatles. Do let us know in the comments below.
Read the meaning behind the lyrics of the song “Yesterday” by The Beatles on Genius in detail.
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