Analyzing Beatles Lyrics Reveals ...


Beatles Lyrics, PR & storytelling

Deciphering the inner meaning of Beatles lyrics goes back to playing the White Album backward and the “Paul is dead” hoopla, a technique that obviously proved to be flawed.

I believe a more hand-crafted approach to sifting through Beatles lyrics paves the way to storytelling gold.

My crack researcher Grace Hoffman – who says nepotism is dead? – combed through virtually every Beatles’ word that made the vinyl page.

The conclusion –

Paul and John and to lesser extent George often channeled the PR agency business in crafting lyrics (sorry, Ringo).

I won’t numb you with all the data, but here are 10 proof points that make the case:

1.We Can Work it Out (1965) Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?

In spirited discussions with clients, strength of conviction can easily give way to yada yada yada.

2. “Nowhere Man” (1965) Doesn’t have a point of view,
Knows not where he’s going to,

Few things torpedo a thought leadership campaign faster than an executive who isn’t willing to take a stand.

3. I Want to Hold Your Hand (1963) Oh please, say to me
You’ll let me be your man

The Beatles empathize with the anxiety that comes from a new-biz pitch. You desperately want the business. Yet, you don’t want to come across doing the two-step grovel.

4. Hello, Goodbye (1967) You say yes, I say no
You say stop and I say go go go, oh no

What comes at you when you tangle with the client’s legal department over what appears to be an innocuous news release.

5. From Me to You (1963) If there’s anything that you want
If there’s anything I can do
Just call on me and I’ll send it along

Clients do love a can-do attitude.

6. Revolution (1968) You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world

There’s nothing quite like launching a startup.

7. Hard Day’s Night (1964) It’s been a hard day’s night
And I’ve been working like a dog.
It’s been a hard day’s night,
I should be sleeping like a log.

24 X 7 accessibility often means today’s PR pro grinds into the evening, finding joy in the Falafel joint that stays open late.

8. Don’t Pass Me By (1968) You said that you would be late about an hour or two
I said that’s all right, I’m waiting here, just waiting to hear from you

How can I put this diplomatically? Many clients’ track record for being on time for meetings makes the airline industry look like a bastion of promptness. Still, we deliver a chirpy face with the perfunctory “no problem.”

9. Glass Onion (1968) Well, here’s another place you can go
Where everything flows

Sure, there are times when you’d like to tell the client where to go. Using the destination “where everything flows” gives it finesse instead of using a cuss word.

10. You Never Give Me Your Money (1969) You never give me your money
You only give me your funny paper

What usually happens when an agency takes stock in lieu of cash from a startup to fund the PR campaign.


  • gary garchar

    How about A Day in the Life (1967)?

    “Woke up, fell out of bed, dragged a comb across my head.”

    Starting up the inevitable cycle of birth and rebirth, the first action is often followed by falling down, then rearrangement of the strands to present a more successful appearance.

  • Martin Chorich

    Little known fake fact: Early versions of this song had its narrator proclaiming “I want to be a press release writer.”

    • hoffman

      Good stuff.

      Now there’s a tidbit that should help when you play the PR version of Trivia Pursuits.

      Always partial to that song since I mentioned my hometown, Tucson, Arizona (which Jo Jo left)


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