Summer of the Beatles and the Caterpillars

So this summer I’ve been turning my daughter on to the Beatles, meanwhile rediscovering how great they were, taking me back. I was a child when “Let It Be” was on the AM radio airwaves and I remember it as no less than the greatest pop song of all time. In college in the Seventies I pretty much memorized the Beatles songs, even while other bands came and went in popularity. Now I’m listening to Revolver, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, the White Album, Let It Be, and Sergeant Peppers. Every day I get hooked on a new old song. Today it was “Across the Universe,” jai guru deva om. What a beginning:
Words are flying out like
endless rain into a paper cup
They slither while they pass
They slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
are drifting thorough my open mind
Possessing and caressing me
What impresses me now, all these four decades later, is how absurd and inventive they are. Plenty of love songs, many titled with female names: Julia, Prudence, Martha. But over and over again they turn the pop clichés on their heads and spin them around. When I queue up “Let It Be” and “Two of Us” comes on, my three-year-old Lili’s face lights up with smile and she starts nodding to the tune. Her favorites are on the White Album, particularly “Bungalow Bill” and “Rocky Raccoon.”
Meanwhile we  have a caterpillar barn of sorts, with Monarch butterfly caterpillars just now going into chrysalis. Hence it’s the summer of Beatles and caterpillars.

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