Obituaries

Ah, Ah Mr. Heath

|

Edward Heath, former Conservative prime minister of Great Britain*, is dead at age 89.

The obits are all touting his chief accomplishment as his early '70s bringing Britain* into the Common Market, which evolved into today's European Union.

But a generation of Americans (and, one suspects, Brits too) who can barely recall a pre-Margaret Thatcher leader of England but many Beatles tunes doubtless remember Heath as one of the bad eggs from the lyrics of George Harrison's "Taxman."

*: Corrected re: Hakluyt's remarks in comments section.

Bonus material: Go here for why we remember the Beatles more than their home country's politicians. Go here for my thoughts about George Harrison's artistic slide.

Advertisement

NEXT: If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Could I Seize $46,950?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Nick Gillespie,

    Britain got into the Common Market because de Gaulle was no longer President of France. 🙂

    And he brought Britain in, not just England. 🙂

  2. A bit of trivia:

    Paul McCartney plays the lead guitar on that Harrison tune. His arguement was pretty much “Well, you’re lead on all MY songs”. Even though George only got one or two tracks per album.

    Poor George.

  3. George chafed for years under Paul’s command. It was that master vs. servant relationship that made George walk out on the band during the creation of the Let It Be film and album. No surprise, then, that George’s first proper solo album, All Things Must Pass, was six LP sides and almost entirely excellent, if a bit overproduced by Phil Spector.

    Unfortunately, except for a couple of glimmers in the mid-late 70s, it was clear that was the brief peak of George’s ex-Beatle output.

  4. C’mon, Dave, who DOESN’T want to here the phrase “I’ve got my mind set on you” repeated seven hundred times consecutively?

  5. Other great Paul McCartney lead guitar moments in the Beatles ouvre:

    Another Girl
    Ticket To Ride
    Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite (that loopy section just prior to the last verse that sounds like a trumpet or Mellotron)
    The End

    Dave, Living In The Material World is a pretty good album too. “Give Me Love,” “The Lord Loves The One” and “Sue Me, Sue You Blues” are as good as the stuff on All Things Must Pass.

  6. JFTR, “Got My Mind Set On You” was a cover of some obscure ’60s R&B tune. That album wasn’t without its merits, either; “Just For Today,” “Devil’s Radio,” “Wreck of the Hesperus” . . . all good tunes.

  7. Nick,

    Sorry about the pedantry. After I read the write-up I could just see all my Welsh and Scottish friends howling in pain. 🙂

  8. Also, “The Ballad of John and Yoko” is all Lennon and McCartney on instruments. They locked George and Ringo out of the studio.

  9. And the orchestra in “A Day in the Life”? Yoko played every single intrument, except for poor Ringo’s triangle.

  10. And he brought Britain in, not just England. 🙂

    Also N. Ireland, which is not in Britain at all, Great or otherwise.

  11. C’mon, Dave, who DOESN’T want to here the phrase “I’ve got my mind set on you” repeated seven hundred times consecutively?

    Thanks a lot, Joe. Just the song I needed to be stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

  12. Evan McElravy,

    Well, traditionally Ireland is part of the “British Isles,” but I wouldn’t tell anyone from Galway that. 🙂

  13. Hell, don’t tell anyone from Boston that!

  14. Not to be picky, but the country’s official name is neither England nor Grat Britain, but the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, UK for short.

  15. If we’re going to be precise about names, wouldn’t it be the United Kingdom (of Great Britain AND Northern Ireland) since it, rather than Great Britain alone (i.e., without Northern Ireland) joined the EU?

  16. “C’mon, Dave, who DOESN’T want to here the phrase ‘I’ve got my mind set on you’ repeated seven hundred times consecutively?”

    Weird Al’s parody of “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You” really nails it, although he gets the number of words wrong:

    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long

    Couldn’t think of any lyrics
    No I never wrote the lyrics
    So I’ll just sing any old lyrics
    That come to mind, child

    You really need words
    Whole lotta rhyming words
    You gotta rhyme so many words, mm-mm
    To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it
    To do it, to do it right, child

    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long

    I know that you’re probably sore
    ‘Cause I didn’t write any more
    I just didn’t get to complete it
    So that’s why I gotta repeat it

    This song is just six words long (six words long)
    This song is just six words long (six words long)

    Oh I make a lotta money
    They pay me a ton of money
    They’re payin’ me plenty of money
    To sing this song, child

    I gotta fill time
    Three minutes worth of time
    Oh, how will I fill so much time, mm-mm
    I’ll throw in a solo, a solo, a solo
    A solo, a solo here

    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long
    This song is just six words long

    This song’s got nothin’ to say
    But I’m recording it anyway
    I know if I put my mind to it
    I know I could find a good rhyme here

    Oh, you gotta have-a music
    You need really catchy music
    This song has got plenty of music
    But just six words, child

    And so I’ll sing’ em over
    And over and over and over
    And over and over and over, mm-mm
    And over and over and over
    And over and over and over again

    Six words long, six words long
    Six words long, six words long
    Six words long, six words long

    This song is just six words long
    It’s just six words long
    ***

  17. Anglo-Saxons out of Prydain, roight now!

    And take the Jutes wit’ ya!

  18. Nick, good obit, didn’t see it before. Harrison did okay with the Wilburys, but yer sure right about the rest of that crap. And who can forget the sign on his gate that essentially said fuck all americans.

  19. Weird Al’s parody of “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You” really nails it, although he gets the number of words wrong:

    I’m late enough in responding that very few people will likely see this, but… the number of words is right if you contract “Song Is” to “Song’s, as Weird Al did in the title of his parody:

    “This Song’s Just Six Words Long”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.