Rhetorical Analysis of the song “All My Loving” by the Beatles
The song “All My Loving” describes a lady the writer, Paul McCartney, left behind as a result of a tour the band, The Beatles, had to make around the world. It was released as a single and the first song the band played on their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on 9th of February, 1964. The song production of the song occurred in Canada by Capital Records and made its way to the top of the charts with over 73 million viewers (All My Loving Lyrics- Beatles, 2016). The song emerged as a poem where the lead singer developed the lyrics while shaving one morning thinking about his girlfriend, Jane Asher, who he met through an interview for the Radio Times magazine.
The lyrics, “Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you/ Tomorrow I’ll miss you”, depict Paul’s reluctance to leave the lady and promises to write letters to her with the guarantee of never forgetting her. The band comprised of four men where the first one was John Lennon, who played the rhythm guitar as well as the back-up vocal. The second one entailed Paul McCartney, who played the role of a lead vocalist and played the bass guitar. George Harrison and Ringo Star played the lead guitar and drums respectively (Fontenot, 2014). However, considering that there are long shots of the drummer, the guitarist, and the lead singer is regularly shown. This suggests to the audience that all the members of this band are important. Although the lead singer comes a few seconds earlier than the rest of the group, the rest of the band receives enough attention from the camera (Fontenot, 2014). When they all begin to play the music, a well- refined rock track is achieved describing the saddening realization that the singer will not see his girlfriend for a long time but promises to keep in touch and her in his thoughts.
The song begins softly and slowly. The only instrument playing is the guitar, and the lead vocalist is the only one singing. As the song builds up in the first verse, drum beats are heard, and the bass guitar sound follow. The music continues to pick up especially regarding volume which causes the lead singer to sing much louder (Fontenot, 2014). The tempo increases in the chorus with the lead singer becoming more aggressive than he was in the first verse. In the second verse, the lead vocalist first stops singing then after the drums beat and the guitar picks, he sings with a lower tone than in the chorus. The song picks up as he goes back to the chorus. He continues to the third verse which he sings in a softer and lower tone. Although the beat begins at a moderate speed, it builds up slowly. Towards the end of the song, the lead singer sings the chorus with another line being sang in the background (Fontenot, 2014).
The lead singer emphasizes on certain parts through singing softly and slowly to effectively pass the message to the listeners. For example, he sings: “All my loving, I will send to you, all my loving, darling I’ll be true.” Here, the lead vocalist states that he will dedicate his love to his girlfriend by sending it to her and remaining loyal and faithful to her. These aspects depict an appealing reference to the logos. However, by ethos, the lead singer emphasizes that he will miss her and while he is away, he will write letters to her indicating his undying love for her.
The tone in these lyrics is very passionate and the lead vocalist indicates that he will pretend to be kissing the lips he misses hoping that his dream will come true: “ I’ll pretend that I’m kissing the lips I am missing and hope that my dreams will come true and then while I’m away, I will write home every day”. In other words, the singer is dedicating his love and desire for his girlfriend (Wagner, 2006). The singer addresses the girlfriend directly by speaking to her conscience. He sings: “Remember I’ll always be true, and I’ll send all my loving to you.” In this way, he appeals to his pathos by depicting that the girl maybe somewhere in the public as part of their audience and he attempts to assure her that despite their distance, he would love her dearly and remain faithful to her (Wagner, 2006). Specifically, he appeals to his feelings in a way that the listeners manage to grasp the significance of listening to what he is trying to say. Finally, the song achieves Kairos because of the timeliness of the message it is passing. Additionally, the song applies repetition in emphasizing the meaning of the lyrics where the singer attempts to assure his girlfriend that he loves and misses her regardless of their ability to see each other or be together.
The articulation and pronunciation of the lyrics to the song bring about the ability where any individual familiar with English can easily hear and understand it. The singers can balance the speed, tone and the words of the song such that, whether the words are being sung softly/ slowly or aggressively/ loudly, the listener can still understand and connect with it. For example, the second verse perpetuates a primary phrase which implies that the singer promises “I’ll pretend that I’m kissing the lips I am missing” that he will see other women along the road: These words emphasize the singer’s stand through conveying some form of allegiance which is common in most rock bands (Wagner, 2006). This could also be triggered by the presence of police officers in the video presentation. The other element that displays the song as a rock genre is the lead vocalist/ guitarist’s act of smashing his guitar at the end of the song. This is a common stereotype observed in most rock musicians.
The themes applied in the song entail auxiliary progression reinforced by hypermetric level where extra sequence occurs in each phrase matching the ascent towards the peak note of the treble line. The use of these factors helps in bringing out the melodic curve that divides the phrases asymmetrical. These themes, as well as the short length, provide an appropriate notation for radio. Repetition plays an important role in the song as it brings about an added emphasis on the meaning of the words thus creating an assurance that the singer would keep his word (Wagner, 2006).
All My Loving Lyrics- Beatles. (2016).
Fontenot, R. (2014). The Beatles Songs: “All My Loving” The history of this classic Beatles song.
Wagner, N. (2006). Starting in the Middle: Auxiliary Cadences in the Beatles’ Songs. Music Analysis , 155-169.