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18 January 2003 @ 04:15 am
So that's where war comes from...  
Paul McCartney's "We Can Work It Out" always said something I thought was a bit...off.

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can't go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Think of what you're saying.
You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right.
Think of what I'm saying,
We can work it out and get it straight, or say good night.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Try to see it my way,
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong.
While you see it your way
There's a chance that we may fall apart before too long.
We can work it out,
We can work it out.

Note: I have omitted the Lennon composed chorus verses.

Seems his idea of compromise is "Well, we can do it my way, which is right, or your way, which is obviously wrong. So, shall we agree then to do it my way?" Says a lot about Paul, don't you think?

Yet, I know other people who actually think this is a good way to try and settle a dispute. When their ideas are challenged, they simply continue to repeat themselves and call upon what is clearly the righteous stance of their position. For them it's not a question of hearing the other side, but stating why the other party should change their mind. There's just no settling with them, no matter what you do, until you agree with them. I'd call it "fighting", but maybe I'm wrong. Who knows? I'm open to other interpretations, should anyone like to present them to me.

I wish people really understood what compromise was, not just the false idea that it's a synonym for, "Do as I say."

We can work it out. It just takes work. The idea seems to be going out of style though...
 
 
Mood: Worked out
Music: Radiohead - Karma Police
 
 
 
Corpsus Hypertexticusspacemummy on January 18th, 2003 12:36 pm (UTC)
I don't see that in the song. "You can get it wrong and still you think that it's all right." The operative word is can. So the speaker is saying, "since you won't even consider my position, how do you know that yours is right?" It's the frustration when you believe that the other person is only seeing one side and not two. "Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong." The speaker admits that he could be wrong too, but it is only time that will tell. The speaker, Paul, is looking for compromise.

On the hand, John seems to be saying, life is short, forget about it. Let it work itself out. He doesn't need to come to any conclusions, hence no compromise, no working things out. You could interpret this as a coded discussion between John and Paul. But I think you're taking the John side, and you're not listening to Paul. As much as I appreciate John, he could be a snarky bitch sometimes and very hardheaded. The followup to this song (after the breakup) could be "Oh, Darling". McCartney clearly says "Oh, Johnny" on one verse toward the end.

I'm not particularly a John or a Paul fan. Okay, I always identified with George most. Just stepping out in this old brown shoe.
Mellenabsentmammoth on January 18th, 2003 06:14 pm (UTC)
I see your point. I wasn't really trying to judge Paul per se, I just always say it as a funny way to look at what was supposed to be a compromise. I just couldn't see looking at a compromise as an arguer from that point of view.

Maybe I'm wrong. I'm always open to that as an option. It's very nice to get another view, especially on Beatles' songs, which I find it hard to get good discussion on these days.

This song and I will have to work it out then.