Worst Lennon song?
|"one of the Beatles most dispensable items".|
Run for Your Life’, I always hated ... because it was a song I just knocked off Lennon Remembers
Few would argue with this assessment. Thomas Ward diplomatically suggests that it is one of the Beatles most dispensable items". while Ian MacDonald is characteristically forthright ('a dismal track').
'Run for Life' was the first song recorded for what would become Rubber Soul. It was 'knocked off' during a break between the filming of Help and their return to Abbey Road in October 1965.
One reason Lennon was later embarrassed by the song was what MacDonald calls its 'lazily sexist lyric'. Even allowing for the different social climate, 'you better run for your life ... or that's the end' has an unpleasant menacing edge.
The words and the sentiment came from the old Elvis song 'Baby, Let's Play House'.
There was a line on it; I used to like specific lines from songs, ‘I’d rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man’—so I wrote it around that, but I didn’t think it was that important”.
Performance & Recording
Tellingly, The Beatles would never perform Run for You Life. In the studio performance Lennon abandons the playful, ironic tone of Let's Play House for a menacing edge. This is apparent in his vocal - the sneered 'little girl' refrain is particularly jarring.
There is a generally rushed and uncertain feel to a particularly poor recording, complete popping microphones, 'badly out of tune' guitars and a terrible vocal mix