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The Revolution


  • pg 1
   By: The Beatles
You say you want a revolution

Well you know

We all want to change the world

You tell me that it's evolution

Well you know

We all want to change the world

But when you talk about destruction

Don't you know you can count me out

Don't you know it's gonna be all right (x3)
You say you got a real solution

Well you know

We'd all love to see the plan

You ask me for a contribution

Well you know

We're doing what we can

But when you want money for people with
minds that hate

All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

Don't you know it's gonna be all right (x3)
You say you'll change the constitution

Well you know

We all want to change your head

You tell me it's the institution

Well you know

You better free your mind instead

But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman

You ain't going to make it with anyone

Don't you know it's gonna be all right (x3)
                            LITERATURE CITED
   "The Beatles." Gale Biography Resource Center. N.p., 1 Feb. 2010. Web. 14 May
       2010. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/
   Fontenot, Robert. "Revolution." About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2010.
   "Learn About the Vietnam War." Digital History. N.p., 14 May 2010. Web. 14 May
       2010. <http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/modules/vietnam/index.cfm>.
   Mike, comp. "Revolution Lyrics." Songfacts. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2010.
   "Paul McCartney." Gale Biography Resource Center. N.p., 19 Feb. 2009. Web. 14
       May 2010. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/
   Rooney, Terrie M., ed. "John Lennon." Gale Biography Resource Center. N.p., 13
      Nov. 2006. Web. 14 May 2010. <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/
   Simkin, John. Spartacus Educational. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 June 2010.
                             LITERATURE CITED
   Bantwal, Natasha. "Facts of the Vietnam war." Buzzle. N.p., 2010. Web. 1 June
      2010. <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/facts-of-the-vietnam-war.html>.
   Trueman, Chris. "The Great Leap Forward." History Learning Site. N.p., 2010.
      Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/
   "Darwin's Theory Of Evolution - A Theory in Crisis ." All About Science. N.p.,
      2010. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.allaboutscience.org/
   "Sino-Japanese Wars." History Guy. N.p., 29 Apr. 2010. Web. 1 June 2010.
   "World War 2." World War 2. N.p., 2010. Web. 1 June 2010.
   Hooker, Richard. "The Chinese Communist Party." Modern China. N.p., 6 June 1999.
      Web. 1 June 2010. <http://wsu.edu/~dee/MODCHINA/COMM.HTM>.
                        THE BEATLES
        The Beatles is an infamous group of musicians who have greatly
influenced our music industry. The most renowned members of the band
include: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo
Starr. Despite their great success, the band had quite a tough time
starting out in their career. John Lennon created the group with some of
his friends and had originally named it the Quarrymen, after Quarry
Banks High School in 1956; where the boys attended school. It was year
later when guitarist John Lennon had joined, and after much persistence
George Harrison was allowed into the group as well. They began playing
their music around Liverpool, but soon veered towards clubs in West
Germany. During these initial stages living conditions weren’t great, and
work was quite enduring. However they persevered and received great
reactions from their audiences. Once singing a contract with records
producer George Martin their first single “Love me do” written by Lennon
and McCartney (they wrote most of the songs) was released October 5,
1962. It did very well and when “Please Please Me” was released there
were even better reactions leading to it becoming a huge hit. Their first
British album stayed on the charts for six months. Once in America, they
took the top five spots in the Billboard top sellers list and fourteen of their
songs dominated the top one hundred songs, something that had yet to be
done. Nonetheless, later down the road arguments started arising
between The Beatles. Eventually Paul McCartney had sued for the
termination of the group in 1971. Even though they did remain united,
the Beatles definitely left their mark in the world of music (“The Beatles”)

           Mao Zedong was a Chinese Communist Leader. Tragedy
struck out when China’s people were divided by democracy and
communism during the Chinese Civil War. He led the Chinese
Communist Party to victory in the Chinese Civil war after the
establishment of the Peoples Republic of China on October 1, ,
1949, which Mao was also the head of. He was very dedicated to
the welfare of his nation, therefore after rising up to power in the
communist party he developed many programs including: the
Anti-Rightist Campaign, the Great Leap forward, and the
Cultural Revolution, all to create a better China. He became
Chairman near the events of World War 2 and the Sino-
Japanese War. Although many feel he has made mistakes in his
life, his fellow men refer to him as a great military leader and
diplomat (Simkin).
                    VIETNAM WAR
      I think that in this song, the Beatles are referring to the
“revolution” as the Vietnam War. In 1954, the country of
Vietnam was split into two separate parts: Communist North and
Democratic South. These two differing philosophies led to a war
between the Vietnamese people. However , the war included other
nations as well such as the Americans and Australians. The
Americans were in favor of the democratic south, and even though
primarily they wanted to limit their participation in the war, they
ended up providing a lot of economic aid in order to stop the
spread of communism. However, years of violent struggles led to
the victory of North and eventually unifying all of Vietnam under
communist rule.

         “ Don’t you know it’s gonna be all right”

Repetition implies that something (e.g. word, phrase) is
repeated. The purpose of it is to emphasize the subject at
hand. In this case, I think that the artists are trying to
make the audience feel secure by telling them that
whatever’s happening, in the end everything will work
itself out and there is no need for worry or in the case of the
song, there is no need for violence.
       Mao believed that China was capable of anything, so in an
effort to modernize the Chinese economy he established an
economic plan known as “The Great Leap Forward”. This plan
targeted two main factors: agriculture and industry, for Mao
believed that in order for one of these to prosper so did the other.
       In order to implement this plan, China was broken down
into communes – subdivisions that provided all that was needed
for its inhabitants. People in a commune were forced to give up
tools, machinery, animals etc so that everything was under the
ownership of the commune.
      However, the communes were a failure due to inability to
perform tasks, bad weather such as floods and droughts. Many
blamed the bad outcomes on Mao (Trueman).
         Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is a vastly know concept
that states that all life is somehow connected to each other and
has descended from a common ancestor. His theory deduces that
complex organisms evolve from more simple creatures naturally
over a period of time. And as mutations occur in an organism’s
genetic code, the beneficial mutations are kept intact and passed
down to the next generation because they aid survival, this
process is known as “natural selection”. Over a long period of time,
eventually there have been so many mutations that an entirely
different creature has developed (“Darwin’s Theory of Evolution”).
      In my opinion “destruction” in this songs means violence
that occurs in response to revolutions as a solution. When it says
“But when you talk about destruction, Don't you know you can
count me out” I think its saying that I’m all for change but once
you decide to turn to violence, and hurting people I’m not
interested anymore. And destruction in revolutions would be
murder, burning of cities, invasions, and rebellions.
      The Cultural Revolution began in October 1966. During this
movement, the youth of China was encouraged to disparage the
liberals in the Chinese Communist Party. Red Guards – group of
youths who congregated – urged others to criticize people who
Mao thought were untrustworthy with China’s future.
      The main point of the cultural revolution was to have no
one better than the rest, and have everyone working together.
Therefore, schools were closed down, so that there wouldn’t be
any elite. This caused social unrest. However the cultural
revolution came to and end 2 years later in October, 1968.

       I think this line is trying to express that your beliefs are so
radical that you think you’re the only right one and you can
change the constitution, but everyone else seems to think
differently, so maybe you should reevaluate your own mindset
and ways of thinking before, you decide to make a rash and
impacting course of action.

       In my opinion, the tone of these lines, “You say you got a
real solution, Well you know, We’d all love to see the plan,” seems
to be sarcastic. Almost as though the artists are trying to be witty.
Like saying if you really have a solution to the problems, then
why don’t you show us? We’re all for a plan as long as there is
one. And if you don’t, just be quiet.
              CHINESE CIVIL WAR
       The Chinese Civil War took place from 1946-1949 between
the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai Sheik, and the Communists
led by Mao Zedong. It was the different political parties of China
fighting for power. The Americans came in on the side of the
Nationalists, but when they realized that they were going
downhill, they pulled out their troops. Eventually major cites
began falling under communist control with minimal resistance.

      This line is frequently repeated throughout the song. I
think it means that everyone has there own opinion, and that we
all want everything to be all right. But this line always precedes
or succeeds a line that is showing action, for example changing
the constitution. In way it is as thought the artists are saying
that we all want things we cant have, it doesn’t mean you are
always going to get what you desire.

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