I Wish I Wrote That

In August 2004, Ant was asked to contribute to a magazine article which revealed a particular song that a selection of well-known musicians really admire, but was written and performed by another singer/band.  Here's what Ant had to say about his chosen track - For No One by The Beatles.

I could have chosen any of a hundred songs by this phenomenally talented and incredibly innovative group but I've plumped for a less celebrated one from, arguably, their strongest period of song-writing : The Revolver era; before the equally brilliant but more production-based work of the Sergeant Pepper period.

''For No One'' is - like so many of their songs - short, concise and wastes not a note.  The form is perfection, the instrumentation simple yet adventurous-the addition of the now-legendary French Horn to piano plus basic rhythm section simply inspired! Paul's lyrics give the lie to the narrow and ignorant view that he was only responsible for the lighter, triter part of the Beatles output.  There is more heartache in the celebrated ''Yesterday'' - and it is undoubtedly a most beautiful and, memorable tune - but if ''Yesterday'' deals with the subject of lost love in a plaintive, melancholy, ''popular'' way, ''For No One'' has the detachment, understatement and nobility of universal truth.  So wise for one so young !

Most of us know that dreadful, sickening feeling-coupled with complete incomprehension - when someone you love suddenly changes and, in this masterful song, Paul captures the tragedy, folly and utter hopelessness of this human mystery that is repeated somewhere every second of every day ! - yet he does it with a coolness and detachment that makes it all the more powerful: ''There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head - you won't forget her"  How many of us are familiar with these words - to our cost !

And the final touch of reintroducing the Horn solo part UNDER the the vocal in the final verse (yes, the parts work perfectly together...contrapuntal planning or just luck ?!) is, alright let's say it....genius ! I rest my case !

AP, August 2004

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