About the song

Ah, yes, We Can Work It Out by The Beatles. A true gem nestled within the crown of their revolutionary discography. Released in December 1965, this song marked a pivotal moment for the Fab Four, bridging the gap between their earlier, pop-centric sound and their foray into the more introspective and experimental rock that would define their later years.

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Composed by the songwriting duo of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, We Can Work It Out embodies the spirit of its time. The mid-1960s were a period of immense social and cultural change. The youth movement was gaining momentum, questioning traditional values and seeking new forms of expression. The Beatles, ever the cultural antennae, reflected these changes in their music. We Can Work It Out captures the anxieties and frustrations of young love, but tempers them with a message of optimism and perseverance.

The song itself is a fascinating study in contrasting styles. The verses, penned by McCartney, are melodic and hopeful. His signature bassline lays the foundation, while his clear vocals plead for understanding: “Try to see it my way / Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?” The chorus, conversely, reflects Lennon’s more cynical outlook. Backed by a driving guitar riff, he declares, “Life is very short and there’s no time / For fussing and fighting, my friend.”

This interplay between optimism and frustration is further emphasized by the song’s unique structure. The verses and choruses are separated by a call-and-response bridge, where both John and Paul interject with the titular phrase, “We can work it out.” This repetition creates a sense of urgency and determination, a back-and-forth negotiation between two viewpoints.

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We Can Work It Out was also a pioneering example of studio experimentation. The Beatles, under the guidance of their producer George Martin, spent a then-unprecedented eleven hours recording the song. They employed double-tracking techniques to create a fuller sound, and even reversed the tape on one section to achieve a psychedelic, otherworldly effect.

The song’s impact was undeniable. It became The Beatles’ sixth consecutive number one single in the United States, a feat unmatched at the time. It resonated with audiences on a deeply personal level, offering a message of hope and compromise in the face of conflict. We Can Work It Out transcended its status as a pop song, becoming an anthem for a generation yearning for connection and understanding.

Even today, the song retains its power. Its simple yet profound message continues to resonate with listeners of all ages. It stands as a testament to The Beatles’ genius, their ability to capture the spirit of their times and craft timeless music that continues to move and inspire.

Video

Lyrics

“We Can Work It Out”
(originally by The Beatles)

Try to see it my way
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go wrong
While you see it your way
Run the risk of knowing that our love will 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 alright
Think of what I’m saying
We can work it out and get it straight or say goodnight

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We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting my friend
I have always thought that it’s a crime
So I will ask you once again
I’ll ask you once again

Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While I see it your way
There’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long

We can work it out
We can work it out

Life is very short and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting my friend

I have always thought that it’s a crime
So I will ask you once again
I’ll ask you once again

Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While I see it your way
There’s a chance that we might fall apart before too long

We can work it out
We can work it out

At least we can try
We can try out to work it out someday