Friday, September 4, 2020

"Kind of a Drag" versus "My Sweet Lord"

When I first heard George Harrison's solo big smash after breaking with the Beatles, 1970's "My Sweet Lord", I was knocked out. It was so cool and melodic and meaningful and rebelliously religious that I loved it. 

And then ten years later, I'm hearing bits of other songs in it, which makes me want to re-evaluate it.

For instance, right now, I'm hearing the Buckingham's song "Kind of Drag" (1966) in the Harrison's sweetly mournful refrain, "my sweet lord".

And when I think of how I have never heard of George referencing this song, I am ready to get angry and to be against this song. But then I play both songs back to back, and I see that one is a successful attempt to compete in the Beatles' era with trite romantic lyrics and a catchy melancholic groove.

While George re-appropriates the catchy mockery and turns it into an earnest gesture of longing for higher meaning and purpose and worth. It's a self-sacrificing song, pleading with the universe for mercy. With all of its pieces and debts, it's beautiful and strong, and energizing. Bravo, George!

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