The Beatles: A magical mystery tour of love, peace and acceptance

Love love me do, you know I love you, I’ll always be true. So please love me do…

Photo by Jennie McKeon

Anytime I put on a Beatles record, I’m instantly transported to another place — a happier place of serenity and inner peace.

I never got to experience The Beatles in its heyday, but my mom certainly did. In the ‘60s, Beatlemania invaded and infected everyone young and old. The fab four were the wholesome suit-and-tie lads singing sweet songs of holding one’s hand and longing to love another. Anytime my mom played one of The Beatles’ records, she would tell me stories of her childhood obsessions with Paul, John, George and Ringo.

As I sit here in my living room thinking of the many memories I had growing up, some are a bit foggy. My memory of sharing this fascination of The Beatles and learning about its musical anthology with my mother has never left me.

Rock ‘n’ Roll was just learning how to crawl when The Beatles broke through with hits such as “Please Please Me” and “All My Loving,” forever changing rock music. I don’t wanna sound complaining, but you know there’s always raining in my heart. Simple lyrics, but direct. These guys didn’t beat around the bush with their feelings.

No one else can make you change, and to see you’re really only very small and life flows on within you and without you…

While they may have looked like sharp-dressed gents from Liverpool, they only took a few years to realize they wanted to experiment with their look and sound. It must have been a wild time for the fans, watching their beloved band transition from love-drunk boys to rock legends. But, maybe it was easier to digest their progression over several years than the way I did — overdosing on record after record in a matter of months.

Experiencing The Beatles in such a short period of time was to my advantage. Like a drug — after the first listen — I was hooked. They were a fun, funky and eclectic band, and I couldn’t get enough.

Photo by Jennie McKeon

At 15, it took an epiphany to realize I’d listened to The Beatles my entire life without really knowing who the members were. I mean, I knew who they were, but I didn’t know the profound impact they had on so many, myself included. I was in the 90s kid generation, experiencing The Beatles in a much different way than my mother’s Boomer generation. Yet, there I was, growing up with them by my side just like my mom had. A sense of peace swept over me, as I realized that no matter the time period, music never ages, it only becomes more meaningful.

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play, now I need to place to hide away, oh I believe in yesterday…

My interpretations of The Beatles’ songs helped me cope with so much during my adolescent years. The band’s songs of love, loss and loneliness were there for me when I felt no one else was. “Let It Be” continues to be my life mantra, because whatever the season, whether grief, worry or doubt, I was constantly reminded it’s all going to be alright in the end.

While most kids our age listened to Britney Spears and Sum 41, I recall times with my listening to The Beatles with my good friend Vanessa — a fellow fan. We would sit at her house and laughingly sing the lyrics sitting on a cornflake and I am the walrus. Strange lyrics fascinated us, and it was comforting to know someone who shared a mutual love for The Beatles. We were rare gems in the cave of music.

They expressed my emotions in a much greater way than I could even comprehend at that time. Songs I initially loved gained new, deeper meanings as I grew older. The more experiences I had, the more a song would unravel a new thread of peace, love and acceptance.

Though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see…

The Beatles gravitated to more obscure and serious topics in its later years. “Let It Be” was written about a dream Paul had about his late mother, Mary, who gave him such advice. I strongly believe it was the members’ life experiences and observations that brought out different sides in all four of them. This changed their sound and would soon change the way we look at music today.

Photo by Savannah at FWB Vintage Records in Fort Walton Beach, Florida

Songs like “Taxman,” “I’m Looking Through You,” and “Blackbird” took on the subjects of mocking the government, those who were once considered lovers and racial injustice respectively. The ‘60s brought Vietnam, JFK’s assassination, the Civil Rights Movement and the rebirth of the Women’s Rights Movement. The Beatles were famous during a time when the world was seeing great divides that boiled down to what was deemed as right and wrong. I think The Beatles saw its fame as a platform to speak out about the things with which they disagreed in a poetic way. This poetic form crept into the minds and hearts of many, fueling their passion for serenity and equality.

The boys who were once just Quarrymen were now men of distinction and great influence. That influence is still noted today, not only in their songs but also in their lives. After disbanding in 1970 to pursue solo careers, The Beatles continued to bring that same peace, love and acceptance in their next journey. Through its anthology, fans are able to hear and note the changes in The Beatles members’ lives which, in turn, forever changes us.

Photo by Jennie McKeon

My admiration and sincere awe of The Beatles was brought to the forefront in my late teens, because nearly every life experience had a song or lyric to remind me life wasn’t all that bad. For example, I used my senior English Literature class as an excuse to display my obsession in any essay or term paper I wrote.

From adolescence to adulthood, I learned to accept certain things about others, but especially about myself. It was through these impressionable years that I owe much gratitude to Paul, John George and Ringo, who were and are always with me on this magical mystery tour we call life.

Shelby is a twenty-something, residing along the Emerald Coast, enjoying the sugar white sands with an umbrella drink in-hand. She takes the time to enjoy film and music, as well as fashion and beauty trends when her wallet isn't empty.