The slaughter of Please Please Me covers continues. In order to properly describe “Chains,” the only thing I could really think to do was head to thesaurus.com and decide on my favorite synonym for “pleasant.” I am settling on “congenial.” Also, did you know that “bland” is synonymous with “pleasant”? I mean, I get it but I’ve never really thought of those words as amiable.
So…”Chains.” It’s hard to really get excited about this song. It’s not all that different from the Cookies’ original. It’s just another in the line of harmonica-driven early Beatles tracks that was probably a bigger crowd-pleaser on stage than in the studio. The recorded version is…what’s the word? Let’s go with “cordial” this time.
The thesaurus is my favorite reference book. It’s really, really good.
One aspect of the song that I do appreciate is how desperate the lyrics are to reassure listeners that the chains the narrator’s baby’s got him wrapped up in are metaphorical. “They ain’t the kind that you can see,” George Harrison sings, as though the Beatles were going to put some sadomasochistic song on their debut album. I’m surprised they didn’t feel a need to clarify, “And by ‘baby,’ I mean a romantic partner, not an actual infant.”