Not that the Beatles’ lyrics are always irrelevant. The first piece of ‘rock criticism’ I can remember being really impressed by was in a Beatles book I’d taken out of the library. I didn’t like the band much back then, I thought I probably should. The writer talked about “She Loves You” and explained how really what underpinned the song was the sense of “but she might love me if you don’t watch it”. I thought he was very clever for noticing it and that the Beatles were very clever for putting it in.
Actually I think I prefer the song without that subtext, because while great songs about love and jealousy are common, great songs about friendship are not. And great songs about being friends with a couple who are on the rocks are very rare indeed. The urgency of the singer trying to hammer some sense into the sung-to is wonderfully captured (the coo-ing “apologise to her” slipping straight in to a newly frenetic “BECAUSE SHE LOVES YOU”), the record buzzes with the exasperation that comes when a friend is being a bonehead. Maybe there’s something more behind that, but there doesn’t have to be.
And even if you don’t fancy the words at all, you can still get off on Ringo’s exhilaration when he cuts loose on his kit ten seconds in.