Like almost any break-up, “Ticket To Ride” flickers between sadness and anger. The sadness is tentative, the anger mixed with denial, and you could read the perky coda as acceptance if you like. It sounds to me, though, like a tacked-on “Beatley bit” – even unto the handclaps – appeasing anyone put off by the startling drone and drag of the song proper. Which is thankfully great enough to shrug off such crassness.
It’s an acute lyric with a coy drug reference or two if you’re squinting right – but “Ticket To Ride” works because the music fits that lyric so well. The lead-weighted, hesitant rhythms match our not-quite-hero’s reluctance to meet the inevitable: he thinks it’s today, affecting vagueness when the matter is out of his hands. He doesn’t deny the rightness of his girl’s diagnosis – he hardly needs to, when his resentment at her newfound decisiveness seeps through every bar.