I was reading Revolution in the Head, and the writer told me that the song You?ve Got to Hide your Love Away had no queer content at all?and I always thot it was the most queer song in pop before the rainbow broke ca 1970, reading the lyrics again and talking to the always astute Martin Skidmore, he called the lyrics of you?ve got to hide your love away slight?that it was almost impossible to read anything into it. We didn?t really talk about Jailhouse Rock

Jailhouse Rock works as both coded and uncoded—lines like ?Number forty-seven said to number three:/You?re the cutest jailbird I ever did see./I sure would be delighted with your company,/Come on and do the jailhouse rock with me” abut lines about slide trombones and purple gangs. It is unequivocal in its celebration of sodomy. But it is sodomy in a prison, a signifer of appropriate same sexual activity. (at least outside of prisons–i am talking generalizations here)

You?ve got to Hide your Love Away is filled with filling ins and legends?how it is a secret anti-love song concerning john lennon, brian Epstein and a beach in spain?but there is nothing at all said in the work at all. There is no reason given and everything is hidden. The reflection of middle class sexual identities as a binary of homosexual and heterosexual could exist here, with the langageu of secerts and desire placed somewhere in the middle. Or it could not.

The ambiguity then, of desire, the complications of finding love outside an approite milleiu, make the beatles song deeply queer?but it is not something Richardson notices, as astute a critic he is in dealing with musical minutiate, he doesn?t plumb well the emotional kind.

the question, then, i guess–is why do we assume that ambiguity means complexity and not just poor writing ?