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The Word

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"The Word"
Song by The Beatles
Album Rubber Soul
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 10 November 1965
EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk rockTemplate:Sfn
Length 2:41
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Rubber Soul track listing


'The Word' was written together, but it's mainly mine. You read the words, it's all about — gettin' smart. It's the marijuana period. It's love, it's the love-and-peace thing. The word is 'love,' right?

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.173, 1980

[After we composed 'The Word'] we smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multicoloured lyric sheet, the first time we'd ever done that. We normally didn't smoke when we were working. It got in the way of songwriting because it would just cloud your mind up. ... But we did this multicoloured thing.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, p.272, 1994

It sort of dawned on me that love was the answer, when I was younger, on the Rubber Soul album. My first expression of it was a song called 'The Word'. The word is 'love'. 'In the good and the bad books that I have read,' whatever, wherever, the word is 'love'. It seems like the underlying theme to the universe. Everything that was worthwhile got down to this love, love, love thing. And it is the struggle to love, be loved and express that (just something about love) that's fantastic. I think that whatever else love is — and it's many, many things — it is constant. It's been the same forever. I don't think it will ever change. Even though I'm not always a loving person, I want to be that; I want to be as loving as possible.

—John Lennon, The Beatles Anthology, p.193, 2000

But then came 'The Word', and that was something else, too. A song about love, but not just about girls and boys.

—Brian Wilson, ... on the Beatles' Rubber Soul by Peter Aims Carlin, 2009

'The Word' could be a Salvation Army song. The word is 'love' but it could be 'Jesus' (It isn't, mind you, but it could be.)

—Paul McCartney, The Beatles Anthology, p.193, 2000

We started putting out messages like 'The word is love', and things like that. And when you start putting out messages, people start asking you, 'What's the message?' It's love. It's the marijuana period. It's the love and peace thing. The Word is love.

—John Lennon, Rolling Stone interview by Jann Wenner, 1971

An entirely new song was also recorded during this session, John Lennon's 'The Word', the lyric of which was a prototype 'All You Need Is Love', two years ahead of that world anthem. 'The Word' was perfected in three takes, with Paul on piano as well as bass guitar and George Martin contributing more harmonium work.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p.68, 1988



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