Monday, October 27, 2008

X-rated take on "How Do You Do It?"

After endorsing the strongly sexualized view of "Please Please Me," it might be grasping if I would attempt a similar treatment of "How Do You Do It?." It's a fair criticism, primarily because there isn't a credible case to be argued. Yet it's at least noteworthy that one of the songs which could have replaced "Please Please Me" as the Beatles' second single contains lines that can easily call to mind the matter of sexual reciprocation (just as "P.P.M" did).

The two chorus-type verses of “How Do You Do It” go as follows:

"How do you do
What you do to me?
I wish I knew,
If I knew how you do it to me
I'd do it to you.

How do you do
What you do to me?
I'm feeling blue,
Wish I knew how you do it to me
But I haven't a clue."

There's a healthy amount of "do(ing) it" taking place here. Alas, just one of the participants possesses the practiced know-how. The other can only fawn over such expertise. But enough of the overkill analysis. It's apparent (especially considering The Beatles' remarks on the subject) that "Please Please Me" is much more convincingly preoccupied with physical satisfaction than is "How Do You Do It?." The tone of the latter is one of almost eager curiosity. The singer might actually want to know how his counterpart does it (as in, how does she keep me so interested or emotionally invested?). Absent is any of the swelling carnal frustration which greatly enlivens "Please Please Me." And, besides, there's nothing (I know of, anyway) in the written record from Mitch Murray, the song's creator, or any critics and experts about “How Do You Do It?” as a Trojan horse for sexual innuendo.

But even so, the not entirely negligible overlap between each song's lyrical phrasing does at least rise to the level of intriguing.

Here's the rest of the lyric.

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