Friday, May 29, 2009

Inspired by the Beatles

"Lily (My One and Only)" off the Smashing Pumpkins' 1995 double-disc Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It's easy to imagine Paul comfortably filling in for Billy Corgan here. The song combines lush, tunefully retro sonics with a lyric about helpless affection and its hazards ("But an officer is knocking at my door"). From the piano flourishes and theatrical drum line to the overly tender sentiments, it's all romance with an ironic core, a whimsical ballad that uses its narrator's lovelorn ways to elicit smiles, not tears. Paul himself was both a romantic and a jester, and he excelled at bringing these qualities together. He also had a passion for baroque pop (see, among others, "When I'm Sixty-Four," "Martha My Dear," and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer"), a genre that would certainly include the colorful and saccharine likes of "Lily (My One and Only)."

(If the video is removed, go here.)

1 comment:

michael said...

I think it is worth noting that Lily from "Lily (My One and Only)" was Corgan's cat, while McCartney's dog was named Martha (of "Martha My Dear" fame). I'm not sure to what extent the songs are about their respective pets (there seems to be some disagreement amongst fans), but I did wonder about the connection. I actually came across your blog when searching for a documented connection between the songs. I also wonder whetherthe similarity in the titles (" My ") is merely coincidence. I think you're onto something in noting the Beatles inspiration there. I hadn't thought, however, of the musical likeness of "Lily..." to McCartney's style. Nice catch!