Not many people are like me. Thank God.
I do understand that there are but only a few of us who get misty-eyed over a song, a scent, or a passing memory. So when Sir Paul, one of the only two surviving Beatles unexpectedly belted out the classic Beatles hit “Hey Jude” during the highlight of the Olympic Opening Rites, the younger generation must have been caught dumb-founded, wondering if the song has any place or if it would serve any purpose at all during the occasion.
I say hell, yes!
True. “Hey Jude” during my time was nothing more than pure pop music of the cheer-up and smile, pick up the broken pieces type of thing. Heck, it was almost juvenile. And guess what, it still is. And it didn’t help that the inspiration that pushed the very young Mr. McCartney, freckles and mop hair and all, to write “Hey Jude” five decades ago was the specter of a sulking Julian Lennon, John's first child, then a chubby and neglected toddler who was drowning in tears over his parents’ divorce.
But what can I say, I got goosebumps just listening and humming along…. Na… na… na…. na-na-na-na…. Nananana… Hey Jude…. I could still hear the music reverberate and pulsate with pure joy among the crowd. Nananana…. Hey Jude…
I wouldn’t say Sir Paul had completely lost his mind but I perfectly understand that he was caught up in nostalgia and couldn’t quite get over the past. And it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact his latest caper had reinforced my conviction that I made the right choice in making the Beatles my real-life heroes and role models when I was myself a kid.
The Beatles were flawed, like everyone of us is. They were brave but stupid. But when we were young, are we not cut from the same mold? I developed a personal attachment to the song because somehow, “Hey Jude” captured the humanity of our imperfect lives and that aching need to make it a little bit better. If anything, I am profoundly touched by the gesture of Paul, taking the trouble of consoling the sulking little boy, when a million fans out there were dying to get his autograph. My heroes were not selfish spoiled brat superstars afterall. And if you think that Paul, now a gray-haired senior citizen had already outgrown the cool teenage kid who composed "Hey Jude" coax little Julian out of his misery, well, think again. Paul's talent fee for that London Olympics gig was a staggering one dollar and fifty seven cents!
I would like to think that I am equally capable of such small act of kindness and that just like Paul, in a rare moment of compassion I would also be willing and able to stray off the gold-laden path and rise above the glow of personal success to do the right thing - to sacrifice my own needs so that someone else can live through the heartaches.
“Hey Jude” strikes a chord somewhere in the heart because it reminds us of the time in our lives when life was simpler and our idea of happiness does not require a monumental effort to achieve; when all that it takes was a familiar tune, with all of us singing our hearts out, not even knowing the lyrics but having fun just the same while humming together to the music, which might as well be the music of our collective soul.
That magical moment came back once again, actually with Paul's help we were able to bring it back, on that night at the Olympic stadium in London. Paul could not have found a more fitting occasion to remind us of who we are and the way we used to be. For one night, he made us be the child Jude once again.