All You Need is Love

I still remember the night I fell in love with the Beatles. It was a summer night in 1970, and … Continued

I still remember the night I fell in love with the Beatles. It was a summer night in 1970, and I was six years old. When I went to bed in our house in Maryland in those days, it was often to the sounds of my oldest brother Joe playing music in his room a few feet away down the hall.

One night, Joe put on “A Hard Day’s Night,” the soundtrack to the great Beatles film. Many people recall their first experience with the Beatles as cataclysmic, life changing, revolutionary. Like an atomic bomb, the Beatles supposedly destroyed everything that had once stood before, creating the future and a new landscape. Yet on that humid night in 1970, my six-year-old reaction was quite different. I didn’t think of war, revolution, my parents or drugs. I thought of a girl. I thought of Lisa, who lived next door. I was in love with Lisa, and I found that love reflected back to me in the music of “A Hard Day’s Night”. In hearing “And I Love Her,” “I Only Want to Dance With You,” and “If I Fell” from Joe’s room, my imagination took off. As Paul Quay had described, the woman opening herself up to a man and her giving – or rather, their mutual self-giving as an expression of love of God – John, Paul, George and Ringo offered the same message. Like intense and very effective prayer, you could feel God in their sound – the happy bounce of “I Should Have Known Better”; the mystical, hopeful solemnity of “Things We Said Today”; the orgasmic cries of “When I Get Home.” In those brilliant notes, I saw myself and Lisa dancing, laughing, kissing, being husband and wife. If this was revolutionary music, it was preaching a very old lesson: the power of love.

I recently listened to “A Hard Days Night” again, and while I did think of love and even Lisa again, I was staggered by another revelation: rock and roll is a Catholic art form. The connection between the two seemed so obvious, I felt like Chesterton when he was asked what he liked about Western civilization. He didn’t know where to start.

I know, I know: This will take some explaining. Allow me to try. I’ll start by observing the obvious.

You don’t need to work at MTV to realize that love – and it’s loss – is the great theme of popular music, from Louis Armstrong right down to Justin Timberlake’s new single. Indeed, Timberlake’s brilliant song “My Love” evokes the initial ecstasy Adam felt when he first saw “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”; the song even boasts an angelic vocal in its final few seconds. Whether it’s the Supremes declaring that there ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from you, the Beatles heralding the good news that she loves you, or Van Morrison whispering to his darling about this lovely night for a moon dance, this great desire to return to our original union with God – including the conjugal union between Adam and Eve that preceded the Fall – is the urge that launched a thousand hits. It is such a ubiquitous theme that it’s impossible to run through my favorite bands without coming face to face with it. The punk band the Replacements, my favorite band when I was in my twenties, have a song, “I Will Dare,” about working up the courage to meet a girl. The Allman Brothers sing of “Sweet Melissa.” The entire Motown canon, from Marvin Gaye to Stevie Wonder, is a joyful soundtrack of the quest for love – more specifically, the quest for the love of that one person whom you were meant to be with, the one who is the answer to a prayer, who can make time stop.

As I am writing this, I am listening to the song “Original of the Species” by U2. The play on Darwin in the title is the introduction to the song’s grander point: that each human being is individual, non-repeatable, unique. This is why when real love comes into our lives it is such a staggering experience: we are meeting, in the words of the great theologian William May, “a bearer of transcendent value, the subject of a dignity and a sanctity that ought to be recognized by others and protected by society.” U2 singer Bono heralds the arrival of his beloved: “you are the first one of your kind.” Then the heady chorus kicks in:

And you feel like no one before
You steal right under my door
I kneel ‘cause I want you some more
I want you some more
I want you some more
Oh love

In his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love), Pope Benedict refers to the love between a man and a woman as “that love which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings.” In the U2 song, love “steals right under my door,” neither planned nor willed. Bono can only cry for more, delirious with the fecundity and gratuitous grace of God. It’s probably no mistake that he cried for more three times, reflecting the Trinity.

This all works because in the last 30 years the Catholic Church has closed the gap between eros and agape – the love of man and woman and the love between God and man. The Church has never denied this connection, but since the pontificate of John Paul the Great it has been developed in powerful ways – and ways that make rock and roll music seem a power tool of evangelization. In his massive series of lectures that are known as the Theology of the Body, John Paul II revolutionized Catholic teaching about sex – a revolution that is now just starting to unfold as people distill the dense and gargantuan work. In the Theology of the Body, John Paul talks about the Song of Songs, those wonderful, and even steamy, love poems of the Old Testament, not as a metaphor of the love of God for His people, as was traditionally done in Catholicism, but as the reflection of a very real event – the love of Adam and Eve before the Fall. In one crucial passage, John Paul II contradicts the notion that God made Eve as a “helper” so she could get next to Adam to push the plow in the Garden of Eden. In fact, Eve’s help was spiritual help. She would do no less than make it possible for Adam to experience the Trinitarian love of God. Prior to this Adam “sensed that he was alone.” He was different from the animals, and while in communion with God, he was not God. Eve, rather than bringing about Adam’s ruin, allowed him to experience the interior life of God.

Suddenly the metaphysical imagery of so much pop music – the love that brings joy, sweet delirium, a touch of the eternal – seems not childish infatuation but a prayer to something more real than the air we breathe. We begin to understand why we will move heaven and earth to find and keep the woman who will change everything. Because she will.

Mark Judge, grandson of former baseball Senator Joe Judge, is author of “Damn Senators: My Grandfather and the Story of Washington’s Only world Series Championship” and “God and Man at Georgetown Prep.”

Written by

  • baikonur

    This has got to be a parody.

  • baikonur

    This has got to be a parody.

  • baikonur

    This has got to be a parody.

  • baikonur

    This has got to be a parody.

  • Dang

    I don’t think so. This is a very interesting point which lends itself to some pretty deep thoughts. Don’t be so quick to brush this off. Think about it and you’ll see that it is possible but also that this may not just be rock and roll but all music, since the purpose of songs and music is to convey emotion in a different manner.

  • Dang

    I don’t think so. This is a very interesting point which lends itself to some pretty deep thoughts. Don’t be so quick to bruch this off. Think about it and you’ll see that it is possible but also that this may not just be rock and roll but all music, since the purpose of songs and music is to convey emotion in a different manner.

  • ratliner

    Or is it that the philosophy of love, as expressed in love songs, has influenced the Catholic world view?

  • dugish

    this very concept has been a personal touchstone to my own spiritual development and relationship with god. I believe that when people make music it is the sound of god..his voice, his breath, his frustrations, but mostly, his love. Sometimes I even try to imagine that all the love song’s references to ‘she’ or ‘he’ is a reference to god…I have found that this opens my eyes to the messages of love that are being taught through the music, but by god. It is quite exciting to feel and hear god actually speaking to me in a language I can understand.

  • Andrea

    For real, Mark Gauvreau Judge?”…rock and roll is a Catholic art form.”Wha?

  • dugish

    this very concept has been a personal touchstone to my own spiritual development and relationship with god. I believe that when people make music it is the sound of god..his voice, his breath, his frustrations, but mostly, his love. Sometimes I even try to imagine that all the love song’s references to ‘she’ or ‘he’ is a reference to god…I have found that this opens my eyes to the messages of love that are being taught through the music, but by god. It is quite exciting to feel and hear god actually speaking to me in a language I can understand.

  • A Hermit

    I’m reminded of the furor over “Puff the Magic Dragon” and how shocked Peter Yarrow was to learn that the song he had co-written was really about drugs! He hadn’t realized this when he wrote it, but the evidence was clear.Then he looked at other songs and discovered to his horror that many of them were about drugs too! For example, consider these lyrics:”Oh say can you SEE” (“C” stands for ‘Cocaine”)Well, you get the idea. People can read whatever they want to into a song, or any work of art, that’s part of what makes good art work, but some people go a little overboard sometimes. RegardsA Hermit

  • Dissenter

    This column is a tautology, and says nothing more than that people who look for God everywhere find God everywhere. If you get to make up the definitions, you can prove anything. If you can’t conceive that something beautiful or wonderful can possibly exist without God creating it, then by definition God must be behind everything beautiful or wonderful. QED. All of which proves nothing more than your belief system, and nothing about (in this case) the actual meaning of Beatles songs or love.

  • Mike

    Maybe “God” is just misplaced love, directed at an imaginary being instead of at our fellow man. And when you hear music that evokes feelings of love, you think of what ever it is you love. This fellow loves God and Catholicism, and connects the emotional pull of love songs with that love. But to say that Rock n Roll is Catholic must be a personal view, as non catholics will obviously not feel that way. And really, music, which causes an emotional response would also naturally fit in with religion, and has for thousands of years. Religion is after all the emotional manipulation of the populous for economic, militaristic or political gain.

  • Andrea

    Dissenter,”This column is a tautology, and says nothing more than that people who look for God everywhere find God everywhere.”You mean like Virgin Mary’s face on a grilled cheese sandwich? Hmmm…

  • Norrie Hoyt

    [1] ‘In his encyclical Deus Caritas Est (“God is Love”), Pope Benedict refers to the love between a man and a woman as “that love which is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings.’The same is true of homosexual love. How long will it be until the Roman Church acknowledges this obvious fact?[2] Romantic love is an illusion, as is love of “God”.

  • Edie

    This is a beautiful column. It doesn’t devalue human love (it celebrates it!), but it always keeps its eye on what that love is pointing toward.

  • Dissenter

    Edie,thank you for demonstrating my point. I am sure that you and Mr. Judge feel that you are bestowing the highest honor imaginable to you when you associate love, the Beatles, a beautiful sunset, or even the face of Mary on a burned piece of toast, with God. But why cannot these things be appreciated on their own merits? And why does God only seem to get brought in on things we like? If he/she/it really is responsible for everything, then he/she/it is responsible for the bad things as well. Love exists. The music of the Beatles exists. Appreciate them for themselves. Also, you might ask John and Paul what was in their heads when they wrote “I want to hold your hand” before coopting them to your own agenda.

  • victoria

    yesterday i spoke for 2 hours with the imam at the local mosque. i asked him if he knew what the message of Jesus(ata) was. (he didnt). while the panelsit took some poetic free license, still the meaning of catholic IS universal (in its literal sense) and love also is universal, so i buy that.

  • John

    The column expressed some lovely sentiments.With respect, the comment about the column being a tautology is itself a tautology. It seems to me that most people who believe God does not exist hold that view because they can’t see, hear, smell, taste or touch Him directly. So if you believe he cannot be seen (the way you’d see bacteria using a microscope, for example), you might conclude He does not exist. If you believe He does not exist, you must also believe He ultimately cannot be behind the creation of human beings, who, in turn, can create beautiful music.The sheer number of proofs for God’s existence never ceases to impress me. But in a sense, I’m a lousy Christian for seeking them because what all the proofs in the world can offer pale in comparison to what faith alone can produce.I think it bears mentioning that the Catechism of the Catholic Church says God’s love is so great, even an atheist can enter Heaven. To all searchers (whether religious, atheistic or agnostic): I salute your thirst for knowledge — as does the Church. In the end though, we all know that knowledge isn’t everything. ;)

  • stephan

    Very interesting. I like your article. It took guts, especially knowing what other Catholics are like. I accept what you say and am entertained by your fresh convergence of rock and roll and Catholicism. I love both rock and roll and Catholicism. But I haven’t found too many people who feel the same :-( Kudos anyway. Stephan

  • stephan

    Very interesting. I like your article. It took guts, especially knowing what other Catholics are like. I accept what you say and am entertained by your fresh convergence of rock and roll and Catholicism. I love both rock and roll and Catholicism. But I haven’t found too many people who feel the same :-( Kudos anyway. Stephan

  • Luke

    Music is the voice of God? Have you ever heard Emperor? Venom? Slayer? Give me a freakin’ break.

  • Steve W

    I’d certainly list the Beatles as a reason to believe in God.

  • Dan

    Stupidest article I’ve read in a long time. Try instead South Park’s episode where Cartman explains how religious creeps try to co-opt popular culture when it suits them: “Christian rock and roll is the same as regular rock and roll, you just say ‘Jesus’ instead of ‘baby'”

  • Laurel Yves

    It makes perfect sense to me to associate music (especially love songs) with the divine. I would have thought it more compatible with a more Pagan idea of divinity than with Catholicism, but more power to him. (And I love the Beatles too!)

  • Kacoo

    George Harrison was the Beatle who was Roman Catholic, but it was McCarney who sang “Let It Be,” with its unequivical references to the particularly honored Saint of Catholocism, “Mother Mary.” Elvis Presley began his career singing black gospel music in the deep south. Black gospel music has its domestic roots in primarily protestant denominations, but if you keep moving south from Tupelo you hit New Orleans, with a huge Catholic population black and white from its French roots. Of course, the early days of Christianity, before it became the religion of the Roman Empire, it was found in North/ Northern Africa, and the Christians there were African. Buddy Holly was from El Paso, Texas where many of the Roman Catholics are of Hispanic origin, but he was well-received by crowds throughout the Catholic Midwest during the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour. Holly’s young wife was Hispanic and from a conservative family, so it is unlikely that he could have been accepted by them without converting.And of course Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was raised by parents who were Roman Catholic. Although he has not made his religious beliefs a part of his musical career, religious references are found in the Stones music. Even phrases like, “it’s just that demon life that’s you in its sway” can be heard in addition to hits like “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Blinded By Rainbows,” and one of their earliest, “You Better Move On.”

  • Kacoo

    George Harrison was the Beatle who was Roman Catholic, but it was McCarney who sang “Let It Be,” with its unequivical references to the particularly honored Saint of Catholocism, “Mother Mary.” Elvis Presley began his career singing black gospel music in the deep south. Black gospel music has its domestic roots in primarily protestant denominations, but if you keep moving south from Tupelo you hit New Orleans, with a huge Catholic population black and white from its French roots. Of course, the early days of Christianity, before it became the religion of the Roman Empire, it was found in North/ Northern Africa, and the Christians there were African. Buddy Holly was from El Paso, Texas where many of the Roman Catholics are of Hispanic origin, but he was well-received by crowds throughout the Catholic Midwest during the ill-fated Winter Dance Party tour. Holly’s young wife was Hispanic and from a conservative family, so it is unlikely that he could have been accepted by them without converting.And of course Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was raised by parents who were Roman Catholic. Although he has not made his religious beliefs a part of his musical career, religious references are found in the Stones music. Even phrases like, “it’s just that demon life that’s you in its sway” can be heard in addition to hits like “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Blinded By Rainbows,” and one of their earliest, “You Better Move On.”

  • Jeff Wagner

    I MAY heave….

  • Cindy

    Anyone who knows the history behind the Beatles knows their music is about drugs and sex, just like much of today’s music is. John Lennon didn’t believe in religion or God as shown in his 1970 song entitled, “God.” Here are the lyrics. Tell me where in them he says he believes in anything divine:”God is a concept,Oh, but excuse me, I have to go…I think the Virgin Mary is in my refrigerator again…

  • Tazmodious

    Some people call it love and god. I call it love and biology. Most Christians seem to forget or are unwilling to accept that there was love long before Jesus and long before the belief in a god or gods.Maybe god, religion, spiritualality and love are a product of biology and nature. Just another way of trying to figure things out around us given what we know with what we have.If it is a god for you, then that’s what makes your world go round. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint.

  • B-man

    What a waste of column space. This article is utter BS.

  • cosmopolitician

    “Original of the Species” is about Bono’s eldest daughter.

  • abaris

    Imagine there’s no countriesYou may say that I’m a dreamer

  • HuhWha?

    I think Mr. Judge is correct in saying the Catholic Church has “closed the gap” between eros and agape. It’s the most credible explanation of why the Church is losing membership by the millions around the world.God is love, and love has jack squat to do with human libido. Libido is simply nature’s way of fooling people into making copies of themselves.

  • stuart

    Rock ‘n roll a Catholic art form? Until the sectarians realized they could snare young people at Xtian “rock” shows they HATED rock music, and most old-fashioned fundamentalists still hate it. Now you will claim a shared ideology with the Beatles??? “Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and will be proved right.” -John Lennon, 1966Rock music is every bit as Catholic as LSD.

  • michael shimansky

    Cool remarks. But when the beatles said “all you need is Love” it was for all not just the Faithful. even we secularists want and need love. Spike lee also said “do the right thing” and please dont forget the man jesus. he said “love each other”. I have been believing in and have had faith in these six people for over many many years. and by the way I am a practicing Buddists. Go figure I am the Budda because these people have helt me get to “enlightenment” Michael

  • Christian

    “Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right and will be proved right.” -John Lennon, 1966John Winston Ono Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) Rest in Peace..

  • Kase

    What silliness-

  • Ray Williams

    As a Beatle fan, i also see God in (nearly) every song they wrote. i also think it is great that the Pope continue to envoke Beatle names such as John, Paul and my favorite, John Paul.

  • Manny

    What a bizzare thing to say. To compare Catholicism to the Beatles. Catholicism is destruction of ethnic cultures around the globe. Nothing to do with Love.Sorry! No Soup for you!

  • Andy Post

    Curious – has the person who wrote this listened to John Lennon’s songs God or Working Class Hero? Or for that matter, is this person aware that George Harrison converted to Hinduism?

  • Andy Post

    Also, Paul McCartney’s reference to “Mother Mary” in Let It Be has absolutely nothing to do with the Virgin Mary; it has everything to do with his deceased mother named Mary.

  • Harold

    I have a good memory.

  • Harold

    I have a good memory.

  • Pops

    Right. And “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road” is a gospel tune. It’s bad enough people can’t look at something natural without trying to infuse religious crap into, but now we have people seeing religion in the Beatles.

  • Jessie

    It’s an interesting article and food for thought. Too bad so many commenters give into their knee-jerk reaction of belief/faith=weakness/stupidity. One of the best things about music, art, and faith is that they are all open to interpretation. Let this guy have his…you all can have yours, but don’t be calling it bs unless you’re willing to have yours called the same.golden rule, karma, what’s the diff?

  • addicted

    I just had a revelation. Eating is a christian tradition. Since the bible mentions people eating food, and since people eat food, it follows that people eat food because the bible mentions it!I know thats a very poor analogy but I am trying to point out that the author is claiming that Love, a basic human emotion, is somehow a catholic creation. If you agree to that presumption, then I guess this article makes sense. Otherwise its a waste of space as its premise is completely specious.

  • R. Mills

    What I’m led to consider from reading the authors thoughts and what is confirmed within this heart of mine is this: God is love. We need God. We need love. He made mention to many artists who do not who promote God but rather speak from their own personal vaccuum of a need for love. He’s right – it’s in the music we hear. We all were born with that same vaccuum. John Lennon was writing from his own need for this magical force from above – love. He needed it but couldn’t give it. His own son writes that the love of a father was absent and missing in very formative years. Bono said and maybe still does – I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Looking for what? We’re looking for love. That is why it’s heard from the cry of so many hearts – through music. I found this article insightful and encouraging. And no, I’m not catholic. But I’m loved. :-)

  • Patrick Sheehan

    So, whenever a chorus or refrain is repeated twice (so we hear it three times) it’s a likely reference to the Trinity?Give me a break.

  • d woolfe

    I don’t know whether to laugh or… or what? at this tortuous imposition of a theological view on rock. You have rendered both your view of rock and roll and Catholicism meaningless. I would note also that your view is dependent upon a Hebrew text (that you seem to feel belongs only to your perspective. It doesn’t. That is a Jewish text that you’re bastardizing.) I am insulted in how your willful exegesis damages my sacred text.Perhaps you should seek wisdom seperate from music and texts which seem to be beyond your ability to force a square peg into a round hole.

  • Jihadist

    I thought rock and roll is the music of the devil?Born after the Beatles split up, so what do I know about rock and roll being a Catholic art form or about what the Beatles meant. I thought perhaps gospel is closer to being a religious art form. Say, the full-blooded gospel of say, Mahalia Jackson? But she’s not Catholic.Is rock and roll not a fusion of blues, country, etc? A fusion of black and white music? A fusion of rythym and melody? An original and vibrant American music form, not a Catholic art form?The Beatles stole, were inspired or influenced by from everyone from Elvis to Chuck Berry to Buddy Holly. British musicians taking an American music form, repackaging and re-exporting back to the US. Yes, I’m confused by the essay. Listening to ABBA now.”This got to be rock and roll”Hole in Your Soul” by Abba from “Abba-The Album”Sometimes ABBA do make sense apart from churning happy, peppy, perky, saccharine sweet music and banal lyrics. Aretha Franklin, where are you? J

  • Ed

    This is equivalent to the Mormons posthumously baptizing famous world figures such as Albert Einstein to make them fit into their world view (I mean make them right with god).come on people rock and roll is all about being rebellious and the concept of love in a rock and roll sense is usually about getting laid not being a good Catholic. True there are many songs talking about doing the right thing or being good to people in general but this is a human concept which transcends every religion. Don’t forget the Beatles spent much time in India and I don’t think they were praying the rosary. Why does religion always have to take credit for everything good and ignore or denounce all of the bad? Don’t forget it was the catholic church who denounced Galileo and molested choir boys. The Beatles brought us Revolution and John Lennon gave us the immortal words “Imagine there is no heaven”. Great songs and in my opinion far greater than any Christian doctrine.

  • rayc

    this is the sort of guy who sees the face of jesus in not just any tortilla, but every tortilla.

  • one appaled person

    what a bad article! why is god catholic, not jewish or muslim? what’s that pretentious religion/author who believes to be able to monopolise love. and is pop music about love just. where is the word sex in his ridiculous article. i doubt that mr. gauvreau got anything about pop music at all if he thinks that it’s about “metaphysical imagery”, importing the denial of the human physical body from his hypocritical detructive, man/woman-demeaning fatiht of catholicism into the world of pop. and his woman-deprectating view about eve being the helper for adam the man seeing god. woman as the sacrifice for a higher male understanding. oh, i forgot, it’s catholoicism we’re talking about. this text, in all it’s apparent peacefulness, eveness of argument (of which there is none) and positivity is really just one more example of a catholocism is nothing but a kitsch-event for the imature fakers of this world. disgusting that message. if it was a popsong, nobody but the hearing deprived would listen to it.

  • Dena

    Please say this is a very poor satire. Oh, please.

  • Dena

    Please say this is a very poor satire. Oh, please.

  • Dena

    Please say this is a very poor satire. Oh, please.

  • marcelo Araujo

    Very interesting. But i would like to add something that i’ve noted within my friends: the taste for a rock and roll style may be affected by the religious background. Among my friends, those who like punk rock or reggae usually are catholic. On the other hand, those who like heavy metal over all other styles usually come from protestant families.

  • dave

    This is the most ridiculous thing, really, I have ever read. The Catholic Church, after centuries of torture, intolerance and child molestation trying to cling on to a positive message of the Beatles. Feh

  • Tom D

    I’m struck by the number of ad hominem attacks on the author. Bummer – they don’t really add anything to the conversation.It’s also a bit ironic that some of the posters seem to be applying as rigid an interpretation on the article as they are claiming the author places on rock music and how it may be connected to the divine. As far as I can tell, Judge is simply pointing to the idea that the divine can be – and is – reflected in the human experience. If you believe in God, perhaps that goes without saying; if you don’t, well, surely we can agree that there is something beautiful in the songs that Judge mentions, and enjoy the beauty. Here’s to hoping.

  • marcelo Araujo

    Very interesting. But i would like to add something that i’ve noted within my friends: the taste for a rock and roll style may be affected by the religious background. Among my friends, those who like punk rock or reggae usually are catholic. On the other hand, those who like heavy metal over all other styles usually come from protestant families.

  • Jim Lynch

    #1: Lisa dodged a bullet when the two of you lost contact.#2) Anyone who draws comparison between the Fabs and Justin Timberlake is an idiot. Respectfully…. Jim Lynch

  • Boko999

    Some wino takes a leak on a wall and the next morning there’s shrine set up by some catholic who thinks it resembles an image of the virgin.This clown has a brainfart and thinks he’s hearing the voice of god.BTW Good riddance D James Kennedy.

  • Brian

    Eleanor Rigby has a preist in it but the line is “no one was saved.” When the Levee Breaks is about a storm, a flood but its line is when the levee Breaks Mama you better move. On that note I hear Christians are offended when Stairway comes on. Then you have Sympathy for the Devil. Lots of Catholics would say why give sympathy when the singer talks about Jesus’s “moment down in pain.” Then you’re saying you take credit for the Jimi Hendrix’s, Keith Moons and John Bonhams, that died of drug overdoses. Careful what you say

  • jasmine

    Oh puuuuuuuuulease. Stop injecting religion into everything. Religion is nothing but a crutch for people who need something to believe in. Let music and the rest of arts be the art form that they are.

  • dj

    You have every right to believe what you wanna believe, but connecting the Catholic church and the Beatles? What did the Beatles ever do to you? I’m not gonna unload here on the church, everybody knows what a truckload of horse manure that whole thing represents.

  • dj

    You have every right to believe what you wanna believe, but connecting the Catholic church and the Beatles? What did the Beatles ever do to you? I’m not gonna unload here on the church, everybody knows what a truckload of horse manure that whole thing represents.

  • LoveItAll

    Oh my dear god, the Washington Post is publishing this drivel?

  • ZMan

    I remember when the Beatles arrived. I also remember people burning their records. And by “people”, I mean religious zealots who were incensed when John uttered the reality that the Beatles were more popular than Christ.Now we’re supposed to believe Lennon and McCartney were really writing a collection of 20th century Catholic hymns? You’d better read through some of those lyrics because I don’t think they mean what Mr. Judge thinks they do.Re: McCartney’s reference to “Mother Mary” in “Let It Be” may have something to do with the fact that his mother’s name was Mary.

  • Mick

    What is this public relations nonsense about calling the late Pope John Paul II by the title “the Great”? What did he do to earn this appellation, re-invent the calendar or something when I wasn’t paying attention?If I myself had to give him a moniker I would keep it simple; perhaps “John Paul the Popular” or some such thing. But “the Great?” Oh, well, I suppose it’s what one must expect in these mass-media dominated times when people routinely confuse popularity with greatness.

  • Mick

    What is this public relations nonsense about calling the late Pope John Paul II by the title “the Great”? What did he do to earn this appellation, re-invent the calendar or something when I wasn’t paying attention?If I myself had to give him a moniker I would keep it simple; perhaps “John Paul the Popular” or some such thing. But “the Great?” Oh, well, I suppose it’s what one must expect in these mass-media dominated times when people routinely confuse popularity with greatness.

  • seang

    Interesting piece.I must point out,however,that the Beatles recorded a song called “I’m Happy Just to Dance With You”,not “I Only Want to Dance With You”.Also,”Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” was a Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell song,later covered by Diana Ross,after she had left The Supremes.

  • Dewez

    Bonjour,

  • Dewez

    Bonjour,

  • filmex

    I knew it! There I was stuck in a secular school, when Paulie Mac and the lads showed me the light with the catchy hymn, “Lady Madonna”. While my teacher was cute, she certainly didn’t entertain children at her breast, so I took the message of Catholicism with all due seriousness. I wanted to sign up!And likewise, one certainly can’t argue with the claim that “in the last 30 years the Catholic Church has closed the gap between eros and agape”…most specifically related to the love between a Priest and his young charge.Imagine there’s no heaven and no religion too. As John would say, it isn’t hard to do.

  • Jon

    First – McCartney has confirmed in recent interviews that the Mary he sang of in “Let It Be” was INDEED his mother. Second, as someone else posted on here, one can read/hear just about anything one wants into music, or any other formm of art, for that matter. If the Beatles brought the originator of this thread some spiritual revelation, good for him. They and other musical artists have brough a great deal of spirituality into my life – however, I would not foist my beliefs unto others. Nor would I attach my beliefs onto the songs which brought me such pleasure in the first place; I didn’t create those works.

  • Jon

    First – McCartney has confirmed in recent interviews that the Mary he sang of in “Let It Be” was INDEED his mother. Second, as someone else posted on here, one can read/hear just about anything one wants into music, or any other form of art, for that matter. If the Beatles brought the originator of this thread some spiritual revelation, good for him. They and other musical artists have brough a great deal of spirituality into my life – however, I would not foist my beliefs unto others. Nor would I attach my beliefs onto the songs which brought me such pleasure in the first place; I didn’t create those works.

  • JC

    You’re nuts !

  • Tony S

    Has anyone commented on the fact that the three main Beatles were all Catholic? I don’t think it’s in doubt their faith influenced their writing. Only a Catholic would have written “Eleanor Rigby” or “Let it Be.”

  • Tim

    “In his massive series of lectures that are known as the Theology of the Body, John Paul II revolutionized Catholic teaching about sex – a revolution that is now just starting to unfold…”I for one hope that the unfolding of the sex scandals that took place under John Paul’s leadership are over – not just starting to unfold. My prayer is that under B16 Christology will be the focus of the church not sex. Let the focus be on Jesus Christ. Leadership makes a difference and it is undeniable that under John Paul there was a massive series of predatory sex crimes and a cover-up. It does not surprise me to find out today that John Paul was writing about the Song of Songs, teaching about sex, and developing a Theology of the Body. Seems that under his leadership the body and sex became the focus of many priests. Who knows if it was JP2’s fault? It did happen on his watch. Clearly, B16 is focused on Christ and thank God for this.

  • jad

    Alas, if you read any other of Judge’s narcissistic, tongue-clucking, reactionary rants, you’ll see he’s not being parodic here.

  • Gustavo Matheus

    Appreciation to Mr. Judge, who reaches his faith-analysis into the ordinary — and yet sometimes unforgettable — daily life happenings. If some of rock music is about love, then that portion is no less than a hope yet to embodied in a person’s prayer.

  • Sandy Evenson

    My love of the Beatles began in my Freshman year at an all girls Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, N.Y. I was part of the screeming throng of teenage girls hoping to get a glimps of the Fab Four when they visited the Falls on their way to Toronto. Every song they wrote “spoke” directly to me and my friends about our lives and loves. By the time I joined the Army in 1967, their music was part of the Catholic Mass at the chapel. I felt closer to God than ever. But, it was just recently that my husband and I listened to “Love”, the sound track to the Circque du Soleil of the same name,that I really appreciated the Beatles. We sat on our patio sipping wine and reminiscing. Several times we both shed tears as we walked down memory lane. John, Paul, George and Ringo had put a sound track to our lives. Thanks for the memories!

  • Rigoberto

    The only connection between God and rock love songs is their common message of love.Even then,love for God is not romantic.It is stupid to say that rock and roll love songs are a result of God or the Catholic Church’s late emphasis on love.Judge basically states that God’s message of love and love songs have a cause and effect relationship.Regardless of faith,love songs would come out the same way because they are for a person,not God.Judge claims the message of love is God’s.Christanity isn’t that damn old.Ancient peoples have expressivley channeled love and displayed it in art as well.So what? We need God to express love?…And even dumber,strictly through rock and roll music??Judge makes weak ties between love songs and God.Bono sings something three times to reflect the Trinity?Please,Bono probabaly just sung the line three times because it sounded best that way.I agree with others who have said people who look for God can find God everywhere.Well,I’ve got to go to school now.High School b.s. is better than this.

  • Rigoberto

    The only connection between God and rock love songs is their common message of love.Even then,love for God is not romantic.It is stupid to say that rock and roll love songs are a result of God or the Catholic Church’s late emphasis on love.Judge basically states that God’s message of love and love songs have a cause and effect relationship.Regardless of faith,love songs would come out the same way because they are for a person,not God.Judge claims the message of love is God’s.Christanity isn’t that damn old.Ancient peoples have expressivley channeled love and displayed it in art as well.So what? We need God to express love?…And even dumber,strictly through rock and roll music??Judge makes weak ties between love songs and God.Bono sings something three times to reflect the Trinity?Please,Bono probabaly just sung the line three times because it sounded best that way.I agree with others who have said people who look for God can find God everywhere.Well,I’ve got to go to school now.High School b.s. is better than this.

  • Rigoberto

    The only connection between God and rock love songs is their common message of love.Even then,love for God is not romantic.It is stupid to say that rock and roll love songs are a result of God or the Catholic Church’s late emphasis on love.Judge basically states that God’s message of love and love songs have a cause and effect relationship.Regardless of faith,love songs would come out the same way because they are for a person,not God.Judge claims the message of love is God’s.Christanity isn’t that damn old.Ancient peoples have expressivley channeled love and displayed it in art as well.So what? We need God to express love?…And even dumber,strictly through rock and roll music??Judge makes weak ties between love songs and God.Bono sings something three times to reflect the Trinity?Please,Bono probabaly just sung the line three times because it sounded best that way.I agree with others who have said people who look for God can find God everywhere.Well,I’ve got to go to school now.High School b.s. is better than this.

  • Rigoberto

    The only connection between God and rock love songs is their common message of love.Even then,love for God is not romantic.It is stupid to say that rock and roll love songs are a result of God or the Catholic Church’s late emphasis on love.Judge basically states that God’s message of love and love songs have a cause and effect relationship.Regardless of faith,love songs would come out the same way because they are for a person,not God.Judge claims the message of love is God’s.Christanity isn’t that damn old.Ancient peoples have expressivley channeled love and displayed it in art as well.So what? We need God to express love?…And even dumber,strictly through rock and roll music??Judge makes weak ties between love songs and God.Bono sings something three times to reflect the Trinity?Please,Bono probabaly just sung the line three times because it sounded best that way.I agree with others who have said people who look for God can find God everywhere.Well,I’ve got to go to school now.High School b.s. is better than this.

  • Thomas Baum

    After looking at some of these postings, I guess it is true that the thoughts of the heart come spilling thru the mouth. I have said for quite a while, to quite a few people, that I find some of the so-called secular songs much more inspiring than some of the so-called sacred songs. It is really sad that so many people seem to think, at least by what they write, so poorly about Love. Without Love, really, is anything worthwhile? There are many different types of Love and if there is not at least some type of yearning for Love in your heart, you are already dead, you just haven’t stopped breathing yet. Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • My Name Is Nobody

    Well, I’ll just say the words that every other person here has been dancing around but is clearly too chicken to say.F__K CHRIST.

  • rigoberto

    my name is nobody,

  • rigoberto

    my name is nobody,

  • Frater Titus

    John Lennon also said that the Gnostics were the true Christians. He was right. There is no way that Jesus, Logos of the Divine, is the son of the repulsive trible war god who craves sacrifice. Eve is our spiritual mother. In her rebellion against the Lying God Saklas, she won for us our morality and consciousness.Blessings from the Gnostic Christ!

  • Megan Click

    interesting article…although I’m not much of a Beatles fan, I too interpreted Original spiritually….for me..the one who kneels at the door is Christ.