Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Released: December 3, 1965
Appears on: Rubber Soul
Lead vocal: John
At one point of his life, John was a very violent man. Throughout the first half of the Beatles' career, this is most obvious, with songs like "You Can't Do That" and "Run For Your Life", the closing song on Rubber Soul.
John admitted that he stole the song's striking opening line, "I'd rather see you dead little girl than to see you with another man", from an Elvis Presley song called "Baby Let's Play House", written by Arthur Gunter. However, the rest of the song bares no resemblance to Elvis's. It's filled with terrible admissions made by the singer - "Well, you know that I'm a wicked guy and I was born with a jealous mind". What makes this all worse is that he demeans the girl by referring to her as "little girl" during the entire song. Listen to the way John says that - you can feel the venom just flowing from his mouth. Other than its disturbing subject, the song does little to stand out from the pack of 1965 Beatles songs.
Of course, later John probably regretted ever writing the song especially during his protesting phase. Here is a song that virtually contradicts everything we think John stands for, from violence to the oppression of women. It makes me think that when he wrote "Jealous Guy" he might have been thinking of this song and wanted to correct his wrongs.
The song does provide Rubber Soul with a bizarre ending, though. It's the first time since A Hard Day's Night that an album ends with a Lennon/McCartney original. The song doesn't have that rousing, partying feeling that "Twist And Shout" or "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" has, but it is much more of a rock number than any of the other preceding songs. "Run For Your Life", which has never appeared anywhere else, also has a fade-out, which none of the closing covers have.
After Rubber Soul, the Beatles began slowing down, taking much longer to produce their music. In Britain, aside from two EPs (The Beatles' Million Sellers and Nowhere Man), Rubber Soul was the last new product until June. A brilliant new 45, which signaled how the Beatles' next full LP would sound, is next...and from then on, the world would never be the same.