She Loves You – 3 of Cups
Released as a single, 1963
Available on Past Masters
“She Loves You” perfectly encapsulates the infectious spirit of the Beatles’ early music. It is absolutely essential and one of their greatest songs. “She Loves You” was a true collaboration of John and Paul, which they wrote nearly all of in a hotel room over the course of a few hours. It was recorded days later and released as a single during the summer of 1963, months after their debut album Please Please Me.
Before completing the song, Paul sought feedback from his musician father. Although supportive, his dad suggested changing “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” to something more proper, like “Yes, Yes, Yes”. He felt there were already enough “Americanisms” going around. Once released, the song received a review in Britain’s Melody Maker, who pointed to the repeated line of “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” as evidence the song was little more than “banal rubbish.”
Clearly, confused parents and the music establishment hadn’t yet caught on to what English youth already knew. “She Loves You” was essentially the start of the craze that would come to be known as Beatlemania that would soon take over the world. Listen and behold the energy that radiates from the speakers. The youthful spirit of this music transcends logical attempts to understand. It simply makes you come alive!
“She Loves You” was initially going to be a love song from the first-person perspective, like their previous efforts such as “Love Me Do”, “Please Please Me”, and “I Saw Her Standing There”. But it was Paul’s idea to change the perspective from the first person to the third. This subtle shift represents a significant step forward in the lyrical sophistication of the Beatles’ music. Paul would say later, “that little distance we managed to put in was quite interesting.”
The lyrics are the account of the song’s narrator appealing to a friend to apologize to his love so they can get back together. Unlike those other early songs, this one isn’t just about the love between two people. “She Loves You” advances the formula by adding a third party, who’s intervening to help them reconcile.
Like all tarot cards, the 3 of Cups can be understood in a variety of ways. We would commonly read it as signifying joy, exuberance, and celebration. Clearly the music and energy of “She Loves You” expresses these emotions wonderfully. But this card can also be understood as a collaboration of some kind, particularly in matters of the heart. The number “3”, combined with the suit of Cups, may suggest a love triangle, for example, or friendship shared by three people. So while the music of “She Loves You” supports the first interpretation of the 3 of Cups, the lyrics support the second.
They even repeat that silly Americanism in threes, over and over again. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah!
“You think you lost your love
Well, I saw her yesterday
It’s you she’s thinking of
And she told me what to say
She said she loves you”
This is song #23 of the Beatles Song Tarot Project. Click here to learn more about this magical, mystical trip through the Beatles catalogue.