Things We Said Today –2 of Cups
A Hard Day’s Night, 1964
Have you ever been in a long-distance relationship? If so, do you remember how you felt during the agonizing days when you were together but about to be separated once again? Did you worry that the distance would tear the two of you apart? Did you yearn for the day when you could stay together for good? “Things We Said Today” is about the anguish two lovers feel as they spend their final moments together before having to say goodbye.
The song was written by Paul McCartney while on a rented yacht in the Caribbean with his girlfriend Jane Asher, Ringo Starr, and Ringo’s future-wife Maureen. They were enjoying a month-long vacation before the Beatles were to go out on tour again. Years later McCartney described the song as a “future nostalgia”, where “the song projects itself into the future and then is nostalgic about the moment we’re living in now.” We hear in the song’s lyrics and arrangement how he’s trying to soak up the good times in the present, while simultaneously looking ahead to when he and his lover can look back fondly on this special day.
Paul loved Jane but he knew their relationship faced serious challenges. They both had successful careers and had to spend long periods of time apart. As is typical of two people in love, all felt right in the world during the times they could be together. But when they were apart, Paul was constantly being bombarded by temptations from his millions of adoring fans. How could he and Jane make it when they were both so attractive and incredibly successful? The tension that runs throughout this song indicates the fear he had of them having to spend so much time away.
The 2 of Cups corresponds well with “Things We Said Today”. This card signifies a loving relationship shared by two people. When two lovers are together, they draw strength and joy from their relationship; each completes the other. In the Rider Waite Smith tradition, the 2 of Cups shows two people facing each other with a caduceus and winged lion between them. The caduceus symbolizes the healing alchemy created by their love. And the winged lion is the spiritual strength they draw from one another, both in the giving and receiving of deeply felt emotional energy. The two lovers in “Things We Said Today” could be seen as the two figures on this card, sharing their most heartfelt words, in hopes it will strengthen them until they can be together again.
There’s an unmistakable melancholy throughout “Things We Said Today”, yet during the middle sections we hear a clear shift in mood, when the song goes from minor to major key. This shift symbolizes how much power those things they said to one another have on our singer. On the wings of the powerful lion, his mood brightens, and he feels very lucky. And although he doesn’t know what the future will bring, he knows their love for each other will be enough.
“Someday, when we’re dreaming
Deep in love, not a lot to say
Then we will remember
Things we said today.”
This is song #72 of the Beatles Song Tarot Project. Click here to learn more about this magical, mystical trip through the Beatles catalogue.