Nation: Always a Pun up His Sleeve

Lennon loved language, the sounds and rhymes and elastic elusiveness of words, and, like a dandy with a lace handkerchief, he liked to keep a pun up his sleeve. The early songs, all written in collaboration with Paul McCartney, were playful, ebullient, rich in imagination. On his own, Lennon planed down the richness of the words into a sparseness that matched the immediacy of the music.

Since you left me, I'm so alone.

Now you're coming, you're

coming home . . .

It won't be long, yeh, yeh.

—It Won't Be Long

There are places I'll...

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