“Hide Your Love Away is basically John doing Dylan” – Paul McCartney 1973
Well yeah, but no but, yeah, but… NO!
One month previous to when “Hide Your Love Away” was being recorded in London, Bob Dylan was in CBS Studios in New York recording “Bringing It All Back Home”. This was his “Going Electric” album.
As Dylan was going electric The Beatles decided to go acoustic. Dylan wanted to sound more like The Beatles and The Beatles wanted to sound more like Bob.
And why not.
Bob is, was and always will be cool – with the exception of that terrible period from about 1984-88 when the whole world stopped being cool – Bob was and is as cool as it gets. John was definitely a big Dylan fan but when I listen to “Hide” my ears hear yet another Beatles/Irish ballad.
The song is in a folkish strophic form and uses a brushed snare and tambourine part over a 6/8 rhythm takes me back to the old country.
Dylan would never have written the lyric to “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”.
The words of “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away” is explicitly about the legal ramifications of being homosexual in Britain in 1965.
At the time of it’s release of the movie “Help!” homosexuality was illegal.
The Buggery Act of 1533 identified anal intercourse and bestiality as offences punishable by hanging as a result. In 1861 section 61 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861 removed the death penalty for homosexuality. This legislation stayed on the books till 1967 and many, many men were convicted and imprisoned.
To come out of the cupboard could literally have you put in jail.
What does this have to do with any of The Beatles? Their manager, Brian Epstein was gay.
Epstein’s homosexuality was not publicly known until years after his death, although it had been an open secret among The Beatles since they had known him.
In October 1964, Epstein’s autobiography, A “Cellarful of Noise”, was published. Lennon reportedly once quipped that the memoir should have been titled “A Cellarful of Boys”. Although Lennon often made sarcastic comments about Epstein’s homosexuality to friends and to Epstein personally, nobody outside their closed circle was allowed to mention it.
Ian Sharp, one of Lennon’s art school friends, once made a sarcastic remark about Epstein, saying : "Which one of you [The Beatles] does he fancy?"
Sharp was sent a letter by Epstein’s office within 48 hours that demanded a complete apology. Sharp apologized but was then ostracized by The Beatles, and was told by McCartney in a letter to have no contact at all with any of them in the future.
Lennon was fiercely loyal to Brian and “Hide Your Love Away” is written from Epstein’s perspective.
How can I even try
I can never win
Hearing them, seeing them
In the state I’m in
Everywhere people stare
Each and every day
I can see them laugh at me
And I hear them say
Hey you’ve got to hide your love away
Brian Epstein had to hide his love fear of criminal prosecution. He died on August 27th 1967 after overdosing on Carbitral.
One month after he died The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which decriminalized homosexuality was passed.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Conrad Korsch is a New York City-based multi-instrumentalist / singer / producer / composer widely known for playing upright and electric bass with many iconic singers and songwriters, including an 8 year (and counting) stint with Rod Stewart’s band. Through his "Scrumptious Music" production company, he released his own critically acclaimed singer-songwriter CD "Live Love Leave" at a sold-out CD Release Party concert in NYC in 2010, followed by tour dates throughout England, Germany and Norway. Other highlights since the CD’s release include:
* "I’M LEAVING" was featured in an episode of the TV show "ROYAL PAINS"
* "FIREFLY" live performance on the Jerry Lewis Telethon (featuring a duet with KRISTINA TRAIN)
* "FIREFLY" (featuring a duet with ROSANNE CASH) was set to original choreography by Andrea Kramer and premiered at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center as part of "The Butterfly Project", a children’s cancer charity
* "LOVE STORY OF A BLADE OF GRASS AND A PINE TREE" animated video as part of "Project 30 in 30" (can be seen on www.youtube.com)
* "WEEPING WILLOW" was chosen as the opening track for the Cape May Singer-Songwriter Festival’s 2010 Compilation
For more information, please visit www.conradkorsch.com
"Hide Your Love Away" recording notes
When I was experimenting with ideas for the arrangement, I noticed that I could sing the verses over the riff to "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds", and decided to feature the ukulele on that riff (doubled with Rhodes), then have it strumming behind the half-time 6/8 feel in the Choruses. I was able to make the melodic riff in the vamp/fade at the end of the song fit over the re-harmonized Chorus chord changes by simply displacing it by one bar!