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06th May, 2020

'Dig It' by Kathleen Versfeld - #LetItBe50

If ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ was John’s favourite Beatles song, could ‘Dig It’ be his least?  

The two songs are undeniably poles apart in almost every respect except one – each reference a childhood neighbour: Strawberry Field at the bottom of his Aunt Mimi’s garden and Georgie Wood, next door neighbour to his mum, Julia.  Whilst 'Strawberry Fields Forever' evokes an almost universal chorus of praise, ‘Dig It’ provokes a completely different, often four lettered response! On the surface, the track is just a little bit of fun, more ‘men behaving badly’ than ‘Fab Four’ perhaps but unmistakably the Beatles doing together what they did better than anyone else.  

Personally, I like that ‘Dig It’ is inclusive, the song credits including all four Beatles and featuring in the film version Heather, the young daughter of Linda Eastman.  Anyone and everyone present were invited to join in the pure joy of music making, to have a go.  These 49 seconds showcase edited highlights of a month long jamming session and remind me of the plethora of home videos flooding our social media at present: high jinks that lift spirits and lighten the load of angst, uncertainty and frustration we all feel. I found myself wondering - as one only has the luxury to do in an extended period of lockdown - what icons of our day a Covid 19 version of ‘Dig It’ might include:

The NHS and UNICEF? The WHO and BBC? PPE and Boris J?  Thomas Moore, dig it.  Dig it?

I’m not sure any of us are ‘digging’ this awful pandemic or the daily death toll any more than the Fab Four were ‘digging’ those fraught, volatile and uncertain days whilst recording their twelfth and final album. They, like us, were on the brink of a brand new chapter of existence and life would never ever be quite the same as before.  What I find truly mind blowing is that 50 years after the event, in a world that is a million light years away from the one that John, Paul, George and Ringo took by storm in the sixties, we are all still talking about them, celebrating their genius, loving the music, taking sides, continuing to count their impact on our world where love and peace and joy remain in short supply.  

As today we celebrate the release of the ‘Let It Be’ album 50 years ago and also look beyond that 75 years to Victory in Europe day, the war on Covid 19 is far from over.  The truth is, now more than ever, we need the Beatles to do what they have always done so well – to provide a timeless, joyous soundtrack to turn us on, to make us happy, to get us dancing and singing, questioning and laughing, in defiance of the cacophony of grief and chaos all around us as many ask, Is there really a rainbow at the end of this storm?

Let it be!  Dig it, dig it.

About Kathy
Major Kathy Versfeld is a Salvation Army officer and mission director for the new visitor centre at Strawberry Field.  A child of the sixties and proud Capetownian, she is a recent convert to the joys of the North West and lifelong follower of Jesus.  Peace!

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