Do we have to hide our love?
John Lennon says that:
You’ve got to hide your love away
in the song of the same name.
What do you think he meant?
What do you think John Lennon meant?
Personal “you” and General “you”
“You” has two meanings. It can refer to you personally:
Do you speak English?
or “people in general”:
How do you pronounce this word?
How do people pronounce this word?
How do you get to the station from here?
How can anybody get the station?
Listen to the song and read the lyrics and write your opinion in the comments section at the bottom of the page?
An Analysis of the Language
Let’s analyse the language that Lennon used in this classic Beatles’ song.
Each of the four variations have the same meaning.
The first one is a contraction of the second one:
You’ve got to hide
You have got to hide
Originally people said:
I have a car
I have got a car
has replaced it in many varieties of English.
Have and Must
These two phrases are roughly parallel:
“Must” is a little more formal and perhaps stronger than “have to” but the difference is of around 1 to 5 per cent so the two phrases are extremely similar.
Obligations, Necessities and Duties
Learn more about them at this link: Obligations
John Lennon and Love
Why did John Lennon say that we have to hide our love away?
Some things that we have to do are concrete physical things like finding food and water and shelter. Some things that we have to do are social or emotional things that we have to do to survive in society.
But why do we have to hide our love?
Perhaps, when he wrote the song, he felt that life is tough and people are weak and vulnerable and they have to adopt a tough exterior to survive.
What do you think?
Did you notice that the verb “to hide something away” is a phrasal verb?
Look at these variants:
to hide something
to hide something away
Lennon could have written:
You have got to hide your love
and the loss of the word “away” would not have changed the meaning.
The phrasal verb “to hide something away” is more American in tone.
The Influence of American English
American English is the language of the largest economy and the most dominant military power in the world. Of course it has had and continues to have a major influence on world culture and language. Over time we see the increasing modification of other forms of English to mimic American forms.