After happily wandering around Chicago for five hours on Christmas Eve, I returned to home base. A boy, maybe 17, 19, stood at the south end of the northbound platform, paused between songs. He then fell into “Something” — the most beautiful three minutes my life.
“Something” is a pop song of diminutive proportions that tentatively reaches for something grandiose, only to curl back up again before it gets too far. Honestly, it’s nowhere near my favorite Beatles recording; I find the track’s guitars twangy and overwrought, and George’s vocals reedy and careful.
This boy’s acoustic rendition let the song speak much more clearly than the electric does, and his timbre conveyed sorrow and longing and purity and adoration as truthfully as I’ve ever heard any. His voice cracked at the bridge, but, instead of pissing me off, like amateurs usually do (I’m an asshole, sorry), it enhanced the song’s honesty. Maybe there’s something about that age that lets you wallow with less conceit, less construction, less pretense, than once you get older. This boy broke my heart.