It Can’t Get No Worse?
In 1967, the Beatles released their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. One of the classic songs on that album is titled “Getting Better.” Many people are familiar with the catchy, upbeat chorus: “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time.” It’s been used many times in television and radio advertisements. Those who have listened to the entire song know that there are also some dark undertones in parts of the song. John Lennon added the verse: “I used to be cruel to my woman. I beat her and kept her apart from the things she loved. Man I was mean, but I’m changing my scene, and I’m doing the best that I can.” In addition to the explicit references to physical abuse, there is a more subtle (and humorous) juxtaposition of attitudes in the chorus itself. After Paul McCartney sings the optimistic line, “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time,” Lennon can be heard in the background singing, “It can’t get no worse.”