Remember when you were young
How the hero was never hung
Always got away
Remember, how the man
Used to leave you empty handed
Always, always let you down
If you ever change your mind
About leaving it all behind
Remember, remember, today, hey, hey

And don't feel sorry
The way it's gone
And don't you worry
'Bout what you've done

Just remember when you were small
How people seemed so tall
Always had their way, hey, hey
Do you remember, your ma and pa
Just wishing for movie stardom
Always, always playing a part
If you ever feel so sad
And the whole world is driving you mad
Remember, remember today, hey, hey

And don't feel sorry
'Bout the way it's gone
And don't you worry
'Bout what you've done

No, no, remember, remember
The fifth of November

Lyrics submitted by planetearth

Remember Lyrics as written by John Winston Lennon

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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  • +3
    General Commentyes, the "5th of November" is in reference to Guy Fawkes, who attempted to assinate King James I but was caught and executed.

    The song is basically a cynical criticism of idealism. The first lines establish this perfectly: " Remember when you were young? How the hero was never hung." Lennon wants people to know that taking action, and doing the right thing, rebelling against a government or a tyrant or an unjust concept, isn't without consequences. He talks about how when you're a child, adults seemed to have so much power (just as those things Lennon rebbeled against seemed to have so much power), but everything seemed to turn out okay (just as the idealists believe it will).

    The final verse reinforces this. Fawkes was killed for his attempt, and his country still hates him to this day. The protestors in Missippi and Alabama in the early 60s were shot and killed, as were those at Kent State, or the '68 DNC. Lennon isn't saying that he disagrees with the motives of these people, but he wants to make it very clear that doing what's right will not always make you a hero. Alot of times it will get you killed.
    TeNon October 01, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFirst off, if you haven't gone out and bought Plastic Ono Band, you're missing out on one of the best albums ever created. I think this songs meaning adds beautifully to the rest of the feeling to this album. To me, it's about how when you were young everything seemed to work out in the end. Now you're grown up and there is no reason for it still not to be alright. When you were young, you saw adults playing a huge game, and to you it seemed like they worried for nothing. It's also an encouragement to not let the game hold you back... Lennon is actually speaking to us about something he'd like us all to know, as opposed to most of the other songs on this album which is him releasing his feelings.
    borison April 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commentsham, the 5th of November isn't the day he was executed, it was the day that the Gunpowder Plot was foiled.

    November 5th is an event in celebration that Fawkes failed, although some might celebrate Fawkes attempt, most British celebrate the foiling of the plot.
    vikwizyank1on September 03, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe song basically describes the hypocrisy of life for many people, when were small you get pampered, you have Santa Clause, the Easter bunny, Disneyland, etc. everything seems like utopia and then you grow up and wham, you get hit with reality and find out the world in many ways is the complete opposite.

    "The hero was never hung" It all seems to work out right. "The man leaves you empty handed" We're all working for nothing, society takes all you work for and more. (check out the videos "Money Masters" and "Zeitgeist Addendum")

    "When you were young people seemed so tall, always had their way" And then when you grow up you realize it was fantasy and they are only playing a part which is basically an economic slave. (again, I urge you to watch the videos "Money Masters" and "Zeitgeist Addendum"

    "No no, remember the fifth of November" Like mentioned above a reference to Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plot that was foiled. In other words, No, NO, we don't have to accept this hypocrisy, we need to stand up as individuals (like he did) or as "We The People" and do something about it even if it means sacrifice; if not for ourselves, do it for you kids and grandkids. (future generations)
    stpittsson October 03, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationYou guys are missing the boat.

    Its not about politics at all. Lennon is referring to his nasty youth. And so when things look bad, remember how bad it was, and don't worry about getting older and losing your youth, and don't worry about the things you have done, its all better than what happened long ago.

    The man who left you empty handed is his father, who always always let him down, leaving his mother destitute. Right before this album, his old man tried to come back into his life, and it through him for a loop, because on the one hand, he wanted a father, and wanted his father's love, and on the other hand he has intense anger about what his father did.

    So don't change you mind about leaving it all behind.

    And in his youth, his mother and father wanted him and themselves to be a star, to get rich the easy way, which he seems to have hated (he refers to it more than once, always negatively).

    So if you ever feel sad... remember.

    That being said, I have long wondered about the 5th of November. Guy Fawkes day is a celebration, with fireworks and bonfires, explosions. Usually, like the USA july 4th, associated with happy memories, patriotism.

    I think he has a particularly bad memory of what was supposed to be a happy time, in which case the theme works perfectly: Our youth is supposed to be a happy time, but for him, it wasn't, and Guy Fawkes is supposed to be a happy time, too, but i suspect it wasn't.

    Remember, too, that the rest of the album is quite personal, not political. The screams about his mother's death (momma don't go) and his fathers desertion (Daddy come home) evidence real pain from his childhood.

    This reading puts this song right in the theme of the album.
    br549on November 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe explosion at the end of the song scares the crap out of me
    cowyowon December 07, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh yeah... does anyone know what the fifth of november is a reference to?
    borison April 05, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Remember when you were young?
    How the hero was never hung"

    Yup, at least some parts (remember the fifth of November) are about Guy Hawkes. But it is also about how young people tend to be naive, and believe that if your goal is good it doesn't matter how you get to it. Idealism in it's extreme points might be very dangerous.
    evlinon March 19, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh I thought it was the hero was never home. That's what it says in the lyrics in my Anthology
    rooze1992on September 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is definatly the best song by a Beatle... including the Beatles years. Masterpiece.
    42ozon September 13, 2006   Link

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