The last song on Ringo is not just the best closer of the 1973 solo albums but, for my money, one of the all-time great final tracks. To a bouncy musical backing supplied by Beatle George (longtime Beatle fixer Mal Evans is credited as co-writer; I assume he was involved with the words and/or concept), Ringo addresses the listener like a date who is being given a nice kiss at the end of the night:

For you and me, babe, it’s time that we part
And between you, babe, I gave you my heart
For these few moments
I wish we could start at the top again

For me and you, babe, it’s the end of our date
Me and the band, babe, all thought it was great
To entertain you
But it’s getting late and it’s time to leave

He seems sincere, if somewhat condescending:

Now I want to tell you the pleasure really was mine
Yes, I had a good time, singing and drinking some wine
And when the sun sets in the sky
And you close your sleepy eyes
I’ll be in some night-club, getting high, that’s no lie

At this point Ringo was still having a good time drinking some wine with Nilsson and John Lennon and the rest of the Hollywood Vampires. The good times would continue for a while, then take a turn, before he finally bottomed out in the late Eighties. (A popular time to do so. See also: Bowie, David.)

Then he starts to get all meta with it:

Now you and me, babe, we may meet again
And in the meanwhile, stay out of the rain
But keep your nose dry
And give us a smile if you liked the show

Though I may not be in your town
You know that I can still be found
Right here on this record, spinning ’round, with the sounds

At this point, of course, it’s not a record; I’m listening from a Spotify playlist on my phone, via Bluetooth, to an Anker Soundcore speaker. But how could Ringo have known that?

To wrap things up, he introduces the band and thanks everyone involved, including himself:

Well, it’s the end of the night and I’d just like to say thank you to everyone involved in this piece of plastic we’re making
Good old Jim Keltner, Klaus Voorman, Nicky Hopkins, George Harrison and John Lennon, Paul McCartney
Richard Perry, for producing this masterpiece, Bill Schnee, ever smiling, ever loving
Vini Poncia and all his other friends and everybody else who joined in and helped us on this wonderful record
So it’s a big good night from your friend and mine, Ringo Starr

And it’s a big good night from me too, and a very happy New Year to you and all you hold dear. Before I go here is another video for “You and Me (Babe),” an unofficial one that’s liable to go away at any moment. Enjoy it while you can. As Ringo would say, Peace and Love.

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