From the first time I heard John Lennnon sing this, I started grumbling that it just wasn't true. Love is a big deal, but first you need food, water, and air. So this little song is a mild protest, I suppose, like the kid in the corner that raises his hand to question what the teacher says.
Another Library of Congress photo.
Three square meals a day,
What do you want for lunch?
Without any food at all,
You won’t last a month.
Eat it, breathe it, drink it,
Sorry that I think it,
But I just don’t think that love is all you need,
Y’all need love, but love’s not all you need.
From the tap or from the bottle,
From the lake or from the creek,
Without some water to drink,
You won’t last a week.
Watch the windmill go around,
Air’s the wind that spins it,
Without some air to breathe,
You won’t last five minutes.