Paul McCartney had the original idea for writing a song that made fun of Beatles obsessives that over analyzed their lyrics but it was John who made that idea a reality.
This song was written after the Beatles got word that people were having parties listening to their records and trying to figure out the meaning of every lyric. On hearing this Lennon went about the business of re-assembling lyrics from previous Beatles songs to make a nonsense/total sense meal for Beatle fans to devour and obsess about.
The lyrics are hilarious and strangely beautiful andI bet John is still having a good laugh about them.
I love it when artists refer to some of their former songs in newer songs, so this song automatically is awesome in my book and this song has loads.
"Strawberry Fields Forever," "I Am the Walrus," "Lady Madonna," "The Fool on the Hill," and "Fixing a Hole." are referenced directly. There are also subtle, passing references to "There’s a Place," "I’m Looking Through You," and "Within You Without You."
The song’s "The Walrus was Paul" lyric is both a reference to "I Am the Walrus" and Lennon saying "something nice to Paul" in response to changes in their relationship at that time. Ironically the line was interpreted as a clue in the "Paul is dead" urban legend that alleged McCartney died in 1966 during the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike.
Lennon himself dismissed any deep meaning to the lyrics:
“I threw the line in—’the Walrus was Paul’—just to confuse everybody a bit more. It could have been ‘The fox terrier is Paul.’ I mean, it’s just a bit of poetry. I was having a laugh because there’d been so much gobbledygook about Pepper—play it backwards and you stand on your head and all that.”
It is our job here at The Beatles Complete On Ukulele to analyze Beatles songs, so to analyze a song that makes fun of Beatle analysis is particularly fun.
Here are some of the references.
Cast Iron Shore:
is an area of beach near Liverpool called Otterspool that is now partly built over which is known locally as “The Cazzy”
A Dovetail Joint:
Despite sounding like a hippieish way of smoking weed a dovetail joint is a technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart (tensile strength), the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front.
Glass Onion: three meanings
1. A Victorian phrase for a monocle or a magnifying glass.
2. A bong
3. A hypodermic needle
The Ukulele Version begins with Paul introducing John on a radio show. In a truly surreal stream of consciousness he describes John as a sheep farmer, colour consultant, chain gang farmer, fighter pilot and table tennis wicket-keeper, which of course he was. It ends with John avoiding answering a question about the meaning of “Hey Jude”. In between comes a new voice from Australia. Sandel sings like an angel who had some work experience with The Devil.
She lives and performs in New York.
Check her out. She is very good.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sandel is a 23 year old folk pop artist, born and raised in the rural bush-lands of Australia.
She launched onto the Australian music scene in 2008, with her debut Story Of My Life- a collection of catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics.
In 2011 Sandel upped sticks and moved to New York. Soon after she recorded her follow up EP Lines– a five track ‘journey through the soul’ filled with atmospheric guitar lines, colorful rhythms and rousing harmonies. But through it all lies Sandel’s real calling card- her “delicate… enticing voice” – enticing enough to make music blog Stalkerzine demand that their readers “buy this ep….give your heart a break and let your soul free.”
Get a free download from Lines, plus find out all the latest news and gig info at: