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Thread: Beatles Song Meanings and Lyric Interpretations

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Beatles Song Meanings and Lyric Interpretations

    Because the Zep thread somehow became a discussion on "Norwegian Wood", I figured the general topic of debating this stuff needs a thread to grow in. Also, John referred to his love tackle as English Wood.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    What took you so long?
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    Okay, let's start here.

    "When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me."

    No, it was not a religious reference. His mother was named Mary.
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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Yeah, Paul has been pretty emphatic about that yet the common conception is it's a religious reference.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    LinkMan Chain's Avatar
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    She Loves You means She Loves You
    “Pleasure and pain can be experienced simultaneously,” she said, gently massaging my back as we listened to her Coldplay CD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chain View Post
    She Loves You means She Loves You
    Yeah yeah yeah


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Obladi Oblada ?

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    ^^^ Wondered about that strange phrase since I noticed that George also checks it in "Savoy Truffle." Is it some kind of Beatle in-joke?
    Ring the bells, that still can ring,
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack - a crack in everything.
    That's how the light gets in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    ^^^ Wondered about that strange phrase since I noticed that George also checks it in "Savoy Truffle." Is it some kind of Beatle in-joke?
    According to music journalist Robert Fontenot, "John and George were very vocal in their dislike of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da." John dismissed it at the time as more of "Paul's granny shit," and he and George both refused to release it as the next Beatles single; that honor would go to a song McCartney brought in a few weeks later called "Hey Jude" (released as the a-side, at John's insistence, with the faster version of "Revolution" on the flip). George, for his part, mockingly referred to it a few months later in his song "Savoy Truffle": "We all know Ob-La-Di-Bla-Da / But can you show me / where you are?"

  10. #10
    I had a friend called Jimmy Scott who was a Nigerian conga player, who I used to meet in the clubs in London. He had a few expressions, one of which was, 'Ob la di ob la da, life goes on, bra'. I used to love this expression... He sounded like a philosopher to me. He was a great guy anyway and I said to him, 'I really like that expression and I'm thinking of using it,' and I sent him a cheque in recognition of that fact later because even though I had written the whole song and he didn't help me, it was his expression.

    It's a very me song, in as much as it's a fantasy about a couple of people who don't really exist, Desmond and Molly. I'm keen on names too. Desmond is a very Caribbean name.


    Paul McCartney
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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    The role reversal in Ob La Di is what sells it for me
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    There are 2-3 songs from White Album I can't stand. Obla di is one of 'em. There aren't many Beatles songs I outright hate, but there are a few.

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    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Honey Pie is an automatic skip for sure but Revolution 9 has gone from skip to never-miss.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    Revolution 9 has gone from skip to never-miss.
    A great definition of evolution.
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    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I like Honey Pie, I don't like Revolution 9.

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    I like "Honey Pie." I think it's a perfect slice of 20s nostalgia that only Paul could pull off. I especially like hearing the instrumental track on the White Album set. It's masterfully played.

    Or was the original comment really about "Wild Honey Pie"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I had a friend called Jimmy Scott who was a Nigerian conga player, who I used to meet in the clubs in London. He had a few expressions, one of which was, 'Ob la di ob la da, life goes on, bra'. I used to love this expression... He sounded like a philosopher to me. He was a great guy anyway and I said to him, 'I really like that expression and I'm thinking of using it,' and I sent him a cheque in recognition of that fact later because even though I had written the whole song and he didn't help me, it was his expression.

    It's a very me song, in as much as it's a fantasy about a couple of people who don't really exist, Desmond and Molly. I'm keen on names too. Desmond is a very Caribbean name.



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    I have heard Paul tell this same version on Howard Stern Recently.

  18. #18
    Wild Honey Pie is to Paul what Revolution 9 is to John.
    Ring the bells, that still can ring,
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack - a crack in everything.
    That's how the light gets in.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Wild Honey Pie is to Paul what Revolution 9 is to John.
    Well, I couldn't disagree more about that. While they may be similarly unpalatable to most, one took significantly more effort and is a true form of avant garde art, while the other is just a one-off.
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  20. #20
    That was my point.
    Ring the bells, that still can ring,
    Forget your perfect offering.
    There is a crack - a crack in everything.
    That's how the light gets in.

  21. #21
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    I can't help but think some of the Beatles lyrics are either drug induced nonsense or just abstract. What do the lyrics to "Come Together" mean? Like:


    He bag production
    He got walrus gumboot
    He got O-no side board
    He one spinal cracker
    He got feet down below his knee
    Hold you in his armchair
    You can feel his disease

    Rick

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Fracktured View Post
    I can't help but think some of the Beatles lyrics are either drug induced nonsense or just abstract. What do the lyrics to "Come Together" mean? Like:


    He bag production
    He got walrus gumboot
    He got O-no side board
    He one spinal cracker
    He got feet down below his knee
    Hold you in his armchair
    You can feel his disease

    Rick
    Don't try to read too much into it. John was a big fan of Lewis Carroll, as evidenced by his use of "gobbledygook," nonsensical language in his poetry (long before his drug use) and lyrics. "I am the Walrus" is a prime example. He even made up words at times. "Jai guru deva um" (Across the Universe) "ah bawakawa pousse pousse" ("No.9 Dream")
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    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    About Ob La Di..., I was always more confused about the "bra" part. What's up with that? You hear kids say "bruh" now as a shortening of "brother," but was "bra" the same? Or again, did it mean something else earlier, aside from being a shortening of "brassiere?" Or was it part of Paul's friend's saying that maybe didn't have a real, distinct meaning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    Don't try to read too much into it. John was a big fan of Lewis Carroll, as evidenced by his use of "gobbledygook," nonsensical language in his poetry (long before his drug use) and lyrics. "I am the Walrus" is a prime example. He even made up words at times. "Jai guru deva um" (Across the Universe) "ah bawakawa pousse pousse" ("No.9 Dream")
    I sometimes think bands would write lyrics with the intent of them being vague to either mess with their fans who want to know what every lyric means or mess with the critics. Steely Dan for one of them.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    "I am the Walrus" is a prime example. He even made up words at times. "Jai guru deva um" (Across the Universe) "ah bawakawa pousse pousse" ("No.9 Dream")
    "Jai guru deva, om" is an invocation in Sanskrit, not made-up words.

    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    About Ob La Di..., I was always more confused about the "bra" part. What's up with that? You hear kids say "bruh" now as a shortening of "brother," but was "bra" the same?
    Yes, "bra" is just short for "brother." Another musical usage is Dollar Brand's "Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro."

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