Beatles Singles lyrics - I am the Walrus

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    Find out how the lyrics to I am the Walrus by the Beatles came to be written.

    Beatles Singles: Hello Goodbye side B

    Beatles EP: Magical Mystery Tour : Track 6

    Year: 1967

    Lyrics: Lennon, McCartney

    Length: 4.35

    The Beatles I am the Walrus was John Lennon's contribution to the magical mystery tour film, and also appeared as the B side to the single Hello Goodbye, where it was used to give a taster of the forthcoming magical mystery film and E.P.

    The I am the walrus song is a magical coming together of three songs that John had been working on. But the lyrics for the song were mainly inspired by a letter that John received from a pupil at his old school; the teacher wanted the pupils to analyse the Beatles lyrics; John thought it would be a great idea to really twist the I am the Walrus lyrics to see what people would make of them.

    Some of the lyrics to I am the Walrus are based on a playground skipping song (yellow matter custard) and John added his own crazy ideas to this; and even made up words (texpert). The opening lines to I am the Walrus were written when he was taking acid. It was John's joke that this song would really give all the musical analysts who read too deeply into things something to set their teeth into.

    Although many things were written for a joke and to challenge the critics, some of the meanings of the song can be traced back to their influences. The Walrus was from a poem by Lewis Caroll (the walrus and the carpenter) and the penguin chanting Hare Krishna were a go at Allen Ginsberg.

    As mentioned above the Beatles I am the Walrus originally started out as three ideas. One of these was the sound that police sirens made (split into two der-der), John used this sound in words such as Mis-ter cit-ty.

    On the recording of I am the walrus, John leads in with the Melotron then Ringo and session musicians join in with the drums, cellos and violins. This song also makes use of a Radio, which John plugged into the mixing desk and recorded a couple of lines (such as 'Are you, Sir)'. In keeping with the letter that John received he made use of a school choir, with girls singing 'everybody's got one' and the boys in the choir singing 'Oompah, Oompah, stick it up your Jumper'. The I am the walrus song finishes with a bit of Shakespeare which was on the Radio at the time John was recording.

    The I am the walrus song was referenced on Glass onion on 'The Beatles' album, when John refers to the Walrus as being Paul.

    Individual Beatles role on I am the Walrus

    John Lennon: Lead Vocals, Mellotron

    Paul McCartney: Backing vocals, Bass guitar

    George Harrison: Backing vocals, Tambourine

    Ringo Starr: Drums

    Others: choir; Violins, Cellos, Horns, Radio

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