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I Am the Walrus is a 1967 Beatles song credited to Lennon/McCartney that was released on the B-side track of the Hello, Goodbye single release. This fact angered Lennon as "[he] felt that it was better." It is widely regarded as The Beatles' most "outragous and psychedelic" song ever.

LyricsEdit

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
I'm crying.

Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come.
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday.
Man, you've been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Mister city policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row.
See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky, see how they run.
I'm crying, I'm crying.
I'm crying, I'm crying.

Yellow mother custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.
Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob.

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
If the sun don't come, you get a tan
From standing in the English rain.
I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob.

Expert textpert choking smokers,
Don't you think the joker laughs at you?
See how they smile like pigs in a sty,
See how they snied.
I'm crying.

Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower.
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe.
I am the eggman, They are the eggmen.
I am the walrus, goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob goo goo g'joob.
Goo goo g'joob goo

Inspiration and Song StructureEdit

The song was originally written as three independent songs by Lennon. One was inspired by the up and down patterns of a police siren (the "mister city p'licemen" portion). Another was an odd line about cornflakes ("sitting on a cornflake/waiting for the van to come"). The third was a tune about sitting in his garden ("sitting in an English garden/waiting for the sun). One line of the song was taken from a nursery rhyme. Lennon had asked his friend, Peter Shotton, to remind him of the lyrics to. The rhyme went:

Yellow matter custard, green slop pie, all mixed together with a dead dog's eye, Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick, then wash it all down with a cold cup of sick

(the rhyme inspired the lyric "Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye")

"I Am the Walrus" was also inspired by the Lewis Carroll poem, "The Walrus and The Carpenter." Lennon was later dismayed as he found out that the Walrus in the poem is in fact the villain, who represented capitalism.

The song was also written in response to a letter he received about how a teacher had begun to analyse songs of the Beatles. The song was intentionally written to deceive those trying to find a meaning within the song.

The intro lyric "I am he/as you are he/as you are me/and we are all together" is a boiled down version of Indian philosophy.

The line "elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna" is a political statement aimed at blind worship of religion. The "penguins" were praying without asking why. This is an example of Lennon incorporating obscure lyrics into his songs, which was inspired by Bob Dylan.

The lyric "semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower" which occurs just before the above is a dig at DS Norman Pilcher of the Drug Squad, who was notorious for cracking down on pop/rock stars and for using often dubious methods in doing so.

This song is rumoured to be inspired by LSD. This may or may not be true, as it is widely known The Beatles experimented with the then legal "wonder drug."

"I Am the Walrus" is famous for its unique chord structure, which uses each letter in the musical alphabet in succession (A-B-C-D-E-F-G). The bridge of this song (sitting in an English garden ...) basically is still following this main pattern, but starting on a B chord, rather than an A chord.

After the chorus of, "I am the eggman (woo) they are the eggmen (woo) I am the Walrus", Lennon exclaims a series of nonsense words, spelled "goo goo g'joob" (as in the lyrics in the album state).

Towards the end of the song, a choir sings the lines "oompah oompah stick it up your jumper!" and "got one got one everybody's got one!" The latter of the two lines has often been mistaken as "smoke pot smoke pot everybody smoke pot," but this is completely false[citation needed]. These lines also came from a nursery rhyme.

The song has virtually no meaning. As said above, the lines have partial meanings, and references to many things, a favourite of Lennon's.

Personnel Edit

  • John Lennon - Lead Vocals, Wurlitzer Electric Piano
  • Paul McCartney - Bass Guitar (Rickenbacker 4001S), Tambourine
  • George Harrison - Lead Guitar (Fender Stratocaster)
  • Ringo Starr - Drums
  • The Mike Sammes Singers-Backing Vocals
  • Sidney Sax, Jack Rothstein, Ralph Elman, Andrew McGee, Jack Greene, Louis Stevens, John Jezzard, Jack Richards-Violins
  • Lionel Ross, Eldon Fox, Bram Martin, Terry Weil-Cellos
  • Gordon Lewin-Clarinet
  • Neil Sanders, Tony Tunstall, Morris Miller-Horns

TriviaEdit

  • The song makes a reference to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" in the line "See how they fly like Lucy in the Sky."
  • This song is referenced in "Glass Onion" by saying "the walrus was Paul."
  • This song was covered in the Beatles movie-musical Across the Universe by Bono who was playing a man called Dr. Roberts (referencing the song "Doctor Robert") in the film.
  • A dramatization of Shakespeare's King Lear (Act IV, Scene 6) can be heard throughout the song.  As it happens, Lear IV.6. is the only scene in all of Shakespeare (out of more than a thousand) that features both English homonyms for "Beatle" (beetle and beadle).
  • A episode of the Nickelodeon television show Spongebob Squarepants the original title of the episode was named "I am the starfish" because Patrick writes a song that makes no sense much like what many people think about "I am the walrus".
  • Who actually is the walrus remains a total mystery. Although John is the one singing the "I Am The Walrus" lines, in "Glass Onion" he says, "I told you 'bout the walrus and me, man * Yeah, we're about as close as can be man * Well here's another clue for you all * The walrus was Paul." Also, in Lennon's solo song "God", he tells us, "I was the walrus, but now I'm John." Also, on the back of the Magical Mystery Tour album, underneath the words "I Am The Walrus", the words: "'No you're not,' said Little Nicola." ▬ Nicola is a character in MMT film.
  • The extra instrumental intermission that leads to "Yellow Matter Custard" only exists in mono because it's only on the US single.
  • The "goo goo ga joob" lyric is typical of nonsense lyrics included in mediaeval folk songs. Simon & Garfunkel referred to this lyric in the song "Mrs. Robinson".

ReferencesEdit

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