Released in 1967, “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles has some of the most interesting lyrics I’ve ever heard. The story goes that upon hearing that a high school English teacher was making his class analyze the meaning behind the lyrics of Beatles songs, John Lennon set out to write a song that was so out there, it couldn’t possibly mean anything. “I Am the Walrus” was the result.
As I was searching for a simple video of the song, I stumbled onto a YouTube series that asked teenagers to read the lyrics of the song and give their thoughts on what the writer(s) of the song meant. I found this video to be entertaining to watch and interesting to find that maybe Lennon wasn’t as “out there” as he hoped.
“Sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come Corporation tee-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday Man, you’ve been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long”
I can’t begin to analyze this song half as good as the kids in the video did. It’s fun to sing and little Beej has added it to his growing list of Beatles’ favorites. What do you think?
I Want to Hold Your Hand was the Beatles’ first #1 U.S. hit back in 1964. Nearly ten years later it would become one of my favorite songs. I was aware of the song before I knew exactly who the Beatles were. I hope you’ll give me a break- I was born while they were topping the charts in the 60’s so it took me a few years to catch up.
Since the Netflix children’s series Beat Bugs has become a regular on our watch list, Beatles songs have filled the air. If you haven’t met the Beat Bugs yet and you like the Beatles (and kids’ shows), you’ll have to take a look. The animated series centers each episode around a Beatles song with a cast a cute bug characters facing challenges both kids and bugs encounter from day to day. The incorporation of Beatles music adds a fun (and familiar to the adults watching) component. Seven year old CJ, who also enjoys the show, often asks, “Can we watch another episode so I can get a new song stuck in my head?”
Little Beej has taken to the music of the Beatles as if he was the long lost fifth Beatle. He sings the songs, memorizing more and more parts, and he adopts a new favorite every few days. Drive My Car, In My Life, Birthday, and Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da have all been recent favorites. Since the Beatles are my favorite performers, you don’t hear me complaining. And there’s nothing sweeter than the sound of a two year old singing, “In my life, I love you more!”
When Hugh first introduced his new feature- 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past, being a music lover, I was looking forward to it. I immediately began running through an endless list of songs that I could possibly share. What I did not realize was that some of those songs would take me on a journey. Although I have a growing list of songs that I’m considering, none of them felt right for this week.
And then Ringo Starr came to mind. A few years ago I began digging a little deeper into the Beatles’ lives post Beatles, specifically their music. Ringo’s music is….. well, it’s Ringo. It can be fun to listening (and sometimes not quite so) but it’s Ringo and he’s the King of Cool in my eyes so it’s all good. Originally I had planned to feature “I’m the Greatest”, a song written by John Lennon and performed by Ringo. I began doing a little background on the song and began looking at other songs the individual Beatles wrote about the group after they broke up. It turns out that they all wrote a number of songs about their Beatles days and each other. And somewhere along the way, I ended up here—-
For anyone who knows me, they might be surprised to find that the first Beatle sighting in 51 Weeks: 51 Songs from the Past is George Harrison and his 1987 song- When We Was Fab. It was written after the Beatles split up.
The video is almost more interesting than the song. It’s definitely unique! And as George gives background on the song in the introduction, I will let him speak for himself.
George was much more than the quiet Beatle. While you might be familiar with his connections to Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and The Concert for Bangladesh, did you know that he also had associations with Hells’ Angels, Phil Collins, Monty Python and former U.S.President Gerald Ford? I stumbled onto this Rolling Stone article with shares some interesting (perhaps) little known things about George-
For Hugh’s 51 Weeks: 51 Songs From the Past: Week 4– I am sharing Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft. I encountered this song through The Carpenters but as I researched the history of the song, I was surprised to find it connected to a little bit of mystery and the Beatles.
It was originally released by a group called Klaatu in 1976. The following year the Carpenters released a cover of the song.
The song, written by Klaatu, was based on a book- The Flying Saucer Reader, an anthology of writings about UFO’s, including World Contact Day. According to Wikipedia- “World Contact Day was first declared in March 1953 by an organization called the International Flying Saucer Bureau, as a day on which all IFSB members would attempt to send a telepathic message into space.” You can read more about the song’s origins here.
Here is the Carpenters version of the song:
I was curious about Klaatu and looked a little deeper. Originally this group’s existence was shrouded in mystery, with no clues as to who the members of the group were, except for rumors that they were actually the Beatles. While speculation circulated, the group’s albums received much attention. You can read more about the clues that helped to cultivate the rumors at Klaatu Identities and Beatles Rumors.
Klaatu was not the Beatles. You can listen to their version here: