The Beatles, album "Anthology 2"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
LP - collections - Studio Apple Corps - 1996
01:50 Yes It Is (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 16.02.1965
'That's me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy,' but it didn't quite work.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I was there writing it with John, but it was his inspiration that I helped him finish off.
'Yes It Is' is a very fine song of John's.'
02:53 I'm Down (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 14.06.1965
'That's Paul… with a little help from me, I think.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I could do Little Richard's voice which is a wild, hoarse, screaming thing – It's like an out-of-body experience.
You have to leave your current sensibilities and go about a foot above your head to sing it.
Alot of people were fans of Little Richard so I used to sing his stuff, but there came a point when I wanted to do one of my own, so I wrote 'I'm Down.''
'One I do which I like is, 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.' But it's not commercial.'JOHN 1971:
'It's one of those that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself, 'Here I stand/Head in hand.' I started thinking about my own emotions.
I don't know when exactly it started, like 'I'm A Loser' or 'Hide Your Love Away,' or those kind of things.
Instead of projecting myself into a situation I would just try to express what I felt about myself which I had done in me books.
I think it was Dylan helped me realize that – I had a sort of professional songwriter's attitude to writing Pop songs, but to express myself I would write 'Spaniard In The Works' or 'In His Own Write' – the personal stories which were expressive of my personal emotions.
I'd have a separate 'songwriting' John Lennon who wrote songs for the sort of meat market, and I didn't consider them, the lyrics or anything, to have any depth at all.
Then I started being me about the songs… not writing them objectively, but subjectively.'JOHN 1980:
'That's me in my Dylan period again.
I am like a chameleon… influenced by whatever is going on.
If Elvis can do it, I can do it.
If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can.
Same with Dylan.'PAUL 1984:
'That was John doing a Dylan… heavily influenced by Bob.
If you listen, he's singing it like Bob.'
02:34 Yesterday (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 14.06.1965
01:59 It's Only Love (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 15.06.1965
'That's the one song I really hate of mine.
Terrible lyric.'JOHN 1980:
''It's Only Love' is mine.
I always thought it was a lousy song.
The lyrics are abysmal.
I always hated that song.'PAUL circa-1994:
'Sometimes we didn't fight it if the lyric came out rather bland on some of those filler songs like 'It's Only Love.' If a lyric was really bad we'd edit it.
But we weren't that fussy about it, because it's only a rock 'n roll song.
I mean, this is not literature.'
02:16 I Feel Fine (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 17.11.1964
'George and I play the same bit on the guitar together – that's the bit that'll set your feet a-tapping, as the reviews say.
The middle-eight is the most tuneful part, to me, because it's a typical Beatles bit.'JOHN 1972:
'This was the first time feedback was used on a record.
It's right at the beginning.'JOHN 1974:
'I wrote this at a recording session.
It was tied together around the guitar riff that opens it.'JOHN 1980:
'That's me completely.
Including the guitar lick with the first feedback anywhere.
I defy anybody to find a record… unless it is some old blues record from 1922… that uses feedback that way.
So I claim it for the Beatles.
Before Hendrix, before the Who, before anybody.
The first feedback on record.'PAUL circa-1994:
'John had a semi-acoustic Gibson guitar.
It had a pick-up on it so it could be amplified… We were just about to walk away to listen to a take when John leaned his guitar against the amp.
I can still see him doing it… and it went, 'Nnnnnnwahhhhh!' And we went, 'What's that? Voodoo!' 'No, it's feedback.' Wow, it's a great sound!' George Martin was there so we said, 'Can we have that on the record?' 'Well, I suppose we could, we could edit it on the front.' It was a found object – an accident caused by leaning the guitar against the amp.
The song itself was more John's than mine.
We sat down and co-wrote it with John's original idea.
John sang it, I'm on harmonies.'
'We are always worried with each record.
With 'Ticket To Ride' we were even more worried.
There's bound to be a time when we come in at 19 (on the charts).
But this 'number one' business doesn't seem to stop – great while it lasts – but now we'll have to start all over again and people will start predicting funny things for the next one.'JOHN 1970:
'It's a heavy record, and the drums are heavy too.
That's why I like it.'JOHN 1980:
'That was one of the earliest heavy-metal records made.
Paul's contribution was the way Ringo played the drums.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I think the interesting thing is the crazy ending – instead of ending like the previous verse, we changed the tempo.
We picked up one of the lines, 'My baby don't care,' but completely altered the melody.
We almost invented the idea of a new bit of a song on the fade-out with this song… It was quite radical at the time.'
02:43 Yesterday (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 01.08.1965
'We think it's one of the best we've written.'JOHN 1980:
'The whole Beatle thing was just beyond comprehension.
When 'Help' came out, I was actually crying out for help.
Most people think it's just a fast rock 'n roll song.
I didn't realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie.
But later, I knew I really was crying out for help.
So it was my fat Elvis period.
You see the movie: He – I – is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself.
And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.
Now I may be very positive… yes, yes… but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know.
It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don't know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little.
Anyway, I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for help.'PAUL 1984:
'John wrote that… well, John and I wrote it at his house in Weybridge for the film.
I think the title was out of desperation.'
But Paul helped me on the lyric.'GEORGE 1980:
'I had bought, earlier, a crummy sitar in London… and played the 'Norwegian Wood' bit.'JOHN 1980:
''Norwegian Wood' is my song completely.
It was about an affair I was having.
I was very careful and paranoid because I didn't want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household.
I'd always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair… but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn't tell.
But I can't remember any specific woman it had to do with.'PAUL 1985:
'It was me who decided in 'Norwegian Wood' that the house should burn down… not that it's any big deal.'
He must have had an argument with Jane Asher.'PAUL circa-1994:
'As is one's wont in relationships, you will from time to time argue or not see eye to eye on things, and a couple of the songs around this period were that kind of thing… I would write it out in a song and then I've got rid of the emotion.
I don't hold grudges so that gets rid of that little bit of emotional baggage… I think it's my song totally.
I don't remember any of John's assistance.'
''Tomorrow Never Knows' …I didn't know what I was saying, and you just find out later.
I know that when there are some lyrics I dig, I know that somewhere people will be looking at them.'JOHN 1968:
'Often the backing I think of early-on never comes off.
With 'Tomorrow Never Knows' I'd imagined in my head that in the background you would hear thousands of munks chanting.
That was impractical, of course, and we did something different.
It was a bit of a drag, and I didn't really like it.
I should have tried to get near my original idea, the munks singing.
I realize now that was what I wanted.'
JOHN 1972 'This was my first psychedelic song.'
JOHN 1980 'That's me in my 'Tibetan Book of the Dead' period.
I took one of Ringo's malapropisms as the title, to sort of take the edge off the heavy philosophical lyrics.'PAUL 1984:
'That was one of Ringo's malapropisms.
John wrote the lyrics from Timothy Leary's version of the 'Tibetan Book of the Dead.' It was a kind of Bible for all the psychedelic freaks.
That was an LSD song.
Probably the only one.
People always thought 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' was but it actually 'wasn't' meant to say LSD.'
'We were doing our Tamla Motown bit.
You see, we're influenced by whatever's going.
Even if we're not influenced, we're all going that way at a certain time.'JOHN 1972:
'I think George and I helped with some of the lyrics.
I'm not sure.'JOHN 1980:
I think that was one of his best songs, too, because the lyrics are good and I didn't write them.
You see? When I say that he could write lyrics if he took the effort – here's an example.'PAUL 1984:
'That's mine – I wrote it.
It was the first one we used brass on, I think.
One of the first times we used soul trumpets.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I'd been a rather straight working class lad, but when we started to get into pot it seemed to me to be quite uplifting.
It didn't seem to have too many side effects like alcohol or some of the other stuff, like pills, which I pretty much kept off.
I kind of liked marijuana and to me it seemed it was mind-expanding, literally mind-expanding.
So 'Got To Get You Into My Life' is really a song about that.
It's not to a person, it's actually about pot.
It's saying, 'I'm going to do this.
This is not a bad idea.' So it's actually an ode to pot, like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret.
I haven't really changed my opinion too much, except if anyone asks me for real advice, it would be stay straight.
That is actually the best way, but in a stressful world I still would say that pot was one of the best of the tranquilizing drugs.
I have drunk and smoked pot and of the two I think pot is less harmful.
People tend to fall asleep on it rather than go out and commit murder, so it's always seemed to me to be a rather benign one.'
'Another horror.'JOHN 1980:
'Another of my throwaways.'GEORGE 1987:
'I think it was Paul and me, or maybe John and me, playing (guitar) in harmony – quite a complicated little line that goes through the middle-eight.'PAUL 1995:
'One of my favorites on the Anthology is, 'And Your Bird Can Sing,' which is a nice song, but this take of it was one we couldn't use at the time.
John and I got a fit of the giggles while we were doing the double-track.
You couldn't have released it at the time.
But now you can.
Sounds great just hearing us lose it on a take.'
''Taxman' was when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes.
It was and still is typical.'JOHN 1980:
'I remember the day he (George) called to ask for help on 'Taxman,' one of his first songs.
I threw in a few one-liners to help the song along because that's what he asked for.
He came to me because he couldn't go to Paul.
Paul wouldn't have helped him at that period.
I didn't want to do it.
I just sort of bit my tongue and said OK.
It had been John and Paul for so long, he'd been left out because he hadn't been a songwriter up until then.'PAUL 1984:
'George wrote that and I played guitar on it.
He wrote it in anger at finding out what the taxman did.
He had never known before then what could happen to your money.'GEORGE 1987:
'I was pleased to have Paul play that bit on 'Taxman.' If you notice, he did like a little Indian bit on it for me.'
'I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it.
The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head… Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church.
I don't know why.
I couldn't think of much more so I put it away for a day.
Then the name Father McCartney came to me, and all the lonely people.
But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks.
Dad's a happy lad.
So I went through the telephone book and I got the name McKenzie.
I was in Bristol when I decided Daisy Hawkins wasn't a good name.
I walked 'round looking at the shops, and I saw the name Rigby.
Then I took the song down to John's house in Weybridge.
We sat around, laughing, got stoned and finished it off.'JOHN 1980:
'Paul's baby, and I helped with the education of the child… The violin backing was Paul's idea.
Jane Asher had turned him on to Vivaldi, and it was very good.'PAUL 1984:
'I got the name Rigby from a shop in Bristol.
I was wandering round Bristol one day and saw a shop called Rigby.
And I think Eleanor was from Eleanor Bron, the actress we worked with in the film 'Help!' But I just liked the name.
I was looking for a name that sounded natural.
Eleanor Rigby sounded natural.'
'It's got backwards guitars… that's me dreaming my life away.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It was a nice idea – 'There's nothing wrong with it.
I'm not being lazy, I'm only sleeping, I'm yawning, I'm meditating, I'm having a lay-in.' The luxury of all that was what it was all about.
The song was co-written but from John's original idea.'
02:59 I'm Only Sleeping (Take 1) (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 29.04.1966
02:55 She's a Woman (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 08.10.1964
'That's Paul with some contribution from me on lines, probably.
We put in the words 'turns me on.'
We were so excited to say 'turn me on' – you know, about marijuana and all that… using it as an expression.'PAUL circa-1994:
'This was my attempt at a bluesy thing… instead of doing a Little Richard song, whom I admire greatly, I would use the (vocal) style I would have used for that but put it in one of my own songs.'
'Strawberry Fields was a place near us that happened to be a Salvation Army home.
But Strawberry Fields – I mean, I have visions of Strawberry Fields.
And there was Penny Lane, and the Cast Iron Shore, which I've just got in some song now, and they were just good names – just groovy names.
Just good sounding.
Because Strawberry Fields is anywhere you want to go.'PAUL 1974:
'That wasn't 'I buried Paul' at all – that was John saying 'Cranberry sauce.' It was the end of Strawberry Fields.
Thatīs Johnīs humor.
John would say something totally out of sync, like cranberry sauce.
If you donīt realize that Johnīs apt to say cranberry sauce when he feels like it, then you start to hear a funny little word there, and you think, 'Aha!''JOHN 1980:
'Strawberry Fields is a real place.
After I stopped living at Penny Lane, I moved in with my auntie who lived in the suburbs… not the poor slummy kind of image that was projected in all the Beatles stories.
Near that home was Strawberry Fields, a house near a boys' reformatory where I used to go to garden parties as a kid with my friends Nigel and Pete.
We always had fun at Strawberry Fields.
So that's where I got the name.
But I used it as an image.
Strawberry Fields Forever.
'Living is easy with eyes closed.
Misunderstanding all you see.' It still goes, doesn't it? Aren't I saying exactly the same thing now? The awareness apparently trying to be expressed is – let's say in one way I was always hip.
I was hip in kindergarten.
I was different from the others.
I was different all my life.
The second verse goes, 'No one I think is in my tree.' Well, I was too shy and self-doubting.
Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying.
Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius – 'I mean it must be high or low,' the next line.
There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn't see.
I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn't see.
I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way.
Surrealism had a great effect on me, because then I realized that the imagery in my mind wasn't insanity; that if it was insane, I belong in an exclusive club that sees the world in those terms.
Surrealism to me is reality.
Psychic vision to me is reality.
Even as a child.
When I looked at myself in the mirror or when I was 12, 13, I used to literally trance out into alpha.
I didn't know what it was called then.
I found out years later there is a name for those conditions.
But I would find myself seeing hallucinatory images of my face changing and becoming cosmic and complete.
It caused me to always be a rebel.
This thing gave me a chip on the shoulder; but, on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted.
Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician.
But I cannot be what I am not.'
02:35 Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 1) (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 24.11.1966
04:14 Strawberry Fields Forever (Take 7 and edit piece) (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 09.12.1966
03:13 Penny Lane (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 17.01.1967
'We really got into the groove of imagining Penny Lane – the bank was there, and that was where the tram sheds were and people waiting and the inspector stood there, the fire engines were down there.
It was just reliving childhood.'JOHN 1980:
'Penny Lane is not only a street but it's a district… a suburban district where, until age four, I lived with my mother and father.
So I was the only Beatle that lived in Penny Lane.'PAUL circa-1994:
'John and I would always meet at Penny Lane.
That was where someone would stand and sell you poppies each year on British Legion poppy day… When I came to write it, John came over and helped me with the third verse, as often was the case.
We were writing childhood memories – recently faded memories from eight or ten years before, so it was recent nostalgia, pleasant memories for both of us.
All the places were still there, and because we remembered it so clearly we could have gone on.'
'I was writing the song with the 'Daily Mail' propped up in front of me on the piano.
I had it open to the 'News In Brief' or whatever they call it.
There was a paragraph about four thousand holes being discovered in Blackburn Lancashire.
And when we came to record the song there was still one word missing from that verse… I knew the line had to go, 'Now they know how many holes it takes to – something – the Albert Hall.' For some reason I couldn't think of the verb.
What did the holes do to the Albert Hall? It was Terry Doran who said 'fill' the Albert Hall.
And that was it.
Then we thought we wanted a growing noise to lead back into the first bit.
We wanted to think of a good end and we had to decide what sort of backing and instruments would sound good.
Like all our songs, they never become an entity until the very end.
They are developed all the time as we go along.'JOHN 1968:
''A Day in the Life' – that was something.
I dug it.
It was a good piece of work between Paul and me.
I had the 'I read the news today' bit, and it turned Paul on.
Now and then we really turn each other on with a bit of song, and he just said 'yeah' – bang bang, like that.
It just sort of happened beautifully, and we arranged it and rehearsed it, which we don't often do, the afternoon before.
So we all knew what we were playing, we all got into it.
It was a real groove, the whole scene on that one.
Paul sang half of it and I sang half.
I needed a middle-eight for it, but Paul already had one there.'JOHN 1980:
'Just as it sounds: I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories.
One was the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car.
That was the main headline story.
He died in London in a car crash.
On the next page was a story about 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.
In the streets, that is.
They were going to fill them all.
Paul's contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song 'I'd love to turn you on.' I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn't use for anything.
I thought it was a damn good piece of work.'PAUL 1984:
'That was mainly John's, I think.
I remember being very conscious of the words 'I'd love to turn you on' and thinking, Well, that's about as risque as we dare get at this point.
Well, the BBC banned it.
It said, 'Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall' or something.
But I mean that there was nothing vaguely rude or naughty in any of that.
'I'd love to turn you on' was the rudest line in the whole thing.
But that was one of John's very good ones.
I wrote… that was co-written.
The orchestra crescendo and that was based on some of the ideas I'd been getting from Stockhausen and people like that, which is more abstract.
So we told the orchestra members to just start on their lowest note and end on their highest note and go in their own time… which orchestras are frightened to do.
That's not the tradition.
But we got 'em to do it.'PAUL 1988:
'Then I went around to all the trumpet players and said, 'Look all you've got to do is start at the beginning of the 24 bars and go through all the notes on your instrument from the lowest to the highest – and the highest has to happen on that 24th bar, that's all.
So you can blow 'em all in that first thing and then rest, then play the top one there if you want, or you can steady them out.' And it was interesting because I saw the orchestra's characters.
The strings were like sheep – they all looked at each other: 'Are you going up? I am!' and they'd all go up together, the leader would take them all up.
The trumpeters were much wilder.'
'I often sit at the piano, working at songs with the television on low in the background.
If I'm a bit low and not getting much done, the words from the telly come through.
That's when I heard the words, 'Good Morning Good Morning.''JOHN 1968:
'We write about our past.
'Good Morning, Good Morning,' I was never proud of it.
I just knocked it off to do a song.
But it was writing about my past so it does get the kids because it was me at school, my whole bit.'JOHN 1972:
'A bit of gobbledygook, but nice words.'PAUL 1984:
''Good Morning' – John's.
That was our first major use of sound effects, I think.
We had horses and chickens and dogs and all sorts running through it.'
''Northern Song' was a joke relating to Liverpool, the Holy City in the North of England.
In addition, the song was copyrighted Northern Songs LTD, which I don't own.'GEORGE 1999:
'It was at the point that I realized Dick James had conned me out of the copyrights for my own songs by offering to become my publisher.
As an 18 or 19-year-old kid, I thought, 'Great, somebody's gonna publish my songs!' But he never said, 'And incidentally, when you sign this document here, you're assigning me the ownership of the songs,' which is what it is.
It was just a blatant theft.
By the time I realized what had happened, when they were going public and making all this money out of this catalog, I wrote 'Only A Northern Song' as what we call a 'piss-take,' just to have a joke about it.'
01:05 Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Takes 1 and 2) (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 17.02.1967
02:34 Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite! (Take 7) (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 20.02.1967
'My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy.
He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' Simple.
The images were from 'Alice in Wonderland.' It was Alice in the boat.
She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty Dumpty.
The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they are rowing in a rowing boat somewhere and I was visualizing that.
There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me… a 'girl with kaleidoscope eyes' who would come out of the sky.
It turned out to be Yoko, though I hadn't met Yoko yet.
So maybe it should be 'Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.' It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD.
Until somebody pointed it out, I never even thought it, I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It's NOT an acid song.
The imagery was Alice in the boat and also the image of this female who would come and save me – this secret love that was going to come one day.
So it turned out to be Yoko… and I hadn't met Yoko then.
But she was my imaginary girl that we all have.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I went up to John's house in Weybridge.
When I arrived we were having a cup of tea, and he said, 'Look at this great drawing Julian's done.
Look at the title!' So I said, 'What's that mean?' thinking Wow, fantastic title! John said, 'It's Lucy, a freind of his from school.
And she's in the sky.' …so we went upstairs and started writing it.
People later thought 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' was LSD.
I swear – we didn't notice that when it first came out.'
'I'm writing more songs now that we're not touring.
The words are always a bit of a hangup for me.
I'm not very poetic.
'Within You Without You' was written after dinner one night at Klaus Voorman's house.
He had a harmonium, which I hadn't played before.
I was doodling on it when the tune started to come.
The first sentence came out of what we'd been doing that evening… 'We were talking.' That's as far as I got that night.
I finished the rest of the words later at home.'JOHN 1967:
'George has done a great indian one.
We came along one night and he had about 400 indian fellas playing, and it was a great swinging event, as they say.'JOHN 1980:
'One of George's best songs.
One of my favorites of his, too.
He's clear on that song.
His mind and his music are clear.
There is his innate talent.
He brought that sound together.'
'That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul.
I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with the words, 'You know the name, look up the number.' It was like a logo, and I just changed it.
It was going to be a four tops kind of song – the chord changes are like that – but it never developed and we made a joke out of it.'PAUL 1988:
'People are only just discovering the B-sides of Beatles singles.
They're only just discovering things like 'You Know My Name' – probably my favorite Beatles track! Just because it's so insane.
All the memories – I mean, what would you do if a guy like John Lennon turned up at the studio and said, 'I've got a new song.' I said, 'What's the words?' and he replied, 'You know my name look up the number.' I asked, 'What's the rest of it?' '…No.
No other words, those are the words.
And I wanna do it like a mantra!' We did it over a period of maybe two or three years.
We started off and we just did 20 minutes, and we tried it again and it didn't work.
We tried it again, and we had these endless, crazy fun sessions.
Eventually we pulled it all together and I sang, (sings in jazzy voice) 'You know my name…' and we just did a skit.
Mal (Evans) and his gravel.
I can still see Mal digging the gravel.
And it was just so hilarious to put that record together.
It's not a great melody or anything, it's just unique.
Some people haven't discovered that song yet.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I remember at one point we asked Mal (Evans) to shovel a bucket of gravel as a rhythmic device.
We had a bit of a giggle doing those kind of tracks… Brian Jones (Rolling Stones) plays a funny sax solo.
It's not amazingly well played but it happened to be exactly what we wanted.
Brian was very good like that.'
04:02 I Am the Walrus (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 29.09.1967
'Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be 'open' when writing for teenagers.
Then when we do we get criticized.
Surely the word 'knickers' can't offend anyone.
Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!'JOHN 1967:
'We chose the word (knickers) because it is a lovely expressive word.
It rolls off the tongue.
It could 'mean' anything.'GEORGE 1967:
'People don't understand.
In John's song, 'I Am The Walrus' he says: 'I am he as you are he as you are me.' People look for all sorts of hidden meanings.
It's serious, but it's also not serious.
It's true, but it's also a joke.'JOHN 1968:
'We write lyrics, and I write lyrics that you don't realize what they mean till after.
Especially some of the better songs or some of the more flowing ones, like 'Walrus.' The whole first verse was written without any knowledge.
With 'I Am the Walrus,' I had 'I am he as you are he as we are all together.' I had just these two lines on the typewriter, and then about two weeks later I ran through and wrote another two lines and then, when I saw something, after about four lines, I just knocked the rest of it off.
Then I had the whole verse or verse and a half and then sang it.
I had this idea of doing a song that was a police siren, but it didn't work in the end (sings like a siren) 'I-am-he-as-you-are-he-as…' You couldn't really sing the police siren.'JOHN 1980:
'The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend.
The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.
Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna.
All these people were going on about Hare Krishna, Allen Ginsberg in particular.
The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all your faith in any one idol.
I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, in those days.
It's from 'The Walrus and the Carpenter.' 'Alice in Wonderland.' To me, it was a beautiful poem.
It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system.
I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work.
Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy.
I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy.
I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it? (singing) 'I am the carpenter…''
'Now that's Paul.
Another good lyric.
Shows he's capable of writing complete songs.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Fool On The Hill' was mine and I think I was writing about someone like the Maharishi.
His detractors called him a fool.
Because of his giggle he wasn't taken too seriously… I was sitting at the piano at my father's house in Liverpool hitting a D6 chord, and I made up 'Fool On The Hill.''
PAUL circa-1994: 'I dreamed up 'Your Mother Should Know' as a production number… I've always hated generation gaps.
I always feel sorry for a parent or a child that doesn't understand each other.
A mother not being understood by her child is particularly sad because the mother went through pain to have that child, and so there is this incredible bond of motherly love, like an animal bond between them.
But because we mess things up so readily they have one argument and hate each other for the rest of their lives.
So I was advocating peace between the generations.
In 'Your Mother Should Know' I was basically trying to say your mother might know more than you think she does.
Give her credit.'
03:45 The Fool on the Hill (Take 4) (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 25.09.1967
'That's another McCartney.
An attempt to write a single.
It wasn't a great piece.
The best bit was at the end, which we all ad-libbed in the studio, where I played the piano.
Like 'Ticket To Ride,' where we just threw something in at the end.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Hello Goodbye' was one of my songs.
There are Geminian influences here I think – the twins.
It's such a deep theme of the universe, duality – man woman, black white, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye – that it was a very easy song to write.
It's just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive.
You say goodbye, I say hello.
You say stop, I say go.
I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.'
02:22 Lady Madonna (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 06.02.1968
'It sounds like Elvis, doesn't it? No, it doesn't sound like Elvis… it IS Elvis.
Even those bits where he goes very high.'JOHN 1980:
Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere.
Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics.'PAUL 1986:
''Lady Madonna' is all women.
How do they do it? – bless 'em.
Baby at your breast, how do they get the time to feed them? Where do they get the money? How do you do this thing that women do?'PAUL circa-1994:
'The original concept was the Virgin Mary, but it quickly became symbolic of every woman – the Madonna image but as applied to ordinary working-class women.
'Lady Madonna' was me sitting down at the piano trying to write a bluesy boogie-woogie thing.
It reminded me of Fats Domino for some reason, so I started singing a Fats Domino impression.
It took my voice to a very odd place.'
'One of my best songs.
Not one of the best recordings, but I like the lyrics.'JOHN 1980:
'I was a bit more artsy-fartsy there.
I was lying next to my first wife in bed, (song originally written in 1967) you know, and I was irritated.
She must have been going on and on about something and she'd gone to sleep – and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream.
I went downstairs and it turned into a sort of cosmic song rather than an irritated song – rather than 'Why are you always mouthing off at me?' or whatever, right? …and I've sat down and looked at it and said, 'Can I write another one with this meter?' It's so interesting.
'Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup/ They slither while the pass, they slip away across the universe.' Such an extraordinary meter and I can never repeat it! It's not a matter of craftsmanship – it wrote itself.
It drove me out of bed.
I didn't want to write it… and I couldn't get to sleep until I put it on paper… It's like being possessed – like a psychic or a medium.
The thing has to go down.
It won't let you sleep, so you have to get up, make it into something, and then you're allowed to sleep.
That's always in the middle of the night when you're half-awake or tired and your critical facilities are switched off.'
Songs of Beatles