The Beatles, album "Yellow Submarine Songtrack"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
LP - collections - Studio Apple Corps - 1999
'It's a happy place, that's all.
You know, it was just… We were trying to write a children's song.
That was the basic idea.
And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song.'JOHN 1972:
'Paul wrote the catchy chorus.
I helped with the blunderbuss bit.'JOHN 1980:
''Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby.
Donovan helped with the lyrics.
I helped with the lyrics too.
We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration.
Paul's title… written for Ringo.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that in bed one night.
As a kid's story.
And then we thought it would be good for Ringo to do.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I was laying in bed in the Asher's garret, and there's a nice twilight zone just as you're drifting into sleep and as you wake from it – I always find it quite a comfortable zone.
I remember thinking that a children's song would be quite a good idea… I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal.
I just made up a little tune in my head, then started making a story – sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived.
It was pretty much my song as I recall… I think John helped out.
The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine.'GEORGE 1999:
'Paul came up with the concept of 'Yellow Submarine.' All I know is just that every time we'd all get around the piano with guitars and start listening to it and arranging it into a record, we'd all fool about.
As I said, John's doing the voice that sounds like someone talking down a tube or ship's funnel as they do in the merchant marine.
(laughs) And on the final track there's actually that very small party happening! As I seem to remember, there's a few screams and what sounds like small crowd noises in the background.'
'It's a good sounding record that means nothing.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I remember 'Hey Bulldog' as being one of John's songs and I helped him finish it off in the studio, but it's mainly his vibe.
There's a little rap at the end between John and I, we went into a crazy little thing at the end.
We always tried to make every song different because we figured, 'Why write something like the last one? We've done that.' We were on a ladder so there was never any sense of stepping down a rung, or even staying on the same rung, it was better to move one rung ahead.'GEORGE 1999:
'We now have an unreleased video of 'Hey Bulldog,' as you know.
When we were in the studio recording 'Bulldog,' apparently it was at a time when they needed some footage for something else, some other record (Lady Madonna), and a film crew came along and filmed us.
Then they cut up the footage and used some of the shots for something else.
But it was Neil Aspinall who found out that when you watched and listened to what the original thing was, we were recording 'Bulldog.' This was apparently the only time we were actually filmed recording something, so what Neil did was, he put (the unused footage) all back together again and put the 'Bulldog' soundtrack onto it, and there it was!'
'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.'
GEORGE 1980: ''Love You To' was one of the first tunes I wrote for sitar.
'Norwegian Wood was an accident as far as the sitar part was concerned, but this was the first song where I consciously tried to use the sitar and tabla on the basic track.
I overdubbed the guitars and vocals later.'
'I enjoyed it when football crowds in the early days would sing 'All Together Now.''PAUL circa-1994:
'When they were singing a song, to encourage the audience to join in they'd say 'All together now,' so I just took it and read another meaning into it, of – we are all together now.
So I used the dual meaning.
It's really a children's song.
I had a few young relatives and I would sing songs for them.'
'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.'
GEORGE 1980: ''Think For Yourself' must be written about somebody from the sound of it – but all this time later I don't quite recall who inspired that tune.
Probably the government.'
'Paul had the line about 'a little help from my friends.' He had some kind of structure for it, and we wrote it pretty well fifty-fifty from his original idea.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul, with a little help from me.
'What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can't tell you but I know it's mine' is mine.'PAUL circa-1994:
'This was written out at John's house in Weybridge for Ringo… I think that was probably the best of our songs that we wrote for Ringo actually.
I remember giggling with John as we wrote the lines, 'What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can't tell you but I know it's mine.' It could have been him playing with his willie under the covers, or it could have been taken on a deeper level.
This is what it meant but it was a nice way to say it – a very non-specific way to say it.
I always liked that.'
'In 'Baby You're a Rich Man' the point was, stop moaning.
You're a rich man and we're all rich men, heh, heh, baby!'JOHN 1980:
'That's a combination of two seperate pieces, Paul's and mine, put together and forced into one song.
One-half was all mine.
(sings) 'How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people/ Now that you know who you are…'
Then Paul comes in with, (sings) 'Baby you're a rich man,' which was a lick he had around.'
''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.'
'We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole world at the same time.
So we had one message for the world – Love.
We need more love in the world.'PAUL circa-1994:
''All You Need Is Love' was John's song.
I threw in a few ideas, as did other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing 'She Loves You' or 'Greensleeves' or silly little things like that at the end, and we made those up on the spot.'
''When I'm Sixty Four' was something Paul wrote in the Cavern days.
We just stuck in a few more words, like 'grandchildren on your knee,' and 'Vera Chuck and Dave.' It was just one of those ones that he'd had, that we've all got, really – half a song.
And this was just one of those that was quite a hit with us.
We used to do it when the amps broke down, just sing it on the piano.'JOHN 1972:
'I think I helped Paul with some of the words.'JOHN 1980:
I would never dream of writing a song like that.
There's some things I never think about, and that's one of them.PAUL 1984:
'I wrote the tune when I was about 15, I think, on the piano at home, before I moved from Liverpool.
It was kind of a cabaret tune.
Then, years later, I put words to it.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I thought it was a good little tune but it was too vaudvillian, so I had to get some cod lines to take the sting out of it, and put the tongue very firmly in cheek.'
02:44 Nowhere Man (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 22.10.1965
'I'd spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good, and I finally gave up and lay down.
Then 'Nowhere Man' came, words and music… the whole damn thing, as I lay down.
So letting it go is what the whole game is.
You put your finger on it, it slips away, right? You know, you turn the lights on and the cockroaches run away.
You can never grasp them.'PAUL 1984:
'That was John after a night out, with dawn coming up.
I think at that point in his life, he was a bit wondering where he was going.'PAUL 1988:
'I remember we wanted very treble-y guitars – which they are – they're among the most treble-y guitars I've ever heard on record.
The engineer said, 'Alright, I'll put full treble on it,' and we said, 'That's not enough.' He said, 'But that's all I've got.' And we replied, 'Well, put that through another lot of faders and put full treble up on that.
And if that's not enough we'll go through another lot of faders.' They said, 'We don't do that,' and we would say, 'Just try it… if it sounds crappy we'll lose it, but it might just sound good.' You'd then find, 'Oh it worked,' and they were secretly glad because they had been the engineer who put three times the allowed value of treble on a song.
I think they were quietly proud of those things.'
''It's All Too Much' was written in a childlike manner from realizations that appeared during and after some LSD experiences and which were later confirmed in meditation.'GEORGE 1999:
'I just wanted to write a rock 'n roll song about the whole psychedelic thing of the time – 'Sail me on a silver sun/ Where I know that I am free/ Show me that I'm everywhere/ And get me home for tea.' (laughs) Because you'd trip out, you see, on all this stuff, and then whoops! you'd just be back having your evening cup of tea! 'Your long blond hair/ And your eyes of blue' – that was all just this big ending we had, going out.
And as it was in those days, we had the horn players just play a bit of trumpet voluntarily, and so that's how that 'Prince Of Denmark' bit was played (in the fade-out).
And Paul and John just came up with and sang that lyric of 'your eyes of blue.''
Songs of Beatles