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Oh Look Out! Part 9, Magical Mystery Tour
by John T. Marck

Take a look at the album dedicated to The Beatles' third film, this time, a documentary, based on a trip with The Beatles across the English countryside. The film was originally released only in the United Kingdom. There are six new songs in this film, but they were not released on an album, except in the United States. Outside the United States they were released on an EP (extended play single) on December 8, 1967. In the US, an album was released on November 27, 1967, that contained the six new songs and five others. It would not be until the CD release that the American version was available worldwide. Do you know the six songs from the film? It is a great album and one of my favorites. Besides the title track it's hard to compete with "I Am The Walrus," and "Strawberry Fields Forever."

 

 

Oh Look Out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 9

Magical Mystery Tour

"Elementary Penguin Singing Hare Krishna Man You Should Have Seen Them Kicking Edgar Allen Poe"

Roll Up, and The Beatles' genius, musically, moves on. The Beatles did it again in this their fourth film, Magical Mystery Tour. While still recording Sgt. Pepper, Paul McCartney went on a week's vacation to America, to Denver, Colorado, where he had visited Jane Asher for her 21st birthday party. On the return flight, on April 11, 1967, Paul wrote the draft for a television special/movie idea he had about a mystery tour on a bus. But it was not the usual touring one would think, but rather a trip into the imagination. It was Paul's idea that the characters for the film would be picked in advance, but that there would be no script, letting things unfold spontaneously. His idea was to place these characters together with The Beatles on a bus journey through the English countryside.

Magical Mystery Tour was solely a McCartney endeavor from start to end. As this project began in April 1967, it was interrupted by the time spent with the Maharishi Mahesh Yoga, and the death of their manager Brian Epstein. Consequently, it was not completed until November. It was released in the United Kingdom on December 8,1967, but only as a two record EP, containing only the six new songs, and a picture book. In the United States, Capitol converted the two EP's into an LP, adding five earlier songs by The Beatles. Both versions also contained a picture book. Years later, with CD's, EMI released Magical Mystery Tour as it had been on the American LP, where it fell in order between Sgt. Pepper and The White Album.

Magical Mystery Tour

Written by Paul, he got the idea for Magical Mystery Tour from two sources. The first was the British coach (bus) tours called 'mystery tours,' whereby people would go on tours throughout Britain, but only the driver knew the route to be taken, and second from Ken Kesey, an American novelist. It was Kesey's idea to drive throughout America in a bus painted with psychedelic colors and images. His vision was to include people from the counter-culture, play loud music, place LSD in their drinks, and see what would happen. Kesey's adventures were eventually told in a book by Tom Wolfe titled The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Although McCartney copied this idea to some degree, his was quite milder, sans the LSD.

(Roll up, Roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour, step right this way),

Roll up, Roll up for the mystery tour, roll up, roll up for the mystery tour,

Roll up (and that's an invitation), roll up for the mystery tour,

Roll up (to make a reservation), roll up for the mystery tour

The Magical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away, waiting to take you away

Roll up, Roll up for the mystery tour, roll up, roll up for the mystery tour

Roll up (we've got everything you need), roll up for the mystery tour,

Roll up (satisfaction guaranteed), roll up for the mystery tour

The Magical Mystery Tour is hoping to take you away, hoping to take you away, the mystery trip

Ah, the Magical Mystery Tour, roll up, roll up for the mystery tour

Roll up (and that's an invitation) roll up for the mystery tour, Roll up (to make a reservation) roll up for the mystery tour,

The magical mystery tour is coming to take you away, coming to take you away

The magical mystery tour is dying to take you away, dying to take you away, take you today

Fool On The Hill

Also by Paul, this song is about a man who is considered a fool by others, but whose foolish demeanor is actually an indication of wisdom. An event which prompted this song happened when Paul was walking his dog Martha, on Primrose Hill one morning. As he watched the sun rise, he noticed that Martha was missing. In an instant, Paul turned around to look for his dog, and there a man stood, who appeared on the hill without making a sound. The gentleman was dressed respectably, in a belted raincoat. Paul knew this man had not been there seconds earlier as he had looked in that direction for Martha. Paul and the stranger exchanged a greeting, and this man then spoke of what a beautiful view it was from the top of this hill that overlooked London. Within a few seconds, Paul looked around again, and the man was gone. He had vanished as he had appeared. A friend of McCartney's, Alistair Taylor was present with Paul doing this strange incident, and wrote of this event in his book, Yesterday.

Both Paul and Alistair could not imagine what happened to this man. He had seemed to vanish in thin air. The nearest trees for cover were too far to reach by walking or running in a few seconds, and the crest of the hill was too far as well to reach in that short time. What made the experience even more mysterious, was that just before this man first appeared, Paul and Alistair were speaking to each other of the beauty they observed of the view towards London and the existence of God. Once back home, they spent the morning discussing what had happened, trying to make some sense of it. They both agreed that this was something others were infer occurred as a result of an "acid trip," but they both swore they had not taken or used any drugs. When Paul filmed the sequence for this song in the film, it shows him on a hilltop overlooking the town of Nice.

Day after day alone on a hill, the man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still

But nobody wants to know him, they can see that he's just a fool, and he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round

Well on the way, head in a cloud, the man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud

But nobody ever hears him, or the sound he appears to make, and he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round

And nobody seems to like him, they can tell what he wants to do, and he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill, sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, round, and he never listens to them

He knows that they're the fools, they don't like him

The fool on the hill, sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head, see the world spinning round

Oh, round, round, round, round, oh

Flying-Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey - Instrumental

This song was the first written by all four of The Beatles, and the only instrumental to be released on a Beatles' record written by them. It was written as incidental music for the film, to be used to support a psychedelic segment. This song began from music recorded during a studio jam session, and was originally titled, "Aerial Tour Instrumental." It featured basic rhythm tracks and the use of mellotrons, backwards organ and vocal chanting. In its original form, it was eerie, ending with a jazz section taken from other recorded works from their extensive library. Originally ten minutes in length, it was cut to slightly more than two for the film. The clouds you see in the film while Flying is heard were shot by Stanley Kubrick for his film 2001: A Space Odyssey, but were never used.

Blue Jay Way- Harrison

This song was written by Harrison in August 1967, while on a visit to California with his wife Patti and friends Alex Mardas and Neil Aspinall. Upon arriving in Los Angeles on August 1, they were taken to the home of Robert Fitzpatrick, a music business lawyer, who was away on vacation in Hawaii. His cottage had been rented for Harrison and was located on Blue Jay Way high in the Hollywood Hills above Sunset Boulevard. They were expecting a man for dinner, their friend Derek Taylor, who formerly was The Beatles press officer. Harrison, concerned and somewhat irritated that Taylor was quite late in arriving, used this time for writing this song. In Taylor's defense, Blue Jay Way was difficult to find, as one could be close, yet still separated by a ravine. This song, which began as a short, rather simple ditty, was transformed later in the studio for the film. Harrison's vocals were altered to sound as if they were ghostly, and backwards tape, droning organs and a cello were added to achieve the desired effect. The Beatles attempted to attain again that Eastern atmosphere, and with studio magic, did so, without using any Indian instruments.

There's a fog upon L.A., and my friends have lost their way,

We'll be over soon they said, now they've lost themselves instead

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long, or I may be asleep

Well it only goes to show, and I told them where to go

Ask a policeman on the street, there's so many there to meet

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long, or I may be asleep

Now it's past my bed I know, and I'd really like to go, soon will be the break of day, sitting here in Blue Jay Way

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long, or I may be asleep

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long

Please don't be long, please don't you be very long, please don't be long

Don't be long, don't be long, don't be long, don't be long, don't be long, don't be long, don't be long

Your Mother Should Know

Another of Paul's, this was written for his father in the style of the early 1900s, like Paul did with "When I'm 64." Paul's father, James (Jim) McCartney also played a sang in his own band in 1919 known as Jim Mac's Jazz Band. The played many dates during this time in and around Liverpool. "Your Mother Should Know" was used in the film when The Beatles, dressed in white tails, descended a staircase, and are joined by others dancers. It's a great scene, I think, and my favorite in the film. As a side note, when Paul's mother was born in 1909, songs that became "hits" were not determined by record sales, but rather by the sales of sheet music.

Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born

Though she was born a long, long time ago, your mother should know (your mother)

Your mother should know, sing it again,

Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born

Though she was born a long, long time ago, your mother should know (your mother), your mother should know, ah ah

Lift up your hearts and sing me a song that was a hit before your mother was born

Though she was born a long, long time ago, your mother should know (your mother) Your mother should know, ah, your mother should know (your mother), your mother should know, ah, sing it again,

Da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da da

Though she was born a long, long time ago, your mother should know (your mother)

Your mother should know, ah, your mother should know, (your mother), your mother should know (your mother)

Your mother should know, yeah, your mother should know (your mother), your mother should know, yeah

I Am The Walrus

A great song by Lennon, and those of us who admire him greatly, rate this as one of his best. This disjointed song was written from an amalgamation of at least three other songs he was working on at the time, but which he thought were not good enough on their own. Many of the images were taken from actual events, such as the policemen, which came about when he heard their car sirens one day, and he tried to copy the rhythm of the sirens, and was originally one of these unfinished songs. The second song was a pastoral melody created at his Weybridge home garden, and the third was a nonsense song about sitting on a corn flake (he liked ®Kellogg's Corn Flakes). However, much of this song is made up of nonsensical images and words invented by Lennon, such as semolina pilchards, elementary penguins, texpert, crabalocker, etc. One of his inspirations for these ludicrous images was Bob Dylan. Lennon believed that Dylan got away with murder in some of his lyrics, so as Lennon explained it in later years said "I can write this crap, too." The only lyric in the song where Lennon was serious is the first line, where he describes his belief in unity of all things. Lennon invented the line 'elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna' as a jibe at Allen Ginsberg who chanted Hare Krishna at public rallies, and the walrus came from the Lewis Carroll poem, The Walrus and The Carpenter."

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 matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye, crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess

Boy, you've 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, texpert choking smokers don't you think the joker laughs at you

See how they smile like pigs in a sty see how they snide, 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' goo, goo goo g' joob goo, juba juba juba, juba juba juba juba juba juba juba, juba, juba

NOTE: The spoken voices at the end are from Shakespeare (King Lear Act IV Scene VI), that were taken from a BBC broadcast at the time The Beatles recorded this. The six songs above were the original six recorded for the film. The five others below had been previously recorded and added to the American album.

Hello Goodbye

Paul's friend, Alistair Taylor who was visiting McCartney, asked Paul one day how he wrote his many songs, and how he came up with his ideas. Paul took him into his dining room to give him a demonstration of his hand-carved harmonium. As an experiment, Paul asked Taylor to shout out the opposite of whatever he sang, such as black and white, yes and no, hello and goodbye, etc. From this, the song was born. Lennon hated the song, and viewed it as an inconsequential song of McCartney's, saying it was "three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions."

What further infuriated Lennon was that his "I Am The Walrus," was issued as the B-side to McCartney's A-side Hello Goodbye.

You say yes, I say no, you say stop and I say go, go, go, oh, no, you say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello, hello, hello, I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello

I say high, you say low, you say why, and I say I don't know, oh, no

You say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello (hello goodbye, hello goodbye)

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello, (hello goodbye hello goodbye) hello, hello

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello, why, why, why, why, why, why, do you say good bye, goodbye, goodbye,

Oh, no, you say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello, I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello, hello, hello

I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello, hello, hello,

You say yes (I say yes) I say no, you say stop and I say go, go, go, Oh, no, you say goodbye and I say hello, hello, hello

I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello, hello, hello, I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello, hello, hello

I don't know why you say goodbye I say hello, oh, oh, oh, oh, hello, hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa

Hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa, hela, heba helloa

Strawberry Fields Forever

Another classic by Lennon, it has been said that Strawberry Fields Forever was and is the greatest pop record ever recorded. To make this record even better, it was released with Penny Lane. Which was the A-side and which was the B? Too close to call. However, it has been further said that the most disgraceful statistic in chart history was that of the British record buying public when Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me" prevented this offering genius by The Beatles from reaching number one when it was released on February 17, 1967. Strawberry Fields Forever never reached number one, but Penny Lane did in the United States for one week upon it's release here on February 13, 1967. In Britain, Penny Lane reached number two.

Lennon received his inspiration for the title from a Salvation Army orphanage known as Strawberry Field. It was a large Victorian building located on Beaconsfield Road, in Woolton, about a five minute walk from Lennon's home on Menlove Avenue. It would be here that John used to play among the trees, and attended events which his Aunt Mimi took him to. This song was Lennon's attempt to map out the process of consciousness and understanding, through lyrical images. When he played at Strawberry Field, it was a place where he could be alone with his thoughts, and let his imagination take over. When he says in the song, No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low, he is saying his feelings are set apart from his contemporaries. Originally, he used the word "wavelength," but changed it to "tree," so as not to appear pretentious.

There were two different versions of this song, recorded in entirely different tempers and keys. George Martin, a brilliant producer, edited them together, and quite cleverly, used variable tape speeds to come up with the final version. It's a great song; it speaks for itself. Let me take you down, cause I'm going to, Strawberry Fields,

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see

It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out, it doesn't matter much to me

Let me take you down, cause I'm going to, Strawberry Fields

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever

No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low, that is you can't you know tune it, but it's all right

That is I think it's not too bad, let me take you down, cause I'm going to, Strawberry Fields,

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever

Always know sometimes think it's me, but you know I know when it's a dream

I think a "no" will mean a "yes" but it's all wrong, that is I think I disagree

Let me take you down, cause I'm going to, Strawberry Fields

Nothing is real, and nothing to get hung about, Strawberry Fields forever

Strawberry Fields forever, Strawberry Fields forever

NOTE: At the end of this song, there is a spoken phrase that for years people believed Lennon was saying "I buried Paul," in furtherance of the "Paul is dead," theory and rumor. In fact, he is saying "cranberry sauce."

Penny Lane

George Martin has said that "Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever was the best record ever made." Although Penny Lane did not contain the psychic strains that Strawberry Fields Forever had, it was just as imaginative. This is truly the one record, in that these two songs were the A and B sides, that shows the brilliant talents of Lennon and McCartney. Penny Lane is an actual street in Liverpool, but it also is the name of the area that surrounds it's junction with Smithtown Road. Although it's merely a nondescript shopping area, John and Paul grew up here and spent many years in the neighborhood. In this song by Paul, it symbolizes the childhood innocence of days gone by, when everyone was friendly. John Lennon first thought of Penny Lane and was the first to refer to it in a song with "In My Life," but it was McCartney that made it work as a song of its own.

Today, Penny Lane and the area are a part of The Beatles Liverpool tour. Unfortunately, the songs' success changed many of the original features of the area. All the original street signs were stolen, so that replacement signs were tightly screwed down, and placed in very high locations. The barber shop referred to has been changed to a unisex salon with a picture of The Beatles in the window, and the shelter on the round-about is now a Sgt. Pepper's Bistro.

Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs, of every head he's had the pleasure to know,

And all the people that come and go, stop and say hello, on the corner is a banker with a motor car,

The little children laugh at him behind his back, and the banker never wears a "mac" in the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, wet beneath the blue suburban skies, I sit and meanwhile back, in

Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass, and in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen

He likes to keep his fire engine clean, it's clean machine,

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, full of fish and finger pies, In summer meanwhile back

Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout, a pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray And though she feels as if she's in a play, she is anyway, Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer

We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim, and then the fireman rushes in, from the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, wet beneath the blue suburban skies, I sit and meanwhile back

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes, there beneath the blue suburban skies , Penny Lane

Baby You're A Rich Man & All You Need Is Love- Please See Part 11, Yellow Submarine

 

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein are © Copyright 1967 Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. The same such reference applies to images/photos of album covers used herein.

Copyright© John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author, or the registered copyright holders. Except as otherwise stated above, all information contained in this article, EXCEPT song titles, lyrics, and photographs, © John T. Marck.

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