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Oh Look Out! Part 12, Abbey Road
by John T. Marck

By design, "Abbey Road," was intended to be The Beatles final album, but things didn't work out as they planned.. The album was released on September 26, 1969. By October 1968 The Beatles had just finished "The White Album." Following this was "Yellow Submarine," and The Beatles also recorded what would become "Let It Be." Within three after the "Let It Be" sessions, they began working on yet another album, which would be "Abbey Road." In the course of one year, The Beatle recorded and released about sixty new songs. Although considered a collection of "throw-away's" at first, it is considered by many to be their best album. The medley alone is genius, and my favorite. Next to "Sgt Pepper" it is their best selling album.

 

 

 

Oh Look Out! Songs and Albums of The Beatles

Part 12

Abbey Road

"And In The End, The Love You Take, Is Equal To The Love You Make"

Abbey Road was released in the United Kingdom on September 26, 1969, and in the United States on October 1, that same year. It had been intended by song and design to be their last album, but things didn't work out as The Beatles planned.

After The Beatles finished recording "The Beatles" (The White Album) in October 1968, and released in November, it was followed by their third film, Yellow Submarine, released in January 1969. During this time period, they also finished songs that would eventually turn into their last album, Let It Be. However, because the Let It Be sessions were a disaster for The Beatles, Abbey Road was their attempt to restore their image. During the Let It Be sessions, The Beatles were at odds with each other; Yoko was ever present with John; and many times, George and Ringo would not show up at all. This was the beginning of the end and as it turned out, Abbey Road caused the death of The Beatles. Because George Martin favored McCartney's ideas for the album, this caused friction between them and Lennon, causing John to basically withdraw from the sessions. Consequently, Abbey Road is really a Paul McCartney album. Much of Lennon's material was placed by the side, in a manner, considered hackwork.

But, strangely, The Beatles never sang nor played together better then they did on Abbey Road. Although John Lennon resented to his dying day the fact that Paul did not let him sing the lead on Oh! Darling, which was Paul's song, they still were never more brilliant, more musically tight, than on Abbey Road. Their vocals and harmonies were never better, nor more inventive and precise than on this album.

In an attempt to restore their magic, Abbey Road was a compromise album, whereby John picked the songs he preferred for side A (on the original vinyl) and Paul chose the songs for side B, which both he and producer George Martin liked. The result is what I believe to be one of the top three albums in The Beatles history. The famous "medley" which began with You Never Give Me Your Money, was assembled from actually many unfinished songs, vignettes if you will, that is a work of genius, I believe.

Abbey Road is a absolute testament and proof that their art can be achieved, even when it appeared it was forced out of them, regardless of their personal problems with each other. This masterpiece found its way to the surface, in spite of the fact that it was against the wishes of its creators.

Lets take a look at the songs and their lyrics, and what they mean.

And now, Abbey Road:

Come Together

This song was written by John Lennon during his and Yoko's bed-in in Montreal on the 19th Floor of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel,  in May 1969. It came about when their friend, Timothy Leary, the LSD drug mahatma and self proclaimed liberator of the world's collective mind, showed up at the bed-in. At this time, Leary had made a decision to run for political office, and came up with the campaign slogan of "Come Together." With this slogan in mind, he asked John to write him a song using it, that his followers could sing on the campaign trail. Lennon's take on the slogan was to come together and join the party, and wrote the song. Before Leary could use it, he was arrested and went to jail. As a result of Leary being gone, Lennon figured his obligation to him was no longer in force, thus he and The Beatles recorded it.

Here come old flat top, he come grooving up slowly, he got joo joo eyeballs

He want holy roller, He got hair down to his knees, Got to be a joker he just do what he please He wear no shoeshine, he got toe jam football, he got monkey finger

He shoot Coca Cola, he say I know you, you know me, One thing I can tell you is you got to be free

Come together, right now, over me

He bag production, he got walrus gumboot, he got O-no sideboard

He one spinal cracker, he got feet down below his knees, Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease

Come together, right now, over me

He roller coaster, he got early warning, he got muddy water, he one Mojo filter

He say one and one and one is three, got to be good looking 'cos he's so hard to see

Come together right now, over me

Something--George Harrison

George Harrison got the idea for this song in 1968, after listening to a song by James Taylor, titled, Something In The Way She Moves, and decided to build a song around it. Harrison finished the song, and recorded it in February, April and again in May 1969 during the Abbey Road Sessions. This would come to be the only song by The Beatles that Frank Sinatra would sing. Sinatra called it "the greatest love song ever written," and performed it hundreds of times. Sinatra did however change it slightly to serve his style, changing the middle section to "You stick around, Jack, she might show." Throughout Sinatra's many performances of this song, he always introduced it as the song by Lennon and McCartney, never giving the credit to Harrison. I don't think there was any ill intent, it was just that Sinatra either never bothered to find out the correct information, or didn't care, as Lennon-McCartney carried more weight.

Something in the way she moves, attracts me like no other lover

Something in the way she woos me, I don't want to leave her now, You know I believe and how

Somewhere in her smile she knows, that I don't need no other lover

Something in her style that shows me, I don't want to leave her now, You know I believe and how

You're asking me will my love grow, I don't know, I don't know

You stick around and it may show, I don't know, I don't know

Something in the way she knows, and all I have to do is think of her

Something in the things she shows me, I don't want to leave her now, You know I believe and how

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

The Beatles generally didn't care much for this song, except McCartney, who wrote it. What does it mean? It's a novelty song about a serial killer, Maxwell Edison, a medical student who first kills his girlfriend with a silver hammer, then a teacher, followed by a judge. The "pataphysical," is an avant-garde word invented by Alfred Jarry, a French pioneer of the absurd theatre, which describes a branch of metaphysics.

Joan was quizzical, studied pataphysical science in the home

Late nights all alone with her a test tube, Oh, oh, oh, oh

Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine, calls her on the phone, "Can I take you out to the pictures Jo-o-o-oan?"

But as she's getting ready to go, a knock comes on the door

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head

Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that she was dead

Back in school again Maxwell plays the fool again, teacher gets annoyed, Wishing to avoid and unpleasant scene-e-e-ene

She tells Max to stay when the class has gone away, so he waits behind, Writing fifty times "I must not be so-o-o-o" But when she turns her back on the boy, he creeps up from behind

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head

Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that she was dead, P.C. thirty one said "we've caught a dirty one"

Maxwell stands alone, painting testimonial pictures, oh, oh, oh,oh

Rose and Valerie screaming from the gallery, say he must go free, The judge does not agree, and he tells them so-o-o-o

But, as the words are leaving his lips, a noise comes from behind

Bang! Bang! Maxwell's silver hammer came down upon her head

Clang! Clang! Maxwell's silver hammer made sure that he was dead, Silver hammer man

Oh! Darling

This was McCartney's song that he sang and sang for a week before actually recording it, to get his voice to the sound, that as if, he had been performing it live on stage. Inspired by the sounds of the fifties, it was another of Paul's love songs, where he pleads with a lover to stay, on the promise of a lifelong commitment.

Oh! darling, please believe me, I'll never do you no harm, Believe me when I tell you, I'll never do you no harm

Oh! Darling, if you leave me, I'll never make it alone, Believe me when I beg you, ooo, don't ever leave me alone

When you told me, you didn't need me anymore, Well you know I nearly broke down and cried,

When you told me, you didn't need me anymore, Well you know I nearly broke down and died

Oh! Darling if you leave me, I'll never make it alone, Believe me when I tell you, I'll never do you no harm

(Believe me darling)

When you told me, you didn't need me anymore, Well you know I nearly broke down and cried

When you told me, you didn't need me anymore, Well you know I nearly broke down and died

Oh! Darling, please believe me, I'll never let you down

Oh, believe me darling, believe me when I tell you, ooo, I'll never do you no harm

Octopus's Garden --Richard Starkey

With some help from George Harrison, who rewrote the chord sequence for him, Ringo wrote his second and last Beatles' song with Octopus's Garden. It came about when Ringo was on a boating trip with his family in Sardina in 1968. The boat's captain had offered him an octopus lunch, but he turned it down. It was then that the captain began to tell him everything he knew about octopuses, and how they travel along the sea bed looking for shiny objects and stones with which to build gardens. With this information, Ringo came up with the idea for this song. Reminiscent of "Yellow Submarine," it was viewed by most as a children's song.

I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade

He'd let us in, knows where we've been, in his octopus's garden in the shade

I'd ask my friends to come and see, and octopus's garden with me

I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade

We would be warm below the storm, in our little hideaway beneath the waves

Resting our head, on the sea bed, in an octopus's garden, near a cave

We would sing and dance around, because we know, we can't be found

I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus's garden in the shade

We would shout and swim about, the coral that lies beneath the waves

Oh what joy, for every girl and boy, knowing they're happy and they're safe We would be so happy you and me, no one there to tell us what to do

I'd like to be, under the sea, in an octopus's garden with you

In an octopus's garden with you, in an octopus's garden with you

I Want You (She's So Heavy)

Written by John, and vintage Lennon, it is simply a love song to Yoko.

I want you, I want you so bad, I want you, I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad

I want you, I want you so bad, babe, I want you, I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad

I want you, I want you so bad, I want you, I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad

I want you, I want you so bad, babe, I want you, I want you so bad

It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad, She's so heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy

I want you, I want you so bad, I want you, I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad

I want you, I want you so bad, babe, I want you, You know I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad

Yeah, she's so heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, heavy, I want you, I want you so bad, I want you, I want you so bad

It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad, I want you, I want you so bad, babe, I want you

You know I want you so bad, It's driving me mad, It's driving me mad, She's so.

Here Comes The Sun - George Harrison

With the dissolution of The Beatles in the works, they were required to spent day after day in meetings at Apple Headquarters. When the meetings ended for the day, George was relieved to be finished, and glad to be outside, in the sun. Having gone one day to visit his friend, Eric Clapton, while walking around his garden, basking in the sun, this song came to him, and through it, renewed optimism.

Here comes the sun, do do do do, Here comes the sun, and I say, It's all right

Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter, Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, do do do do, Here comes the sun, and I say, It's all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces, Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here

Here comes the sun, do do do do, Here comes the sun, and I say, It's all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes, Sun, sun, sun, here it comes,

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes, Sun, sun, sun, here it comes, Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting, Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear

Here comes the sun, do do do do, Here comes the sun, and I say

It's all right, Here comes the sun, do do do do, Here comes the sun, It's all right, it's all right

Because

While relaxing at home, John heard Yoko play the first movement to Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 14 in C Sharp Minor (Moonlight Sonata). Intrigued, he asked her to play the same chords in reverse order. She did, and this was the inspiration for "Because." Although simple, its lyrics are beautiful, and the three-part harmonies of John, Paul, and George are among their best.

Ah, because the world is round, it turns me on, Because the world is round

Ah, because the wind is high, it blows my mind, Because the wind is high

Ah, love is old, love is new, Love is all, love is you

Because the sky is blue, it makes me cry, Because the sky is blue, Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah

You Never Give Me Your Money

With this, their famous medley begins, created from unfinished songs. It would be Paul's genius that would take the next eight songs and link them together, beautifully. This song has three parts. The first reflects on the fact that they would always get pieces of paper indicating how much they earned, but they never actually got the pounds, shillings and pence. The second part talks about leaving college broke, and the last part deals with Paul's freedom without The Beatles and his new life with his wife Linda. The idea that he could pack up the car and get away, leaving his worries behind, was quite appealing to him.

You never give me your money, you only give me you funny paper, And in the middle of negotiations you break down

I never give you my number, I only give you my situation, And in the middle of investigation I break down

Out of college money spent, see no future, pay no rent, All the money's gone, nowhere to go, any jobber got the sack

Monday morning turning back, yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go,

But oh, that magic feeling, nowhere to go, Oh, that magic feeling, Nowhere to go, nowhere to go, Ah, Ooo, Ah, Ooo, Ah

One sweet dream, pick up the bags and get in the limousine,

Soon we'll be away from here, step on the gas and wipe that tear away

One sweet dream, came true, today, Came true, today, Came true today, Yes it did, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah

One two three four five six seven, All good children go to heaven (Repeat)

Sun King

In 1971 John said that "Sun King" came to him in a dream, but in 1980 he said it was "garbage". This song by Lennon reminds me of a combination of I Am the Walrus and Because. It contains basically nonsense, combined with wonderful harmonies, making it a really beautiful song. The closing lines are nothing more than Italian, Spanish and Portugese words which are more common to tourists. John Lennon, in 1969 said, "We just started joking, you know, singing `quando para mucho.' So we just made up... Paul knew a few Spanish words from school, you know. So we just strung any Spanish words that sounded vaguely like something. And of course we got `chicka ferdy' in, a Liverpool expression. "Chicka ferdy" could also be a combination Spanish/Liverpudlian pun "chica verde" [green girl] or just like `na-na, na-na-na'-- "as one child would say to taunt another." `Cake and eat it' is another nice line too, because they have that in Spanish-- 'Que' or something, and eat it." In this song, The Beatles freely mixed dialects and languages here, (Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese) and when this is combined with less than perfect enunciation and accent, many uncertainties arise, leading to many possible interpretations. The words are as published: "Quando paramucho mi amore de felice corazon Mundo paparazzi mi amore chica ferdy parasol Cuesto obrigado tanta mucho que can eat it carousel" "Parasol" is an umbrella, of course, but literally translates as "para sole" as in for the sun, or perhaps "pa re sole" for sun king. "Paparazzi" are people who take pictures of celebrities. "que can eat it" should be "que/cake and eat it", "carousel" is a popular brand of chocolates in Britain. "Obrigado" is Portuguese [thank you], or "obbligato" [musical term - secondary, yet necessary part] A literal translation would most likely be: Quando para mucho mi amore de felice corazon "If/When For Much, My Love Of Happy Heart" Mundo paparazzi mi amore chicka/chica ferdy/verde para sole "World Paparazzi, My Love, Chicka/Girl Ferdy/Green For The Sun Cuesto obrigado, tanta mucho, que/cake and eat it, carousel/cara sole This Thanks, Very Much, Cake and Eat It, Carousel/Dearest Sun Regardless, I think it's still a rather cool song!

Ah, here comes the Sun King, here comes the Sun King

Everybody's laughing, everybody's happy, here comes the Sun King

Quando para mucho mia more de felice corazon, Mundo paparazzi mia more chicka ferdy parasol

Cuesto obrigado tanta mucho que can eat it carousel

Mean Mr. Mustard

Written by Lennon, this song was inspired by a newspaper article about an old miser who would conceal his cash wherever he could hide it, to prevent others from forcing him to spend it. Another inspiration was a "bag lady," that Lennon observed one day who used to hang out in Hyde Park near Knightsbridge. She kept all her possessions in a plastic bag and slept in the park.

Mean Mr. Mustard sleeps in the park, shaves in the dark, tryin' to save paper

Sleeps in a hole in the road, saving up to buy him some clothes

Keeps a ten bob note up his nose, such a mean old man, such a mean old man

His sister Pam works in a shop she never stops, she's a go getter

Takes him out to look at the Queen, only place that he's ever been

Always shouts out something obscene, such a dirty old man, dirty old man

Polythene Pam

Another of Lennon's, this was inspired by two people. The first was a girl who was a fan in their Cavern Club days. She had a habit of eating polythene, and was known as Polythene Pat. The next was a girl named Stephanie, who dressed in a polythene bag, whom he met on the Isle of Guernsey. It seems that John spent the night with her in what was described as a near-orgy. These two experiences developed into Polythene Pam.

Well you should see Polythene Pam, she's so good looking but she looks like a man

Well, you should see her in drag dressed in a polythene bag , Yes you should see Polythene Pam, Yeah, yeah, yeah

Get a dose of her in jackboots and kilt, she's killer diller when she's dressed to the hilt

She's the kind of a girl that makes the news of the world, Yes you could say she was attractively built, Yeah, yeah, yeah

She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

This song by Paul was inspired by an actual event. One day while he was away from his St. John's Wood home, some teenage girls, known as Apple Scruffs, broke into his home. Although there were several in this group of girls, only one, later saying out of boredom, using a ladder, propped it up to the bathroom window, and got inside. She then opened the door for the others. There were two types of "Apple Scruffs" -- those that broke in and those that waited outside with cameras and autograph books. One such girl who eventually got to know Paul well as friends, would even walk his dog from time to time. Her name was Margo Bird. During this break-in, the girls took some of Paul's clothes, as well as some photograph's and negatives. One of the photos was a favorite of Paul's, a color-tinted photo from the thirties. Wanting this back, he appealed to Margo, who knew the culprits, and got it back for him. It was lucky, as when she located it, most of the other items taken were on their way to America. Paul describes the event beautifully in this song. The girls, being juveniles, by age, were then protected by the "silver spoon." His phrasing of "Sunday on the phone to Monday, Tuesday on the phone to me," is Paul's take where the neighbors who saw the break-in were calling each other, and him, to report it. Quite a catchy tune, and one of my favorites!

Oh Look Out!

She came in through the bathroom window, protected by a silver spoon

But now she sucks her thumb and wonders, by the banks of her own lagoon

Didn't anybody tell her, didn't anybody see, Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me She said she'd always been a dancer, she worked at fifteen clubs a day

And though she thought I knew the answer, well I knew, what I could not say

And so I quit the Police Department, and got myself a steady job

And though she tried her best to help me, she could steal, but she could not rob,

Didn't anybody tell her, didn't anybody see

Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me, Oh yeah

Golden Slumbers

One day while Paul was visiting his father at his Cheshire home, he began playing the piano, and looked through a songbook that belonged to his step-sister, Ruth. (His father, James had remarried by this time.) In this book he came across a traditional lullaby by Thomas Dekker from the 17th century. But, as he was unable to read music, he began to make up his own melody and new lyrics, and "Golden Slumbers" was born.

Once there was a way, to get back homeward, Once there was a way, to get back home

Sleep pretty darling do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby, Golden slumbers fill your eyes, smiles awake you when you rise

Sleep pretty darling do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby

Once there was a way, to get back homeward, Once there was a way, to get back home

Sleep pretty darling do not cry, and I will sing a lullaby

Carry That Weight

This was Paul's reflection of life as a Beatle in their twilight days. It speaks to the subjects of money, business problems, and the burdens that superstar status brings with it. Paul said that the conflicts at this time over money and their business arrangements, during their break-up, were the darkest of his life, at that time.

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

I never give you my pillow, I only send you my invitations, And in the middle of the celebrations, I break down

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight, carry that weight a long time

The End

As said earlier, Abbey Road was intended to be the last album of their studio careers. With this in mind, The End was supposed to be just that. The wonderful and famous line, "And in the end, the love you make is equal to the love you take," turned out to be a valediction to The Beatles, and what a great line it is. For a song that consists of only three lines, it contains some great moments. Besides the wonderful last line, it also contains Ringo's one and only drum solo on a Beatles recording, and the lengthy guitar section is a combination of interplay between Harrison, Lennon and McCartney - probably their greatest of this type. To make it even a more fitting farewell, an orchestra was added to the final seconds - resulting in a final tribute to what was The Beatles' longest arranged combination of songs.

Oh yeah, all right, are you gonna be in my dreams tonight?

Love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you, love you...

And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love, you make, Ah

Her Majesty

Written by Paul while in Scotland, this song was intended to appear between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam". However, on playback, Paul didn't like it there, so he had it removed. The album's engineer, John Kurlander, recycled it to the end of the tape, mostly for safekeeping, so that it would not be accidentally discarded. Later hearing it at the end, Paul liked it there, and agreed to keep it. Because it was a rough edit, the last chord of "Mean Mr. Mustard" begins "Her Majesty". The song ends abruptly because the final note was left behind, as it is the first note of "Polythene Pam." The Beatles liked Queen Elizabeth very much, and met her on October 26, 1965 upon receiving their MBEs - (Member British Empire). Paul said later that "she was just like a mum to us." Queen Elizabeth, Her Majesty, has the distinction of being the last person mentioned on the final track on the last album The Beatles were ever to record together. Remember, "Abbey Road" was the last album recorded, but not the last released, as it was followed by "Let It Be," and "Hey Jude," in the US that was recorded before "Abbey Road.

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say, Her majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day. I wanna tell her that I love her a lot, but I gotta get a belly full of wine Her majesty's a pretty nice girl, someday I'm gonna make her mine, Oh, yeah, some day I'm gonna make her mine


 

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein are © Copyright 1969 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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