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Glass Onion

By John T. Marck

Written by Lennon, and like his "I Am The Walrus,"" Glass Onion," is just another playful song in response to those people who pondered his work looking for hidden clues and meanings. The song is really a collection of words and phrases that Lennon took from other Beatles' songs. He used: Strawberry Fields Forever; There's A Place; Within You, Without You; I Am The Walrus; Lady Madonna; The Fool On The Hill; and Fixing A Hole.

Lennon jokingly said that the walrus from "I Am The Walrus," was really Paul. This led to all sorts of rumors that seemed to confirm that McCartney had been killed in an automobile accident, because in some primitive cultures, the walrus is a symbol of death. In many of The Beatles' songs there are insurmountable clues to the "Paul is Death" rumor. In addition to using already existing images from these other songs, Lennon came up with four new ones in "Glass Onion" that really fell into the hands of the people trying to figure out what he was saying. These new images were: bent back tulips; a glass onion; the Cast-Iron Shore; and a dovetail joint.

The bent back tulips were real tulips that were in flower arrangements in a restaurant known as Parkes in London. In these arrangements, the tulip petals were bend back so that you could see the obverse side as well as the stamen. When Lennon referred to them in this song, this is what he meant by "seeing how the other half lives." The glass onion is a name that Lennon wanted to use for a new group that The Beatles signed with Apple Records in July 1968. This group, formerly the Iveys, didn't like the glass onion name, but rather chose "Badfinger," after "Badfinger Boogie," the original title of The Beatles song, "With A Little Help From My Friends. " Additionally, glass onion was believed to be the slang phrase for the glass handles on the side of coffins in England. This further fueled the "Paul is Death" theory.

Lennon's Cast-Iron Shore was the real name for Liverpool's Beach, also known as the Cassie, and the dovetail joint, was the same phrase used in wood working joints.

I told you about strawberry fields, you know the place where nothing is real

well here's another place you can go, where everything flows

looking through the bent backed tulips, to see how the other half lives

looking through a glass onion

I told you about the walrus and me, man, you know that we're as close as can be, man

well here's another clue for you all, the walrus is Paul

standing on the cast iron shore, yeah, Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet, yeah

looking through a glass onion, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah,

looking through a glass onion

I told you about the fool on the hill, I tell you man he's living there still

well here's another place you can be, listen to me, fixing a hole in the ocean,

tryin' to make a dovetail joint, looking through a glass onion

NOTE: All lyrics contained herein are Copyright Northern Songs. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The lyrics contained herein are for the sole use of educational 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. Copyright 2000-2022 by  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.