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Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da by The Beatles

Album: The White AlbumReleased: 1968
  • The title comes from a reggae band called Jimmy Scott and his Obla Di Obla Da Band. Says McCartney, "A fella who used to hang around the clubs used to say in a Jamaican accent, "Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on," and he got annoyed when I did a song of it, 'cause he wanted a cut. I said, 'Come on, Jimmy, it's just an expression." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chiara - West Vancouver, Canada
  • When Jimmy Scott needed money for bail (he was jailed for missing alimony payments), McCartney had his friend Alistair Taylor put up the money in exchange for Scott dropping rights to the name. Taylor had to get the money from a friend, since no one in the Beatles camp carried much cash. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Paul McCartney wrote this and The Beatles spent a great deal of time recording and overdubbing it. John, George, and Ringo became very annoyed. Harrison hinted at his frustration on "Savoy Truffle," which was recorded three months later. In the song he wrote:

    But what is sweet now, turns so sour
    We all know Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
    But can you show me, where you are?
  • John Lennon hated this song. He didn't like a lot of McCartney's later songs with The Beatles, feeling they were trite and meaningless. Ringo and George disliked this too and all three of them vetoed Paul's wish that this be released as a single.
  • This was a #1 hit in England for Marmalade in 1968. With their cover, Marmalade became the first Scottish group to top the UK charts (leaving little doubt about their origin, they performed the song on Top Of The Pops wearing kilts). It also could be considered the first UK #1 to be done in a reggae style.

    Marmalade's bassist Graham Knight recalls in 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh, "The Beatles' music publisher, Dick James, played us the acetate of The Beatles' Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and we thought it was great. He said, 'You can have it, I won't give it to anyone else,' but of course he passed it to another 27 acts. We rush-recorded it in the middle of the night during a week of cabaret in the northeast. Our manager, who was in America at the time, kept sending us telegrams not to do it. He didn't think we should record a Beatles song. We expected it to do well, but we didn't think it would go to #1. We got no feedback from The Beatles at all. There had been so many covers by that time that I shouldn't think they'd have been very interested."
  • The guitars were over-modulated on purpose to get the desired effect.
  • This was one of the first songs with a reggae beat to find pop success.
  • This wasn't released as a single while The Beatles were extant, but in 1976 Capitol Records released "Got To Get You Into My Life" as a single in America, and it did very well, reaching #7. With proof that there was still demand for Beatles material, the label issued "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" later that year and it made #49.
  • Paul mistakenly sang "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face." It was intended to be "Molly," but Paul decided to leave it in to create confusion.
  • John Lennon played the piano part on this song.
  • As recounted by Beatles biographer Mark Lewisohn, after doing a huge number of takes (around 60), Paul continued trying to record this as a slow song. John was in the other room listening while doing drugs. After getting high, he was very frustrated to hear Paul record it slow so many times. He subsequently burst into the recording room, pushed Paul aside and got on the piano playing the song very fast and upbeat. The fast and happy recording on the infamous White Album is the result.
  • This was used as the theme song to the TV series Life Goes On which ran from 1989-1993. The version used on the show was sung by Patti LuPone and the rest of the cast.
  • The melody of this song was lifted by The Offspring for their 1999 hit "Why Don't You Get a Job?"
  • In December 1968, a version by The Bedrocks hit #20 in the UK.
  • The Beatles never performed this live, as they stopped touring in 1966, but Paul McCartney did play it live - eventually. He included it in his setlist for the first time on his 2010 "Up And Coming" tour.
  • The author Paul Saltzman, who was studying Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India with The Beatles in February 1968, published a photo book on his time with the band called The Beatles In India, where Saltzman recalled watching McCartney and Lennon collaborating on the song. Wrote Saltzman: "I looked over and under Paul's toe, under his sandal was a little torn piece of paper. And I look over and in his handwriting it's 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, bra/La-La how the life goes on.' And I'm sitting beside Ringo (Starr) - maybe five feet away from Paul - and they start singing it and really working with it. Only those words -- only John and Paul. Ringo was just quietly listening." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    DeeTheWriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation, for above 2
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Comments: 121

The piano part makes my heart happy and makes me want to dance. Thanks Paul.Jennifur Sun - Ramona
I grew up with the Beatles and I suppose I kind of sided with Lennon and the Paul bashers at that time. But Lennon could be an awful bore! I think when they started out they were mates, but they went in different directions artistically. Paul made John better, and John made Paul better. After they split up neither one was too impressive. George's solo album was the best of the lot. I agree you can't listen to "Ob-La-Di" without getting caught up in it. Time has a way of clearing all the cobwebs, and I don't think this song would make a current 50 worst list. It would have a better chance at a 50 best. When they play it on classic rock stations I turn the volume way up.Gary - Minnesota
On March 1st 1969, Arthur Conley performed "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
Three months earlier on December 29th, 1968 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #51 and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #41 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
Duane Allman played guitar on Mr. Conley's version...
The Beatles' original LP version was released at a single in 1976; their version peaked at #49 on the Top 100 and also spent 6 weeks on the chart...
R.I.P. John, George, Mr. Allman (1946 - 1971), and Mr. Conley (1946 - 2003).
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
You know, this is where it gets irritating. And I've had discussions in forums on this topic. But we always /always/ seem to hold Paul to a different standard with some idolization there. We always want Paul to be perfect! His songs are /always/ so deep and powerful and perfect. But we always accept what John does as 'Avant Garde' and 'free'. John's songs weren't really a hit post-Beatles and c'mon as if there isn't a Beatles song you don't care for? So how come Paul's music always has to be this lovey dovey song, or this really meaningful deep stuff? Why can't the man ever just write a song for fun without everyone analyzing it and expecting it to be like all his other stuff? If John's music flopped it was 'oh well it was really deep and not everyone may understand it only the select few will'. But heaven forbid Paul /ever/ write a song that's different.

That's my small rant sorry. But I grew up with this song I remember smiling and dancing to it as a kid this was very fun for me to grow up with. And purely what this song is about will make my day better, sometimes if I'm having a okay morning I listen to this and I loosen up because 'life goes on'.
Maggie - North Pole, Ak
Hard to believe they let this on the White Album. Same goes for Maxwell's Silver Hammer on Abby Road. Sometimes McCartney gets too carried away.Jim - West Palm Beach, Fl
LOL by reading the comments on here I was able to find out the "arm" and "leg" thing. Now I am cracking up everytime I hear it! FYI I am 13 years old, when I first heard the Beatles this was the first song I ever heard. THE BEATLES HAVE NO AGE!Mary - Grand Rapids, Mi
You kids won't remember but back in the day it was thought to be another "clue" that Paul was dead. As I recall, "Ob La Di/Da" was supposed to mean something like "He died, yeah/ He died, hail God."Davy777 - Los Angeles, Ca
Here in Argentina, this song was a soccer chant for Boca Juniors fanatics (in the 70s) with the lyrics: "dale bo dale bo dale bo...ca, dale dale dale bo.."Daniel - Buenos Aires, Argentina
sugarland did a song without any , or not many, lyrics in the form of words. the main content was "ooo's and variations thereof. does any one know its title....... vic gnvlock@socal.rr.comVic - Los Angeles, Ca
Soooo blessed that my parents ain't FREAKS! lol They introduced me to this song years ago and I have to say this is probably one of my "go-to songs". It's really hard for me to pick a favorite Beatles song...I don't thing anybody can!Megan - Stevenson, Al
oh my god i never realized that Olba-Di and WDYGAJ had the same tune!! wow that just was awesome news to me xDAmber - Indianapolis, In
I was listening to the remastered stereo version on windows media player and i was messing around with the audio configuration on my computer and i hit "voice cancellation", (i guess it's for karioke or something), and i decided to listen to the song from the start , because it sounded really weird. at 00:02 i heard a voice say something..but i have no idea what and now it is bugging me.Matt - Toronto, On
If they say Obladi Oblada was the bad song, why nobody said anything about songs in the earlier Beatles album ? I presume while you, arrogant white people (not meant to be racist) fooling yourself bashing this song, I could guarantee you that this song was very popular in non-English speaking countries. Why? Because this is great song. If only this song were written by somebody else. people would have said that this is a masterpiece (that's why Marmalade was so successful).
What I love about this song is the intro. First comes John on the piano. And then the bass. And the drums and handclaps. Really feel good.
Norman - Jakarta, Indonesia
Yeah, I can see why John would be the one to say "Thank you" at the end of the song; I'd be thankful I finished a single song if it took 60+ takes too!David - Woburn, Ma
after the first desmond lets the children lend a hand gorge and john messing around scream arm legJake Smith - Elmhurst, Il
It means "Life goes on" in Nigerian.
To be frank, everyone here is wrong about the meaning. The meaning is very simple.
There is NO drug references whatsoever.
'Ob-la-di ob-la-da' means exactly the words after it mean. It means "Life goes on" in Nigerian. And that is the exact meaning of the song. It is not a drug of any sort. If you say the word "Sing" out loud right before the last sentence of the song you'll hear paul say "Sing Ob-la-di ob-la-da", and if you say "Take" outloud before the last sentence you'll hear 'take'. It's very interesting but true. Anyway, Life goes on.
Arthur - Carteret, Nj
I listened to the song again and I think I heard the "arm" "leg" part. Is it around 1:45?Mary - Jackson, Tn
Guys, if you actually READ the songfacts, it said Paul ACCIDENTALLY said Desmond does his pretty face. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH A SEX CHANGE.Leon - Tuscon, Az
By the way, anyone know what is shouted at the beginning of the song?Scarlett - Denver, Co
Before I read the lyrics I always thought it was "Jasmine" instead of "Desmond" and "the government fears" instead of "in a couple of years". Wow. Makes so much more sense now. Boy, do I feel stupid.Scarlett - Denver, Co
Paul McCartney sang this in Miami on his "Up and Coming" tour. It was amazing! Everyone automatically stood up and dancedMeaghan - Orlando, Fl
I'm sorry, I like John and believe he was very talented but boy could he be pretentious and boring.....Cindy - Berkeley, Ca
Hey Johnny, I´ve read an interview with Mal Evans somewhere, in which he says it´s John who says thank you". :)Fermin - Resistencia, Argentina
Does anyone know who says "thank you" at the end?? I mean, it sounds like Paul, but i'm not quite sure.Johnny - Lima, Peru

I don't know what you mean by saying Paul wrote a lot of bullsh*t, he wrote beautiful songs as well as happy upbeat songs, what do you call "Yesterday"?
Lilli - Somewhere, Ca
This is a pretty good song. Good lyrics and good beat to it.Jj - Washington, Dc
i swear, it doesnt say TAKE. it says SING. if you want some fun, sing obladiblada. it says take in the booklet, but i always hear sing.K - Nowhere, On
This song makes me dance, albeit poorly. It's clearly about drug use and cross dressing. reference points self explanatory. one example overlooked, desmond and molly jones, for obladi oblada. a normal mundane life, trying not to jones for the drug they used before the kids came along. I also wonder which beatle was a closet cross dresser, probably ringo. Enjoy.Horace - Las Vegas, Nv
This song makes me dance, albeit badly. It's clearly about cross dressing, and drugs. You know the reference points. One observation no one has mentioned to prove this is the fact that their last name is jones. Desmond and molly jones for obladi, oblada. whatever drug reference that means to Mcartney, I guess only he knows. I wonder which beatle was a closet cross dresser? EnjoyHorace - Las Vegas, Nv
personally to me,the title is a drug just because of the last line in the song...if you want some fun TAKE obladiblada.also not only that listen to the way they act at the end of the song, sounds to me like they are on something lol!Mem - Melbourne, Australia
It's just a pop song. About as meaningful as "Twinkle Little Star".Jim - Nyc, Ny
I love that song! It is really nice and it makes my hyper :D!
Uhm, I love John, But I dunno why he dislikes that song, I do not agree with him in that, and with georges too.
Perla - Fanar, Lebanon
Sir Paul Mc never had any agreement with my late husband Jimmy Scott about the rights to the words being forfeit for a sum of money when he was in trouble. As I was the one who contacted Sir Paul Mc I can verify this fact. May I repeat: no rights were forfeit and the next time we were going to meet according to Sir Paul on the phone that day was for a photo session for the white album, presumably before it was decided to be white. As I recall it was The People newspaper who spread this story after wrongly interpreting an interview with my late husband. As far as I am aware Paul himself has nevfer said such a thing. I should like to be corrected if he has.Lucreziascott - Billericay, United Kingdom
"trite and meaningless"?! why was john always so bitter when it came to paul's songs, or him in general? it seems that they hated each other by the time they broke up. kind of ruins the magic of their later stuff if you remember what was actually going on then within the band...Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
I agree Forrest.... I LOVE them all, I REALLY LOVE most of them, and OBSESSION cannot begin to describe my infatuation with the rest!! The Beatles have changed my life, it's to bad i was born about 30 years too late..Emily - Oklahoma City, Ok
Voice edited for Ringo, only a bit. i forgot to say that, and also i hear maracas.Emily - Newcastle, Australia
The "La-la-la"'s were actually done by Ringo Starr.
Paul thought this sounded great and George and John were not very happy. They all hated this song but i think Paul persuaded Ringo to like it.

cheeky Paul.
Emily - Newcastle, Australia
i cant go through this song without smiling its just so upbeat and happy i love it! top 2 for me :DSarah - Newport, Nc
Nice song. Not special but better than thousands.Louis - Salinas, Ca
Some of you need to give him a break!! Just because he wrote masterpieces doesn't mean he ALWAYS had to have written them!Pougff - Manchester, Ms
My parents told me that i used to dance to this song when i could barely walk. im 14; how crazy is that. I think that's where my passion for all things classic-rock started. I love how bouncy and upbeat it is. I LOVE RINGO!!!!!!!!!Allie - A Little Ol' Town In, Mi
Does anyone know if Paul has ever sung Ob-la-di Ob-la-da in any of his recent concerts? I think this is one of the songs he has forgotten about...Pancho - Guadalajara, Mexico
I like this song. A good melody is the most valuable commodity in music. No one was better than Paul at coming up with catchy melodies. John would make fun of him in 67 thru 70 because Paul got most of the singles. For you Beatles fans that hate this song, go listen to Cold Turkey.Steve - Fenton, Mo
Does anyone agree with me that anyone who has a single FAVORITE Beatles song a really sick person?Forrest - Rochester, Mn
Probably my least favorite song off the White Album. I rather dislike this one just like John, George, and Ringo did. I apologize to all those who consider it their favorite.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
Couldn't it be just about themselves? I mean, Desmond and Molly = John and Paul. Or vice-versa? Why not?Jose - São Paulo, Brazil
Its a great song...especially the piano in the beginning. Its definitely a PICK ME UP! Try to not tap your toes to it...you can't!Musicguru - Lost Angles, Ca
This is quite different song. I remeber sing this for chours 2 years ago and everyone hated it. But this year when I found out The Beatles wrote this song I was really surpised escpeically when I heard Paul sang it. It's just not a song I could see Paul writting but artists r very verstile i guess which is a good thing. Like George Harrison's song Crackerbox Palace and music video isn't like him at all. But nothing the less they r both good songs.Krissy - Boston, Ma
Could it be about drugs? Naw...

Could it be about sex? Naw...

Could it be a simple song about nothing at all? Naw...
Dana - Greenwood, Sc
Regarding the OffSpring reference...I knew that part of it was to the tune of "Obla di", but the other part sounds like part of "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel. In case anyone wants to check it out.Mary - Phoenix, Az
Judging from the circumstances illustrated in the song, the marriage of Desmond and Molly Jones is very fragile, and Desmond's pickup line is just about the worst. (I like to comment on long hair and out-of-date fashions, both of which I like)Darrell - Eugene, United States
Great song. It's very light and not meant to be taken seriously.

And Joe, I thought She's Leaving Home was beautiful with the string section. Also, I agree that Within You Without You isn't the best off of Sgt. Peppers, but George made up for it later. Hell, it kinda grew on me and I don't find my self dreading when "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" is over.
Jim - Philadelphia, Pa
In Pittsburgh we like to Polka! Beer, Steelers, and Polka! This song was one of the most played on the jukebox. Yes, you read that right, jukebox!!! Remember, this song came out before the days of CD,s. Don,t tell me that you can listen to this song and NOT clap your hands and bounce in your seat.Cindy - Pittsburgh, Pa
I heard this song toke 10 days to record. The atmosphere was very controlled and stringent. Also, the song isn't too good.Tiffany - San Diego, Ca
I wish I understood the songfacts "profiles". If this song is Black and pieces-like deep, I sure don't get it. Seems to me that this is one of those Paul songs that your grandmother would clap along with.Guilliermo - New York, Ny
No Doubt did a cover of this, I thought it was very good. It can be found on their "Live in the Tragic Kingdom" dvd.Liz - Massapequa, Ny
Anyone who thinks this song sucks has no soul. I remember one time I was so drunk, my bros girlfriend was driving us home from some party and one of my friends starts singing "Desmond has a barrel in the market place".... then in my drunken state I just couldn't help singing along, no matter how much it pissed off the sober driver.Buzz - Towntown, Mi
not the beatles best but a good song with a good meaning that life goes on no matter what happensEnzo - Fairbanks, Ak
McCartney wrote a lot of bullsh*t (particularly after The Beatles broke up.). However, this is one of his PRECIOUS few (if not the only) "fun"/"goofy" song that actually is REALLY good. It's a fantastic up-tempo, upbeat song. Certainly not the "worst ever."Chuck - Joppa, Md, Md
This song is fantastic! The reason I love this and 'The Continuing Story Of Bungallow Bill' is the choruses are noth so catchy: Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, life goes on!. It definetly gives you the reality of things. Something bad happens, oh well, life goes on. Though the rest of the lyrics aren't very much intended to be like this. The rest is happiness and everything. Anyways, really great and catchy song.Cameron - Bainsville, Canada
The first Sex-Change song. "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face" after previously working with a wheelbarrow!Vassarette - Los Angeles, Ca
Sex change? Nope. I have an acetate demo where Paul correctly sings "Molly stays at home and does her pretty face." According to John, after 50 or 60 takes, they finally got it right, and Paul giggled, "Oops...made a mistake..." and the other three pretty much said "TOO BAD. ENOUGH'S ENOUGH!" They were tired of Paul rehearsing HIS songs over and over! And like "the movement you need is on your shoulder" (a Paul throwaway line John insisted should be kept) everyone figured some sexual ambiguity suited the song. But it wasn't intended that way when Paul wrote it.Illfolks.blogspot - Ny, Ny
She's leaving home is one of my favourite songs of all time. It's definatly not a weak spot on the album. Within you Without you is admitedly hard going.Jennifer - Belfast, Ireland
THE WHITE ALBULMDale - Rumford, Me
I kinda like this song. I gotta admit, it's catchy. It's DEFINITELY NOT the worst song ever. There are SOOOO many better candidates for that apparently much-coveted title. It's not even McCartney's worst song. Again, the potential candidates are numerous (Wonderful Christmastime gets my vote). There are even better candidates amidst his Beatles tunes. For instance She's Leaving Home has never been one of my favourites. I always thought that one and Within You Without You were the weakest spots on a brilliant album, but at least George's song (with its sitar psychedelia) is more representative of the album and of the year it was released. She's Leaving Home just seems like Paul was trying too hard to make something "important" and, to me at least, only achieved filler. I apologize in advance to anyone who loves She's Leaving Home.Joe - Lethbridge, Canada
This song shows what McCartney was yearning for in the middle of his world-famous, jet-setting Beatle life: a good, old-fashioned family life, with music and maybe just a little weirdness thrown in!Fyodor - Denver, Co
So whether this is a good song or a bad song...I don't think it matters.

Cause life goes on.
Jeremy - Downingtown, Pa
Hmm, it seems either you love it or you hate it, that "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", and there's no inbetween. I personally really like this song, but not as much as Paul's other "fun" songs from the White Album. I didn't think anyone would be analyzing this, but if we must, here is my point of view, and not of the lyrics, but of the song and where it fits in on the album. If you take only all of the Paul tracks off the White Album, notice that NONE of them sound alike, and furthermore have a sound that is very atypical to your usual Beatles numbers. Paul eloquently styled himself to all different KINDS of music, from the Beach Boy-esque sound in "Back in the USSR", to the country-folky "Rocky Racoon", and even to the old 30's ragtime piano sound in "Honey Pie". All of it, listened together in one sitting, is an incredibly different and spectacular musical experience. I didn't listen to "Ob-La-Di" and think "Gee, let me hear that one again!", but I didn't automatically label it as pure crap either. It's just a part of the wonderfully diverse set of songs off the White Album, and while it doesn't stand alone as a great McCartney number such as "Yesterday", "For No One", or "Blackbird" (which no one has mentioned...), it stands well with and inside The White Album. That's my take on it.Kelly - Burbank, Ca
hey yiota from australlia john lennon wasnt just a stupid druggo he was actually more of a talented songwritr than mccartney but yea i lov this song tooZach - Philly, Ks
While it's tempo and tune are upbeat and catchy, I believe the song is about a sex-change. 'Obladi-Oblada' is the name of the sex change drug the couple is taking. Made clear by the fact that the couples' roles completely reverse by the end of the song. When he says:
"Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face...
And in the evening she's a singer with the band..."

That's no mistake, 'she' refers to Desmond, who has done up his face to look like a woman, and goes out to sing in a band, AS a woman. And Molly "let's the children lend a hand" as Desmond did earlier in the song.
Tobias - St Petersburg, Fl
The lyrics to this song are awful, but like alot of McCartney songs, his excellent musicianship pulls him out. Good basslineRobb - Hamburg, Ny
The beat is actually more "ska" than "reggae" as it has a faster pace. Ska has never been a mainstream form of music but in many city clubs and bars there seem to be lots of ska bands and their loyal fans. I've seen many of these here in New York City and every time I hear the Beatles' song it reminds me of how ahead of their time the Beatles actually were.Barry - New York, Ny
If you notice at the beginning of the song:
the piano intro starts with a very hard, sharp chord, repeated 9 or 10 times, almost like he's POUNDING the piano.

This was the result of Johnny's frustation with so many takes.

Also, I'm sure you all know about the mix up in lyrics (desmond ends up going to sing in the band, while Molly stays at home with the store)...
Amanda - Connellsville, Pa
I disagree. It's not supposed to be a masterpiece. Its meant to be in the spirit of reggae which is of a positive tone. Its easier to listen to then like Rocky Raccoon.Devin - Rancho Cucamonga, Ca
I love the controversy!! Some people really like it, some hate it. I agree with Adrian that it is not a comparison for Yesterday, Here there...or Eleanor, but there is something in it for me. I heard Paul once say that a Jamaican friend would answer the "how are you?" question with those words. "Ob la di, ob la da life goes on." It was a fun song, no Winding Road either, but a fun song. I like the catchy tune, but then I am on the other side of the fence than adrian. The songs like Yesterday only have one side to the fence. That is what separated the two. Note: Adrian and I BOTH like Yesterday.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
John, actually one Beatle sings SAY and another sings TAKE at the same time.Bill - Southeastern Part Of, Fl
Jim, I agree that the last line of the song is a drug reference - ...if you want some fun, take ob-la-di-bla-da, which is a segmented way of saying - oh bloody blotter, blotter being a form of LSD/acid. Another hidden drug reference is from Happiness Is A Warm Gun, when John sings - ...like a lizard on a windowpane. Windowpane is also a type of LSD/acid.Bill - Southeastern Part Of, Fl
Great song, great beat. Keeps ya moving. It's not what the song is about, it's about the song getting into to you, then they got you. that's it. and also:

Jim, from Macungie, PA, I believe the correct lyric is "and if u want some fun, SAY ob-la-de-bla-da." Makes more sense.
John - Cleveland, Tn
I listened closely and heard the arm and leg parts. Those two crack me up!Carissa - La Mirada, Ca
I love this song! Who said that Paul had to write deep, meaningful songs all the time! I loved it the first time I heard it. The whole arm and leg shoutouts, are they in the anthology cd's? I've never heard it on the white album but maybe I need to listen closer. Give Sir Paul a break!Carissa - La Mirada, Ca
Quite possibly my favorite Beatles song right now. Just love it.Mary - Medina, Ny
I know a lot of people think this was one of Macca's worst but I absolutely LOVE this song it is such a bright, happy song.Michelle - New York City, Ny
People are so stupid. The Beatles didn't make all their songs deep and meaningful. This songs just supposed to be happy and fun. This song is amazing.

Andy - Olmsted Falls, Oh
I think the song is about relaxing with drugs cause at the very end it goes "and if u want some fun, take ob-la-de-bla-da."Jim - Macungie, Pa
John said this song makes no sense??? Maybe Paul should have added some lines about "yellow matter custard" or "semolina pilchers" or maybe "eggmen"... it would make a lot of sense then.Mark - Barrow-in-furness, England
Did anyone hear the No Doubt version of this song? It's actually quite good. Kinda makes you chuckle, and leave Paul alone... not his best... but so so happy!!!Jemma - Camborne, England
Re obladi oblada
Jimmy Scott didnt actually write the song but presented Paul with a "style sheet" or a "groove" in jazz terms, an original copy of which I have. Paul then used this build the song which explains why Jimmy wanted a "cut" as cited in the playboy article. All african music is conveyed in such terms rather than being fully notated
Bill - Liverpool, England
I find it humorous that Offspring copied this song and had a big hit with it, but hardly anyone mentions this (excluding Robert, Zapata, TX). I don't think the "worst song ever" would be copied 30 years later, to lots of success.David - Ann Arbor,, Mi
definitly a booster songAja - Gloucester, Ma
I can't believe that so many people hate this song! It did take a few goes for it to grow on me, but every time I hear it it's got a different feel. Kind of reminds me of my first girlfriend who was indeed named Molly, but only because of the upbeat tempo and whatnot that reminds me of her sense of humor...but anyway...
Its just a cool song. Its not like anything else I've heard. It's lighthearted and just like sayin "life moves on, you should move with it". I know a few people who listen to this song when they're depressed and it helps em.
Mike - Chicago, Il
I think Paul liked to have fun and try his hand at different styles. Honey Pie and Back In The USSR, same album, show someone who can capture the essence of a style of music in a way that seems effortless. I don't suppose it's easy to write in a new stye in a way that doesn't sound like a rip off of someone else's song.Calum - Edinburgh, Scotland
hey! I like this song. whenever I have a bad day I listen to it!Laura - Santa Fe, Nm
give Paul a break! sure it's not his best ever, and I think he knows that1 but it's a pretty cool song nonetheless. It'scatchy and fun, and sometimes you need though types of songs to balance ouththe heavier ones.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
The bass is double-tracked, with the second bass adding a grace note. In "Think for Yourself" there are two basses, too, but there one is a fuzz bass that almost takes the place of lead guitar. This song is best the first time you hear it, and then loses its appeal -- exactly the opposite of most of the songs on The White Album.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
They screem out foot and leg right after "Desmond lets the children lend a hand". It was probably because George and John were so irritated with Paul and how many takes the recording of this song was taking they just wanted to have fun and mess something up. Another poor Paul song with a saving grace of the baseline.Dwight - Calgary, Canada
What's the significance of ARM and LEG being shouted out ?Graeme - Tamhlacht, Ireland
where in the song do john and george screm "foot" and "arm"?Steve - New York City, Ny
Way to go, Daniel. I completely agree. This is just a fun tune...my gosh, not all songs have to be thought-provoking masterpieces. Paul McCartney was/is incredible, and for the ones who criticize him, I'd love to see YOUR songwriting work.Mary - New York, Ny
I have wondered why this song was ever recorded. To John from Wilmington: I cracked up when I heard "arm" and "leg" in the recording but I also heard "crack" as well.Stephanie - Denver, Co
To John in NC...You can also hear george say foot when Paul sings the Desmond stays at home and does is pretty face lines.Christopher - Greenfield Center, Ny
I LOVE THIS SONG! It's a song about marriage and a growing loving family. "In a couple years they have built a home sweet home with a couple of kids running in the yard" "Happy ever after in the market place Densmond lets the children lend a hand" Great song! Thank You Paul McCartneyMark - Ware, Ma
Undoubtedly one of The Beatles greatest pop moments. This is the Fab Four track that thesedays fills the dancefloor the most. A great singalong tune!Francis - Adelaide, Australia
All the self-proclaimed critics love to turn their noses up at this but I just look at it as a part of the rich tapestry of the "White Album". If you want to be moved, listen to "She's Leaving Home", "For No One", "Eleanor Rigby", "The Long and Winding Road" and countless other McCartney pieces. If this song's so bad, try writing a better one yourself.Daniel - Leeds, England
Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da was voted the worst song ever in a poll conducted by BBCAndy - Pittsburgh, Pa
This song is just a fun ditty. It's not meant to be anywhere as deep as Here, There, and Everywhere.Derek - Carmel, In
Hey Adrian sometimes people write songs without the intention of them being masterpieces. Sure we all hold Paul in high regards, especially when it comes to songwriting. But this song was just meant to have a fun bouncy beat with meaningless lyrics. I know your a Beatles fan, so it's all good.Jason - Mesa, Az
This song's great, it's one of the Beatles' more light-hearted songs. It's funny how john, george, and ringo were so upset about the whole thing, I wish i could here the clip when george and john yell "arm" and "leg" Ha ha.And, ya, Life Goes On is one of the greatest shows ever. Chris Burke is such a talent. I love him, he brings a warm feeling to the heart. :)Natasha - Chico, Ca
I love this song. May not be a masterpiece like "Eleanor Rigby", but it certainly is really catchy and fun. The White Album is really diverse, and this song is all part of that diversity.Joe - West Creek, Nj
For starters this isn't such a bad song. Sure, it's not as good as "Hey Jude" or "Yesterday" but it doesn't suck. Also, about this song being on the 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever, when the show actually aired it was not on the list. Neither was Simon and Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence". Does anyone know why that is?Josh - Plainview, Ny
John and George hated this song. While recording the song you can hear George shout out "Arm", while John shouts out "leg." Guess they were looking for amusement. Certainly cracks me up.John - Wilmington, Nc
Obladi-Oblada means "life goes on" in Nigerian.Edna - Barcelona, Spain
Paul wasnt mistakenly singing "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face." ...
after all , the whole song was about sex change.
Reuven - Tel Aviv, Israel
paul knew what he was doing, besides a light fun song here and there are sometimes needed to balance all the heavy serious ones. i like this song.Liliana - Huntley, Il
I'm with you Bob this is a great song i play it at the over 30's night i DJ to. the crowd love it ,,, it's a fun song , everyone lighten up.. i suppose someones gonna say it's about drugs .....Pete - Nowra, Australia
I hate this song too.Don - Philadelphia, Pa
Hey yeah so maybe its not one of Paul's most moving songs ever, but honestly its a mighty cool song... its a fun beat and its just plain cool... give the poor guy a breakBob - Las Vegas, Nv
Don't be so hard on Sir Paul; it's just meant as a fun song. Tell me when you hear it you don't start movin' to the catchy tune. It would be hard not to. The Beatles are the best and will always be the best.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
it just shows that even geniuses can screw up horribly if they try hard enough.Nick - San Francisco, Ca
This song made the list of the 50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever and I can see why. It's a piece of trash. For shame Paul, for shame. You write masterpieces like "Yesterday," "Elanor Rigby," and "Here, There and Eeverwhere," and then you write this. What's up with that?Adrian - Wilmington, De
The character Desmond is in homage to the Jamaican Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae artist Desmond Decker, according to the liner notes on D.D.'s "Rockin' Steady" (a greatest hits collection).Kevin - Eureka, Ca
The beat to this song is the same one used for "get a job" by offspringRobert - Zapata, Tx
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