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Sun King by The Beatles

Album: Abbey RoadReleased: 1969
  • John Lennon wrote this song. He used to say that he dreamed 'Sun King,' but it's possible that he was also reading a book with that title by Nancy Mitford about the life of Louis XIV of France (The "Sun King" was a nickname given to King Louis XIV). He also was poking a bit of fun at George Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun." At one point the title was "Here Comes the Sun King."
  • The foreign part of the song is a garbled mixture of Spanish and Italian, which roughly translates to: "When for much my love of happy heart, world paparazzi my love green for warm sun, hill as much much that small carousel." "Paparazzi" has the same meaning in Italian as it does in English. (thanks, Spencer - Los Angeles, CA)
  • This was recorded as one song with "Mean Mr. Mustard." It's part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They put together bits of unfinished songs to make up most of side 2.
  • The Beatles got the idea to use reverb on this after hearing Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross."
  • In 2006, a backwards version of this song called "Gnik Nus" was included on the album Love, which was a soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleil show featuring the music of The Beatles. (thanks, Mike - Chicago, IL)
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Comments: 55

There is no sense in trying to translate the lyrics as connected phrases. It's pure word salad, chosen for sound instead of meaning. The individual words can be translated, they just don't form any syntax together.
Quando - Italian for 'when' or Cuando - Spanish for 'when'
para - Spanish for 'for'
mucho - Spanish for 'much'
mi - Spanish for 'my'
amore - Italian for 'love'
che - Italian for 'what, which, that', or que - Spanish for 'what, which, that'
felice - Italian for 'happy'
corazón - Spanish for 'heart'
Mondo - Italian for 'world'
paparazzi - Italian term for celebrity photographers
mi - Spanish for 'my'
amore - Italian for 'love'
chicka ferdy - Scouse dialect phrase used for childish teasing (or chica verde - Spanish for 'green girl')
parasol - English (or para sol - Spanish for 'for sun')
Questo - Italian for 'this'
obrigado - Portuguese for 'thank you'
tanta - Italian for 'so much' (f.)
mucho - Spanish for 'much' (m.)
cake and eat it - English
carousel - English
Hypatia - Washington, Dc
Since there are no official lyrics published for the song that I can find, I can only suppose what the non-English language lyrics are. Keeping in mind that translation from one language to another is not done word for word and understanding that the lyric appears to be a mix of grammatically incorrect Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and possibly Polish I think it is just an example of John's use of stream of consciousness that can be twisted to have some vague meaning.
The lyric?:
Quando para mucho mi amore de felice corazon
Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol
Cuesto abregado tanta mucho que cara te carousel.
The closest I can come to a literal translation:
When as much my love of a happy heart;
World annoying buzz my love quiet green parasol;
That will slope as I want your sun face
Loosely translated from Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and Italian reads something like:
When as much as my love is of a happy heart;
My love silences the world’s annoying buzz like a green parasol;
That will cover me as I want for your sunlit face.
I am not using the literal translation of paparazzi here, but instead am taking Paparazzi from the Felini character Paparazzo in the film La Dolce Vita. The name came from the Italian translation based on a 1901 southern Italy travel narrative by Victorian writer George Gissing, By the Ionian Sea. Fellini allegedly opened the book at random, saw the name, and decided to use it for the annoying character. Paparazzo was a photographer, but was characterized as an annoying person known for creating a constant buzz.
Mark - Fontana, Ca
And now for something completely diferrent -- I always knew Sunking to be a brand of electrical appliances, and thought this song refered to the vacuum cleaner motor sound heard at the end of "She's so heavy."Matt - Washington, Dc, Dc
This is another song from Abbey Road that I have re-discovered.....I have been listening to Beatles stuff for 40 odd years and recently got really into this track and also I Want You.
Some one put the foreign lyrics on Youtube as follows: Quando para mucho mi amore de felice carathon
Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol
Questo abrigado tantamucho que canite carousel
Apparently, it's just a mixture of Spanish, Italian and French. Not meant to mean anything in particular, just words to fit the sentences.
Anyway, I think this track and I Want You, sound better to-day than they did 40 years ago when I first bought the album on vinyl. A great testament to Beatles music. Also, we are still listening to, and discussing them all these years later. What we have to remember, is that these were young lads in their early twenties who were turning this stuff out.
Terry - Stoke-on-trent, United Kingdom
It's not jibberish, and it's not one certain language. It's Spitalengliguese. That's Spanish, Italian, English, and Portuguese. There you go. :) Enjoy the song!K - Nowhere, On
the non english part is just jibberish acording to the anthology. they just said spanish sounding words that dont mean a thingNick - Seattle, Albania
joe from montvale, how on earth does this sound like Us And Them?Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
anyone ever notice how the track listing goes "here comes the sun because you never give me your money sun king"?
also on the album "with the beatles" it goes "hold me tight" then "you've really got a hold on me"
and then the album "help" - "tell me what you see," then "i've just seen a face"
hmm....
Cj - Lalaland, --
Yes, he did shorten the title to prevent it from clashing with George's song and, in answer to your question, Dawn, because it has bugged me as well, this could explain why they sing "Here COME the Sun King", even though all lyric sites incorrectly state it as "Here COMES the Sun King". Another possible explanation could be that Lennon was inspired by the "Here COME old flat-top" line from "Come Together", which they'd only been recording that very same day.Peter - Birmingham, United Kingdom
One of the most peaceful songs in the medley, really enhances the euphoric sense of the entire album. The transition into Mean Mr. Mustard takes it more upbeat again.Russell - Rochester, Ny
the "cake and eat it" is probaly a referance to Louis XIV because of the french marie antonette "let them have there cake and it too" sayingTyler - Phillipston, Ma
And they also said "Cake and eat it" right at the end. What the-? The only connection to Los Paranoias that I know of is that John thought they should have sang that in the foreign language part.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
Hey people,try to take a look outside. Just one time. There's a vast world there.Jose - São Paulo, Brazil
This song is boring. I like how Peter Griffin (below) said that Chicka ferdy means "na-na, na-na-na!" that makes sense...?Rosario - Naples, Fl
When you play "here come the sun king" backwards it's the same thing.Sam - Seattle, Wa
Love the beginning of this song. Anyone notice how the opening guitar moves from the left speaker to the center then to the right? While the bass drum slowly fades from left to right to meet the hi-hat. And of course the second guitar fades back and forth as well. Really fits the mood of the song. I've read John & Paul composed the Spanish/Italian goobleegook in the studio after smoking a joint.Eric - Buffalo, Ny
For what's worth - "Sun King" is my current Beatles favorite song-love the melody and the reverb on the guitar. My theory about the origins for this song is this : All the Heroin John was ingesting during that period contributed to ambient " Feel" in the song and the lyrics are either about the Maharishi or else about John himself and all the sycophants and suck ups hanging about @ the Tittenherst mansion- treating him like he was the Sun King. Hal, B'Town, IndHal - Bloomington, Andorra
marcio from sao paulo, What is this? I mean, this kind of comments. Do you really think it's funny?Louis - Salinas, Ca
lyrics of "Sun King" have become one of those misteries surrounding some of the beatles' details.
The best thing to do is someone ask Ringo or Paul about these lyrics (while they're still alive, preferently).
Marcio - Sao Paulo, Brazil
And just in case you were wondering, "Los Paranoias", which is actually not a full song and is connected with "Step Inside Love", was produced during the "I Will" session. This session also produced the "Can you take me back" bit at the end of "Cry Baby Cry".Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
I have the lyrics to the original, Los Paranoias:
Joe Praries and the
prarie walliflowers
Los Paranoias
Los paranoias invites you
to (I can't make it)
To just enjoy us (I can't make it)
Come on you can do it baby
Come on and join los paranoias
Just enjoy us
Los paranoias
Oh! los paranoias
Come on and join us
Los paranoias
Come on enjoy us
Well! los paranoias
We're here to sing for you
And whenever you want us to
We will sing a little song for you
Los paranoias...

An interesting original, if I do say so myself.
Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
The portuguese meanings of these words (so so):
quando = when
para = for / stop...
de = of, from...
mundo = world
obrigado = tanks
tanta = so much, a lot
que = that...
Jose - São Paulo, Brazil
The lyrics of the song are wrong. The nonsense word phrase does not contain "cicce verdi". It's actually "Chicka ferdy". John said so himself. It is a Liverpool expression, that basically means "na-na, na-na-na!"Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
The stuff at the end is just nonsense words. Very odd! Love this song, as you may have guessed!Meredith - Wauwatosa, Wi
Carmone That is not Spanish! It's Italin! Oh You like the doors too?Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
What the heck are they saying at the end? I no what Mi amore means it means mi amor wich means My Love. I can speak spanish, but not Italian. And not just middle schol spanish either! Just plain First language Spanish.Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
and los paranoias was recorded a full year before they recorded the sun kingJennifer - Panama City, Fl
if any of you own the anthology series los paranoias is on there and its not the sun king, its a studio jam,.. anthology 3 disk 1 trank 23 check it outJennifer - Panama City, Fl
I LOVE this song, but it kinda makes me depressed. The mixture of Spanish and Italian is amazing!Erin - Edm, United States
Has anyone noticed that the lyrics aren't actually "Here COMES the Sun King"--what they actually sing is "Here COME the Sun King?"

(I'm a grammar nut, and this has bugged the heck out of me for years.)
Dawn - Houston, Tx
The crickets in this song was tape loops as done by McCartney. The song was influenced by Fleetwood Mac but it ending up sounding like Pink Floyd's Us and Them, the Beatles tune came out first.Joe - Montvale, Nj
I read where the original title was "Los Paranoias", and at the time "Albatross" by Fleetwood Mac was out, with all the reverb on the gutar and they said "Lets be Fleetwood Mac" just to get started, even though it never sounded like Fleetwood Mac. A great song though!P J - Okc, Ok
I love how it makes you feel like... you're outside. I love the other language in it too. Just as the french is in Michelle, the spanish in this song is great! And, to me, it's just as good a nickname as "Lizard King".Cameron - Bainsville, Canada
The real Sun King was the gentleman who brought the Beatles their LSD, otherwise known as liquid sunshine. LSD was a great comfort to the Fab Four during the tribulations they faced. They recorded many tributes to liguid sunshine, including "Good Day Sunshine" and "Here Comes The Sun". When the Sun King delivered the acid to the Beatles, it was always a joyous occasion with everybody laughing, everybody happy again.Zoloft - Milton, Wv
I'm guessing that it is a mixture of Italian, Spanish, and maybe some Portuguese. It can't all be Spanish like people say, because "mi amore" isn't Spanish. For it to be Spanish it would be "Mi amor". Either way, I love the song...it makes me happy. I'd like to know what the non-English part means though.Loony Moony Lupin - Virginia
One of the songfacts is incorrect: the foreign part isn't garbled Spanish, it's a mixture of Spanish and Italian that actually means something (it's just not very sensible).Spencer - Los Angeles, Ca
To me this sounds a lot like "Lying in the Sunshine" by Free, from their self-titled album. It was also released in 1969, so I wonder if they had anything to do with each other.Sam - Shanghai, China
* For me there is not a word of english in these lyrics. I don't know wether it is Italian or Portuguese, but what is sure, these are latin words (carousel and parasol are not english, and I think it's more "canite" than "can eat it").
* I don't think this is a tribute to Louis XIV, but to the sun itself ! It talks about how the sun brings back heat and joy. (Sometimes the simplier explanations are the better...)
Pierre-yves - Belfort, France
ok its a combination of spanish-portuguese,french and latin

these are the best lyrics i could come up with in the proper order because for some reason mr lennon combined these languages and in the proper order as well, confusing well it is but this is the geniouse of john lennon when u translate something in spanish to english the order is difrent ie;(thankz a lot)muchas=alot- gracias=thankz i speak perfect spanish(mexican) my girlfreind is brazilian took french in high school and have a latin dictonary also note lennon used root words he probably searched it in english and got back a root words so there are no preverb words or past tense words


quando para mucho mi amore tress felice corazon
''when by a lot my love gives happyness to my heart''

Mundo paparazzi mi amore chica verdi parasol
''world reporters my love girl is green for all''

Questo abrigado tantamucho que canite coracao
''thankz for this verry much what big hearts''
Jerry619 - San Diego, United States
I Wonder Why The Beatles reckording a Tribute To Ludvig IX but this is what the song is about what i have heard. On The other its a Tribiute to Albatross writen by the great blues player Peter Green. Stll John says the song came to him in a dream, it´s anyway a very relaxed peace of music.Joakim - Gothenburg, Md
The Sun King Is A Tribute to both The Sun King Louis XIV and Fleetwood Mac´s AlbatrossJoakim - Gothenburg, Md
It's so funny that when I try to search for the lyrics of the Spataliueselish, I get different lyrics! Some say "canite" instead of "can eat it", others say "mia more" instead of "mi amore". I guess we'll never know! *wink*

These are my lyrics with the few years of Spanish that I've studied...

When for a lot my love is happy face-(something)(thon doesn't translate)
World paparazzi my love girl (ferdi doesn't translate) parasol
How much (is the?} coat/overcoat so much much (tanta=so much, mucho=much) that can eat it carousel
Jen - Somewhere..., Ny
Do those weired lyrics mean anything? Any translations?Mauricio - Hanford, Ca
Peaceful song.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I speak Portuguese and I agree with Gil, seems to be Italian. But the lyrics have words in Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and English, and other words don't exist. Great drumming performance by Ringo.George - Itaberaba, Brazil
There are crikets in the biggining... its a good song... somewhat relaxing...Nick - Solvang, Ca
It's about John's dreams......Jordan - Wimette, Il
i like this song..its peaceful.Niki - Chicago, Il
Actually, the end lyrics are a mixture of English, Spanish, and Italian. The english words are "can eat it" "parasol" and "carousel". From what I understand a translation would be something like "When there is much of my love filling my heart. Paparazzi world my love [nonsense]. When same amount of windiness as can eat it, carousel."Brandon - Winterville, Nc
Another moody, lackadaizical number from John.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
Well, I speak spanish, and doesn't seems to be spanish, it's more like to be italianGil V.h. - Mexico City, Mexico
The Sun King was Louis XIV, who allegedly replaced his twin brother, which can be read in Alexandre Dumas' "The Man in the Iron Mask." Interestingly enough this goes very well with the Paul-is-dead conspiracy, as he was replaced by a double. The Beatles tell us that this doppelganger is on his way to Abbey Road, and all is well.Mike - London, England
I read somewhere that the "Spanish" in the song was both Spanish and Portuguese.Paulo - New York, Ny
Louis XIV was known as the "Sun King".Brett - Edmonton, Canada
"sun king" was the nickname of a french dictator {I'm not sure which one, I think one of the Louis}.Bob - Okc, Ok