During the filming of the video for "Strawberry Fields Forever," John Lennon and Apple Records employee Tony Bramwell went into an antique shop close to their hotel. Tony says, "John and I wandered in and John spotted this framed Victorian circus poster and bought it." John stated, "'Mr. Kite' was a straight lift. I had all the words staring me in the face one day when I was looking for a song. It was from this old poster I'd bought at an antique shop. We'd been down in Surrey or somewhere filming a piece. There was a break, and I went into this shop and bought an old poster advertising a variety show which starred Mr. Kite. It said the Henderson's would also be there, late of Pablo Fanques Fair. there would be hoops and horses and someone going through a hogshead of real fire. Then there was Henry The Horse. The band would start at ten to six. All at Bishopsgate. Look, there's the bill, with Mr. Kite topping it. I hardly made up a word, just connecting the lists together. Word for word, really."
The song's title comes from a standard 19th century phrase used in advertising testimonial performances in Britain: "Being for the benefit of..."
All-round performer William Kite worked alongside Pablo Fanque and wire-walker/clown/trampolines the Hendersons in 1843. John Lennon got the phrase when he saw a poster advertising their show.
As he did with many songs he wrote, John Lennon downplayed this one. "I was just going through the motions because we needed a new song for Sgt. Pepper," he said.
This song was credited to Lennon/McCartney, but often assumed to be written almost entirely by John. Paul McCartney claims that he had a hand in writing it, however. "'Mr. Kite' is such a crazy oddball song, and I have great memories of writing it with John," he told Rolling Stone in 2013. McCartney, who played the song on his tour that year, added that if he envisioned the song as a live number, he wouldn't have made the bass line so complicated when he composed it.
The carnival sounds came from recordings of old steam organs that would be heard at county fairs and amusement parks. Producer George Martin had them on tape, but wanted them to sound chaotic to simulate the carnival experience. So, he had engineer Geoff Emerick chop up the tapes and splice them back together in random order, creating a loop that was augmented by various organs played in the studio.
This was going to come after the title track on the album, but they decided to use "With A Little Help From My Friends," sung by the fictional Billy Shears, so that the concept of the album would continue.
It was rumored that "Henry The Horse" was heroin. "Horse" is slang for heroin, but Lennon denied that it was a drug reference. The horse is in the poster, but his name is Zanthus. Since the name Zanthus is not very musical, Lennon used the much better sounding name of Henry, making use of alliteration.
Suggestion credit: Craig - Hudson, NH
George Harrison and Ringo Starr played harmonicas on this song along with Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall.
George Martin revealed at a 2008 LA presentation for members of the National Recording Academy of Arts and Sciences one of his recording techniques for this song. The Beatles producer told engineer Geoff Emerick to cut up old tapes of organ music, threw them in the air and onto the floor and then reassembled them at random, running the new sounds concurrent with the song's main organ melody.
Asked during a 2014 Twitter Q&A what his favorite bassline to play is, Paul McCartney replied: "At the moment it's 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!' It's challenging!"
Evan from Pittsburgh, PaFirst rap song ever recorded.
Rmatrix from Las VegasI glad I'm not as screwed up in the head like some folks are. I was born and raised hearing The Beatles songs over the air waves, but was to young to buy albums, etc. Of course, I've always love those Beatles songs that one hears through the years. I started collecting records and Beatles records at age 16 in 1976. I am just as diehard a Beatles fan as there is. All music is compared to The Beatles in the minds of Beatles fans. To my this song was just an artistic creation. And good fun at that singing about a circus. And a masterful Beatles song, at that. 16 yr olds don't think in terms of if its a drug song or whatever. We just listen to the songs. I just now find out about this 1843 poster, and I find that it is super cool that that is how this song originated. Awesome work by John Lennon, et al.
Brian from Fall RiverWe all have a right to speak our minds on these forums. Some say it's about drugs, others nothing, one guy makes a religious claim and everyone loses it. Charles Manson believed The Beatles were spoken of in revelation as well. I'm not saying that he is credible at all, he's obviously a little tapped. I do like the new outlook on the song and will delve a little deeper myself. Sometimes things aren't as shiny, clean and good as it all seems....... I love the first amendment!
Gino from Trenton,nj, NjI just happened to wander onto this site because of this song, and recently learning about the poster, what else have I learned? most of you people need to get a life!..God, No God, Meaning, Inuendo, Or Whatever, this site is about music, not the Ultimate battle between good and evil, There are in fact some "hidden" meaning and "Quirks" in Beatle songs, John thought up most of them and Paul allowed them to stay in the songs, Why?, MONEY!, Paul was the businessman and he knew that things that piqued the public interest sold...Lennon was a peace loving man who just wanted to make music to help people live their lives and get along...Paul was a musician and celebrity, together they made a great duo, it's nothing more or less....but even if the code to trigger armageddeon was in the 17th word of each odd numbered track, It still is not worth you loser nerds arguing over it...Go out, and Get Laid, and this crap won't mean as much to you in the morning!
Allyson from Waverly, NyI love this song! I thought at first that it was just another randomly written song, but now I know there was an actual circus about this!! =D Cool! <3 The Beatles
Veve from Lorain County, OhThis is one of my favorite songs from Sgt. Pepper!
Allyson from Waverly, NyThis is one of the strangest songs I've ever heard, but I love it!
Julia from Milton, PaThis sounds like the theme for an evil, killer clown. Love it nonetheless.
Sydney from Dallas, TxNot about drugs, people! I've seen a reproduction of the poster that John uses for inspiration for this song, and he really did copy it word for word. I really like the music for this one. I do know that John was a mastermind, who would deny a lot of things, but this one is not about drugs! And it is probably not psycheldic, but with john, you can never be sure.
Oh, Matthew from NY, not every song that John wrote was about drugs. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds was written about a picture that Julian Lennon drew for his friend Lucy. I have acutally read an interview with Lucy, (can't remember her last name right now..) and she said that she distinctly remembered Julian drawing the picture fot her.
Wayne from Crockett, TxI think people give this song a 'pass' because it is the Beatles. I believe this could border on my most un-favorite song of all time.
Brian from Boston, MaI just want to clear something up.True this song is not about drugs.It is clearly a description of upcoming circus events.However I do think that the sound of this and many other Beatles songs were influenced by the use of psychedelic drugs.There is a difference.Obviously Cocaine by Eric Clapton is about drugs.And a song like Srawberry fields was influenced by drug use.I don't understand why people can't see the difference.The Sgt pepper album is an example of psychedelic music.So let's not argue about what particular Beatles song is "about" drugs.The fact is very few of them are.Many however were influenced by the use of drugs.Many people argue weather or not Lucy in the Sky is about drugs.I personnaly think it is.Even if you don't think this song is "about" Lsd one must admit that if not for Lennon having taken lsd prior to writing this song it would not have the same sound or feel.It is after all considered a pshcedelic song.Many of these comments come from uninformed so called Beatles fans.Why don't you take some time to listen to the music and use your head.To say this song is about heroin is ridiculous and is based on no fact at all.
Ben from Morgantown, Ini agree so much with that first comment. i just can't even believe, how AMAZING The Beatles are.
Spongebob from Bikini Bottom, Kythis song is just more proof of how AWSOME the beatles are
John from Bridgend, United KingdomBrian, Momence,il. I don't expect this to get through to you due to your rock solid paradigms relating to your god etc, but i'll give it a go. Use your single defining animal characteristic that differentiates you from a parrot and add value to society (and the life of you and those around you). Honestly, give logic a go and really think for yourself. you might think this is bull (or the devil!) but I promise you - PROMISE - there is no god(sic Capital ommission (deliberate)) Anyway, to the song - I would rather not know the writers meaning. Like most people, I have my own interpretation which,as a listener I'm bound to do. Most writers are delighted this happens. Hense why many artists refuse to explain lyrics. The lyrics to 'being for'...... mean .......well exactly what they do for me. eg. I know mr K was written prior to Ketamine but it absolutely fits my interpretation.....and I'm happy. (in fact, I secretly know/wish/am deluded that that is what it is really about. Please, Brian, do not respond to this note as you might not know it, but you're bonkers. If you are able to wake yourself from your religous delusion (I promise you - I'm right) you're welcome to comment.
Lawrencium from Framingham, MaIt's about drugs. It's about religion. It's about global warming. The connection? Mythical,Farcical,Dangerous,Pie-in-the-sky navel gazing.Hey Blackbird Piggies Bulldog Octopus Racoon Horse all critters in Beatles toonz. If you read "Animal Farm" @ 15 words per second while listening to every Beatle album in order of release track by track.... HHHMMM One can only wonder.
Linc from Beaumont, TxJohn means "going through the motions," because he wrote this in much the same way he wrote many of his songs around this time, just taking bits from newspapers and magazines or in this case a Victorian Era circus flyer.
Julia from Richland, WaA psychedelic circus clown looks like a hippie with Geisha makeup, Nathan.
Chloe from St. Louis, MoWow, Jacob, woooow... John and Paul are in the Bible, huh? That would make perfect sense, if they weren't born in 1940 and 1942. Well, even then it wouldn't make sense.
Jessie Steele from Bartlett, TnThis is such a cool song,very circusy,without being kitschy. It's almost bordering on trippy, but cool nonetheless
G from Potomac, MdI love how Lennon calls this going through the motions. One of the most unique rock songs ever.
Jay from Brooklyn, NyWhen I was a kid, my dad would occasionally play his Sgt. Pepper's album. I always liked the album, but never cared for this song. When I listen to it now, I appreciate the clever lyrics, and Lennon's skill as a writer. Read some Victorian writing; the language is flowery and descriptive. Lennon adopted the style of Victorian writers to describe his Victorian circus poster. All the "this song is about drugs" people focus on is the words "horse", which can mean "heroin." It can also mean a "large hoofed quadruped used for riding, drawing vehicles, etc." Horses are clever animals and can be trained to do tricks, including dancing the waltz. Or to put it simply: sometimes a horse is just a horse.
Kelly from Liverpool, United KingdomUgh didn't everyone think that the beatles sang their songs while on drugs. It was so stupid because they were such great artists that they would never be able to be that big from just drugs. yes they can admit that they wrote some songs on drugs, like LSD especially, but that doesn't entitle them to have written every song about drugs. obviously you can see the poster its about that poster. its obvious. so those of you who still think he wrote this song on drugs.. your idiots. And btw, some people still think that Hey Jude was about drugs. That is one of the most ridicules things I've ever heard, right next to the Paul is dead rumor. so stop thinking the Beatles wrote everything on drugs, and just think about how great their music is.
Faith from Liverpool, --They are so creative. How amazing.=)
Rosario from Naples, FlOne of my least favorite Beatles songs, but it's actually pretty cool.
Nick from Warren, MiFirst of all "Jacob" your signed name under your post says brian, so I don't know if that is added stupidity or if you are literally so stupid you do not know your name. Speaking of literally, the bible is alligorical and revelations is written in a much different wrtitting style than literal. This connection you made to this song and the beatles being witnesses is so unstable if you broke wind it would fall apart. If you watch "The Number 23" this is exactly what you are doing, you can add what ever you want to get the outcome of what ever you want. Watch you idiot I will even do it. The song says Mr. K performs his feats on Saturday, Mr. K is actually God, and saturday was his last day of creation and on the next he rested. Let us leave all this behind and move on to the real topic, Religion is atleast your opitate, and that of the masses. The bible is not historical, it is not supernatural it is a man made book full of man's stupidity, and somehow someone made a mistake in giving one to you. I do not think Christians are worried about Mary's tomb, maybe the catholics but they are not important, and forty years later they still will not find such a tomb, if it even exists. Please keep your religious fantasies to yourself. I think you had to much of christs blood pal, sleep it off.
Brianna from Spanaway, WaI love this song, but I'm doing a project on drug references in The Beatles music for school. I know every single song isn't about drugs, but it is very likely this one is. It is very abstract and doesn't have much to do with anything in particular.
Pippin from Rhye, CaBeing for the Benefit of Mr Kite! is my favorite song on Sgt. Pepper's. It puts me in a good mood to hear it. I strongly doubt the horse represents drugs. Don't you think that if it did, it would have appeared more in the song, rather than just the one passing reference? This song has no hidden meaning other than that it's just stuff taken from a poster that John happened to see. It's such a happy song, very light and innocent in comparison to other Beatles songs.
Jeff from Denver, CoI know this song is not a drug reference however I thought it was interesting how the director/ writer of across the universe took the misconception and threw it in with what was blatantly timothy Leary's mansion, its very interesting that the song ( if going by the drug references Mr. K being ketamine and Henry the Horse being heroin) directly relates to Leary's 8 circuits of consciousness model... not well thought out but still a thought none the less
Joel from Columbia, ScIn my humble opinion this song has nothing at all to do with drugs. That doesn't mean I'm right but I don't think that Henry the horse means heroin.
Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiOh my. Jacob thinks that John and Paul are in the Bible. We have another Charles Manson on our hands.
Forrest from Rochester, MnCheck out Eddie Izzard's version of this song on the "Across the Universe" soundtrack. It's hilarious, and makes the song fun which is what was intended with the original.
Peter from Stockholm, SwedenI think it's a remarkable song. Strange and surreal, yet genius! Just think of the idea to write the lyrics down from an old poster. Emazing! To get the strange - circus -atmospheric sound, I've heard they tossed the tapes up and cut them at random.
James from Gh, MiYou would think that if the song were about heroin that the horse reference would be used more in the song.
Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiThis song is so cool! Yet another crazy song from one of the greatest albums ever- Sgt. Pepper!
Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThere is no way in hell this is about drugs. Henry the Horse is not a drug reference. They got the song from a circus poster from the 1840s. They did advertise a horse named Zanthus. The Beatles changed his name to Henry to make it sound better. Gee, EVERYBODY wants to find a drug reference in Beatles songs...
Jerry from Brooklyn, NyEven Dan Brown with all his historical, artistic and theological inaccuracies of "The Da Vinci Code" was not as far out and delusional as what we have just read. Brown connected, you recall, Disney's "Little Mermaid" with Mary Magdalene. But this? On the other hand, there are NINE letters in Magdalene! Maybe that explains the bizarre "Revolution #9" Or, maybe "Mr Kite" is just a song about a Circus, based on a Voctorian poster, and very cleverly described in Victorian language.
Joel from Marsten HeathUsed to think this song was about drugs. Mainly the reference to Harry the Horse, as horse is slang for herion
Brian from Momence, IlHi, this is Jacob again. I posted a comment above stating that John and Paul were the two witnesses that are referenced in Revelations 11:3. I see that the only comment I directly received on this site was a big wooHOOOOOOO. It seems about right, for it is not quite time yet for the world to openly acknowledge that John and Paul were the two witnesses that delivered prophecy to the world for a 1,260-day period.
Again, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I strongly urge those interested to contact me to find out more. It is an incredible thing that will soon unfold. I apologize for all the grandiose talk and language but if you knew what I knew you would be in an elevated state as well, I'm sure.
You need to understand that whenever John and/or Paul took the time to openly state what a particular song was about that they were purposely misleading you because a 40-year period had to elapse before the prophecies they delivered were to be identified and understood. You see, the prophecies (I've identified four so far within their works) all deal with the same topic - they all describe in some form or fashion the current location of a very great religious artifact - the tomb of Mary Magdalene.
I do realize that the average meager human mind is unable to comprehend such a concept, much less resolve this type of statement down into their reality but I am able to prove that the location of the tomb of Mary Magdalene can be found within the works of John and Paul. I'll leave that whole topic alone for the time being.
What is more important now initially is to prove that John and Paul were in fact the two witnesses. I have many pieces of evidence that do just that and it turns out that this song - Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite - holds within it one of those very important pieces of evidence that builds the case that John and Paul were indeed the two witnesses.
As I stated already many times, Rev. 11:3 is the place in the Bible that the 'two witnesses' are talked about. In fact, this in the only place in the Bible that the 'two witnesses' are directly referred to. This is a very important passage as you will soon see.
There is a line in this song ? Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite - that goes as follows:
"The band begins at ten to six...."
Everyone spends all their time analyzing all of the other lines in this song - why not this one? Well, I believe that most people can't even really see and understand this line simply because it is not yet time to see and understand it.
That time of misunderstanding is drawing to a close now.
You see, the phrase 'the band begins at ten to six', when properly understood, leads us directly to Rev. 11:3.
Can you see how?
It took me about 18 months of research and devoted study to finally identify this relationship.
In order to understand how this line in the song and this biblical passage are related one must first have a basic understanding of the book of Revelations. It turns out that the book can really be divided into two sections, the first section being a series of letters that John sent to seven churches, and the second section being the actual vision that John had.
It turns out that the first three chapters in Revelations contain the seven letters I mention above. It isn't until Revelations 4:2 that we see that the vision is about to begin when John says (sic) 'at once I was in the spirit', depending on what version of the Bible you are reading.
What I found was that if I start counting the passages from Rev. 4:3 (the first passage of the vision) that exactly 106 verses later we land exactly on; yes....you figured it out, didn't you?
That's right, exactly 106 versus later we find ourselves at Revelations 11:3, the passage that states that the 'two witnesses will come and prophesy for 1,260 days'.
So, here we are being told that the 'band', in this case John and Paul, are the two witnesses. We see the poetic genius of John and Paul here as they transform the phrase 'ten to six' to '10 to 6' to '10-6' and then finally to 106.
This, my friends is how real inspired geniuses operate. They are so far above us that most of us can't even begin to comprehend what they accomplished, which is why most of us say that ? it is all meaningless?. By saying this we are really clinging to the hope that our ability to interpret reality is correct and adequate. Unfortunately, for most of us, it is not.
Most of us are lost.
So, I don't mean to ridicule, but all of you that think this song is meaningless or 'all about drugs', well, I have to say that you are all wrong. It's true that John and Paul always said that 'you can get whatever you want out of a song' but isn't it our goal to get out of the song what they actually put into it?
I do hope that someone that reads this will take the time to count the passages as I explain above to verify what I am saying.
Also, although this line holds much importance in the respect I describe above, I should probably go ahead at this time and further give you cause for yet another wooHOO by telling you that I have been fortunate enough to determine what the entire song is about.
Are you ready?
Revelations 13 is a chapter in Revelations that is perhaps one of the most important chapters in that book. It is a story of TWO beasts, one of which turns out to be what we today call the anti-Christ, the one tied directly to the number 666. Revelations 13:18 is where the famous 666 reference is found in the Bible.
What I found was that this song, which also contains TWO characters - Mr. H and Mr. K -, is simply a parable-like rendition of Revelations 13. Once one understands that Mr. H represents the first beast and Mr. K represents the second beast the song takes on a meaning in a whole new light. It?s quite easy to tie the characters in the song and the biblical passages together once one knows what to look for. How many ways can you tie the two beasts in Rev. 13 to Mr. H and Mr. K?
I think the better question is - how many relationships would it take before you finally put away all of those incorrect interpretations that have been misleading the general public for the last 40 years? I am sure that many of you will find it quite hard to accept that everything said about this song for the last 40 years is incorrect. After all, how could so many people be so wrong? And what about John holding that famous poster up and telling us that THIS IS WHAT THE SONG IS ABOUT?
Don't you understand that a great artist never tells what the work of art is all about? Doing that destroys the power of the piece of art. Find any great artist and ask them if this is true and if you can get an honest answer you will get the very same point of view that I am telling you at this time.
Well, there is so much more to this story but in order to tell it we would need to go beyond the bounds of Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite so I will stop now as this page is for just this song.
Rest assured, the tomb of Mary will be found. It is a vital event that must take place and I can prove that also beyond that wall of doubt that resides within you at this time.
So, if you aren't just out here pissing in the wind, if you are like the many on this planet that 'have this feeling' that there is something more to the music of John and Paul than has been yet disclosed, please take a good look at their music, but a take a look at everything with no preconceptions about the meaning. You may fare well in those waters if you wish to.
You know. Timothy Leary wrote quite a few articles and essays about The Beatles. In one I read he aid something that really gave me the proper perspective. He said basically this:
?Everyone was really amazed when John and Paul headed east to meet the Maharishi. It was very big news. But what people don?t realize is that the meeting did not take place because The Beatles wanted to meet the Maharishi and gain enlightenment, but rather it was the other way around ? the Maharishi was the one that was seeking new enlightenment from The Beatles. To me, this is an obvious observation to me. I hope that some day you will also understand this to be a true statement as well.
I better go. I may not be back for a while. Write if you want to write. There is so much more to tell.
Brian from Momence, IlI am proud to announce that a breakthrough has been made regarding the interpretation of a period of songs released by John and Paul, including the songs they released on Sgt. Pepper.
To make an incredibly long story incredibly short I will leave you with this observation - the song Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite is nothing more than a parable-like rendition of the entire chapter of Revelations 13. I can prove this beyond all those doubts that are swirling around your head right now.
Furthermore, there is much, much more to this biblical relationship than at first meets the eye here.
I'll give you a hint - read Revelations 11, particularly Revelations 11:3. There is mention of 'two witnesses'.
I am able to prove that John and Paul were those 'two witnesses' with a myriad of facts and observations I have been able to make and tie together.
Yes, John and Paul were the 'two witnesses' and they did deliver prophetic messages to the world for 1,260 days. Not only can I prove this is true but I have also identified the prophecies they delivered.
It will blow your mind what the prophecies deal with, on that I give you my word.
My email is email@example.com. If you are a huge fan of John and Paul or if you are a huge fan of Revelations contact me if you want to hear more.
Finally, after a 40-year period of misunderstanding the artistically inspired genius of John and Paul, the truth and sheer power of John and Paul is going to come to light for all to see.
Mike from Edmonds, WaJerry Seinfeld has stated on many occasions that this is his favorite Beatles song of all time because it is about nothing.
Sal from Bardonia , NyThis song uses a sound collage/musique concrete techniques with sampling to help make this a trippy carnival song another wierd style blending by the Beatles.
Andrew from Essex, EnglandMr Kite was never going to follow the title track; the "Billy Shears" sung at the front of "With a little help..." pretty much glues it after the first track, however it was initially planned to make Mr Kite the third track - on the 1987 CD this initial listing was given for side 1: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" "With a Little Help from My Friends" "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" "Fixing a Hole" "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" "Getting Better" "She's Leaving Home"
More speculatively, Strawberry Fields and Penny Lane were originally recorded for Sgt Pepper but used as a single instead, its interesting to think what the album would have been with those two tracks - what would have been missed out?
Fyodor from Denver, CoA friend who makes experimental music as Vuzh Music listed this song as an influence (along with some very obscure experimental artists) on his project to make a composition entirely out of found cassette tape. Back when cassettes were the most popular format of recorded music, cassette tape detached from its casing was commonly seen as refuse on the ground in various places, especially along the side of the road. He invited all his friends to send him any such tape they could find and he spliced it all together. I forget what it sounds like, though I believe I played it on my experimental music radio show once.
Steve from Fenton, MoI think you've got to ignore most of John's comments on the Beatles and on his songs in the 1970 interview. The Beatles had just broken up, he was probably going through Primal Scream therapy, and he no doubt was trying to forge a new identity with Plastic Ono Band. Let's face it, the Beatles are an impossible act to follow. He no doubt was intimidated by his past compositions (who wouldn't be), so he may have been trying to bring them down a notch by saying derogatory things about them. But given that backdrop, this is a complex song. I believe John would not put forth the effort to write a song like this if he didn't like the song.
Sally from Dublin, Ireland"Lennon denies way too much. Give it up you stoned Brit. You were a pin cushion. A very talented, smart, peaceful and inspiring pincushion....But a pincushion nontheless!!! I love the Beatles.....Ok I'm done..."
Okay... uh, John didn't inject heroin. And he didn't even smoke it until '68. Good song, this, and nice Anthology quote!
Josh from Erlanger, KyBest song on Sgt. Pepper. He got the words and title from an 1843 circus poster while hanging around shops with Tony Bramwell (Beatles friend and tour manager). Very nifty poster I'd say.
Patrick from Tallapoosa, GaUsing the steam organ mixed with the harmonicas gave the illusion of a calliope being played, which is a common instrument used at the circus. Even if you're not on drugs, if you listen to this song you can almost see yourself at the circus.
Sylvia from London, England Yes, Johnny. I'm a really young fan too but yet I know tons and tons of stuff about them. But anyways, I'm So Tired IS just about John's favorite place: his bed! lots of places say so.
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaI'm only 13, I probably don't know as much about the Beatles as some of you guys do, but I do know that I'm Only Sleeping is not a drug song! John is just tired! I've felt that way- leave me alone I'm sleeping-
Sylvia from London, EnglandAwesome song! Yet another great John song. Love it. Very weird. Kinda creepy. I played this on Halloween along with "Blue Jay Way" and "A Day In The Life".
Nathan from Defiance, OhWhat does a psychadelic circus clown look like?
Meredith from Mechanicsburg, PaOn the Beatles Anthology CD there is a really funny outtake of this song where John starts to sing in a really nasaly voice and then Paul interrupts him saying "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite take 7" and then John mutters "BEING for the benefit of Mr. Kite." Classic. John is my hero.
Lee from Clearwater, FlRegardless of what Lennon said, time and repetition states that Sgt Pepper isn't Sgt Pepper without Mr. Kite. It has a distinct place in Pepperland.
Greg from Garden City, NyI think it's a great song even though it is a little weird. That is what makes it great.
Steve from Liverpool, EnglandNo! No! No! Why does everything have to be about drugs!!! NOT TRUE! I have seen the actual poster from which the lyrics to the song was taken and it is exactly what John says. He did not derive much pleasure writing this song because he pinched the words off the poster but the music to the song fits perfectly for a fairground and I think it is a fabulous song.
Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScWell whatever it's about it's a great song. I remember listening to it with my dad when we would listen to the Sgt. Peppers album. i think I first remember listening to it when I was 10 years old.
Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI think I read on this website (the songfacts website) that Lennon got the words for song almost word for word from the circus poster, and that he found the poster in an antique shop.
Nessie from Sapporo, JapanWe could just as easily say that "Henry" in "Henry the Horse" is a reference to pot(Henry --> Henry the VIIth --> an eighth of an ounce). But I ain't sayin' it.
Al from Qawe, AlI love this song, really unorthodox
Paul's bass playing is brilliant.
Natasha from Chico, CaHey simon, thanx for the link, its an awesome poster, and ya, ppl should check it out, then you'll see that the horse is an actual horse, tho there could be a double meaning, who knows... and btw, Lucy in the Sky isn't about drugs, it's based on a drawing that Lennon's son Julian drew in school :)
Simon from Sydney, Australiathe poster is here: http://home.att.ne.jp/air/tony/radiohead/MrKite.jpg
Lisa from Nyc, NyFrom what it reads in George Martin's autobiography, to get the amalgam of carousel noises, he got together some Victorian steam organ recordings and dubbed them on the tape... he told the engineer to cut the tape into pieces about a foot long, fling them into the air, and finally stick them back in whatever order they come... the guy thought he was completely crackers but did it, getting the freaky background sounds as a result.
Don from Philadelphia, PaWell it is a Psychedelic song, you know.
Drew from Kansas City, MoNot about drugs... not about drugs...
Si from London, EnglandI have a feeling that the use of the word "Horse" as slang for heroin started much later than 1967.
Mike from Jackson, NjOne of Lennon's most insane driven songs - I mean...the whole song is nuts...just listen to the words! But it's brilliant in anyway shape or form.
Ian from Urbana, IlYears later, the circus still tastes just as fresh.
Adrian from Wilmington, DeGet over it, Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is not about LSD. There's no reason for the Beatles to lie about that especially when Paul admitted to the media in 1967 that they did do LSD.
Liza from The Dalles, OrHorses are always in circuses. They dance sometimes. Not to mention, Lennon admitted to many drup trips, why would this be an exception?
Matthew from New York, NyLennon reportedly told George Martin that he wanted to "taste the circus" on this song. All the sound techniques and samples and organs were all devised by Martin in an attempt to create a psychadelic circus.
Matthew from New York, NyLennon wrote a number of songs about drugs, everything from Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds to I'm Only Sleeping. But this is NOT a drug song! Lennon did not start doing heroin until about a year later, and only was on the drug for a few months--he kicked the habit rather quickly (during this time, he had the insanely large beard). At the time of this song, he was just doing speed (which he didn't kick until the late 70s), pot (never kicked), and LSD (stopped a couple of years later). Henry the Horse is in fact on the poster.
Ben Russell from Durham, NcThis song is about a poster from the late 1800s early 1900s advertising a circus (I think). It might also be about heroin, but who cares. I know I don't. this is a great song.
Patrick from Durham, NcLennon denies way too much. Give it up you stoned Brit. You were a pin cushion. A very talented, smart, peaceful and inspiring pincushion....But a pincushion nontheless!!! I love the Beatles.....Ok I'm done.
John from London, EnglandThis was recently credited as the first song to use samples. (All those mixed up fairground organ sounds).