I Am The Walrus

Album: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
Charted: 56
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  • John Lennon wrote this song. As stated in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook, John was throwing together nonsense lyrics to mess with the heads of scholars trying to dissect The Beatles songs. They also mention that it's John's answer to Bob Dylan's "getting away with murder" style of songwriting. Lennon told Playboy years later that "I can write that crap too," which is rarely mentioned in relation to this song.
  • Lennon explained the origins of this song in his 1980 Playboy interview: "The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko. Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna. All these people were going on about Hare Krishna, Allen Ginsberg in particular. The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all your faith in any one idol. I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, in those days."
  • Lennon got the idea for the oblique lyrics when he received a letter from a student who explained that his English teacher was having the class analyze Beatles songs. Lennon answered the letter; his reply was sold as memorabilia at a 1992 auction. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Emery - San Jose, CA
  • The voices at the end of the song came from a BBC broadcast of the Shakespeare play King Lear, which John Lennon heard when he turned on the radio while they were working on the song. He decided to mix bits of the broadcast into the song, resulting in some radio static and disjointed bits of dialogue.

    The section of King Lear used came from Act Four, Scene 6, with Oswald saying: "Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse," which comes in at the 3:52 mark. After Oswald dies, we hear this dialogue:

    Edgar: "I know thee well: a serviceable villain, As duteous to the vices of thy mistress As badness would desire."

    Gloucester: "What, is he dead?"

    Edgar: "Sit you down, father. Rest you."
  • The idea for the Walrus came from the poem The Walrus and The Carpenter, which is from the sequel to Alice in Wonderland called Through the Looking-Glass. In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said: "It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, s--t, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it?"
  • When Lennon decided to write confusing lyrics, he asked his friend Pete Shotton for a nursery rhyme they used to sing. Shotton gave them this rhyme, which Lennon incorporated into the song:

    Yellow matter custard, green slop pie
    All mixed together with a dead dog's eye
    Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick
    Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick
  • The song's opening line, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" is based on the song "Marching To Pretoria," which contains the lyric, "I'm with you and you're with me and we are all together." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 3
  • The choir at the end sings, "Oompah, oompah, stick it in your jumper" and "Everybody's got one, everybody's got one."
  • This song helped fuel the rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. It's quite a stretch, but theorists found these clues in the lyrics, none of which are substantiated:

    "Waiting for the van to come" means the three remaining Beatles are waiting for a police van to come. "Pretty little policemen in a row" means policemen did show up.

    "Goo goo ga joob" were the final words that Humpty Dumpty said before he fell off the wall and died.

    During the fade, while the choir sings, a voice says "Bury Me" which is what Paul might have said after he died.

    During the fade, we hear someone reciting the death scene from Shakespeare's play "King Lear."

    In addition, a rumor circulated that Walrus was Greek for "corpse" (it isn't) in Greek, so that is what people thought of Paul being the Walrus. Also, in the video, the walrus was the only dark costume.
  • The BBC banned this for the lines "pornographic priestess" and "let your knickers down."
  • This was released as the B-side to "Hello Goodbye," which Paul McCartney wrote. This angered Lennon because he felt this was much better.
  • In The Beatles song "Glass Onion," Lennon sang, "The Walrus was Paul." He got a kick out of how people tried to interpret his lyrics and figure out who the Walrus was.
  • Lennon got the line "Goo Goo Ga Joob" from the book Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce. "Semolina Pilchard" was Detective Sergeant Norman Pilcher, head of the Scotland Yard Drugs Unit. He led the arrests of both John Lennon and Brian Jones before being investigated himself for blackmail and bribery in the '70s. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Matt - London, England
  • Eric Burdon (of Animals and War fame) stated in his biography that he is the Egg Man. It seems he told John Lennon of a sexual experience he was involved in where an egg played a major part. After that, John called him Egg Man.
  • ELO's song "Hello My Old Friend" has an identical form to this - almost the same tune and orchestration but different words. No wonder Jeff Lynne is sometimes referred to as the sixth Beatle.
  • In The Beatles Lyrics, journalist Hunter Davies explains that he was with John Lennon when the song first came to him. They were swimming in a pool when a police siren sounded outside. It triggered a rhythm in Lennon's head, and he later added to that rhythm the words, "Mist-er Cit-ee police-man sitting pretty."

    Lennon related this same story to Jonathan Cott in 1968, saying, "I had this idea of doing a song that was a police siren, but it didn't work in the end... You couldn't really sing the police siren."
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, "The Bart Of War," airing May 18, 2003, Bart and Milhouse break into a secret room in the Flanders' household to discover that Ned is a Beatles fanatic. Bart takes a sip from a can of 40-year-old Beatles-themed novelty soda and quotes this song: "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye," while Milhouse takes a trip and sees various Beatles inspired hallucinations. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ashley - Moncton, Canada
  • Styx covered this song in 2004 and made a music video for it with a cameo from Billy Bob Thornton. They performed it at Eric Clapton's Crossroads benefit that year, and incorporated it into their set lists. Their version appears on their One with Everything DVD. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Caitlyn - Farmington Hills, MI
  • After John Lennon went solo, he wrote a song called "God" where he sang, "I was the walrus, but now I am John." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Webspin - Daytona, FL
  • Artists to cover this song include Guided By Voices, Jackyl, Phil Lesh, Love/Hate, Men Without Hats, Oasis, Oingo Boingo, Spooky Tooth and Styx. The Dead Milkmen recorded a completely different song with the same title in 1987.
  • Frank Zappa and the Mothers Of Invention performed the song as part of their late '70s - early '80s live repertoire, giving it their own comic treatment. It was a favorite of the fans. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dan - Milwaukee, WI
  • Bono sings this song in the movie Across the Universe, a film centered around the music of The Beatles. In the film, he plays Dr. Robert, also a reference to another Beatles song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jordan - Brooklyn, NY
  • This was the first song the Beatles recorded after Brian Epstein's death. Engineer Geoff Emerick recalled, "the look of emptiness on their faces when they were playing."
  • John Lennon's "I'm Crying..." lyric came from the Smokey Robinson & the Miracles song "Ooh Baby Baby," where Robinson sings that phrase in the refrain.
  • In the Anthology version of this song, they experiment with four octaves in the intro. Also, just before Lennon says, "Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun," Ringo does two hits on snare and floor tom before hitting crash. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Riley - Elmhurst, IL
  • In the 2001 Stephen King novel Dreamcatcher, a psychiatrist named Henry Devlin sings this as he tries to destroy an alien parasite and its eggs.

Comments: 289

  • Jean from 78626Brian from Liverpool, my mom would go around and say the "oompa oompa" phrase
  • Brian from LiverpoolThe part umpa umpa stick it up your jumper was an old playground song, kids used to sing, the other not connected to this song was pulling your shorts up and singing who wears shorts shorts, and yellow matter custard, all nonsense playground made up songs.
    Anyway back to the umpa umpa, there was a song back in the 1930,s by the two leslies called umpa umpa stick it up your jumper, so that’s probably where John Lennon might have got the line from, along with yellow matter custard, both popular playground songs back then.
  • Zeke from NycAlmost all of the comments on “I Am the Waltus” are mentioned in “The Beatles A Hard Day’s Write,” by Steve Turner.
    When I was in college in the 60’s, a friend suggested that both “semolina” and “pilchard” are low forms of their species “climbing up the Eiffel Tower,” indicating upward mobility. But if Lennon wrote this as a nonsense song, what do we make of all these analyses?!
  • Think About That For A Minute from Minnesota So I read through a lot of comments and while anyone should be able to understand the different interpretations of what people think John means in this song is understandable, can anyone explain why people claim to hear different things being said? 'Stick it in your jumper' had been documented as what is being said at the end of the track and many agree. Many more think those people are crazy and argue it says "smoke pot smoke pot every body smoke pot " Now that is what I hear and it could be explained that is what they are saying but due to the times in which they were saying it, they may have tried to get away with it by claiming something more sedate. I would like to offer another possibility. YANNY! or is it LAUREL? There is so much debate on this, could this be another example of that phenomenon?
  • Bc from NyOn the US single release there are few extra bars after “I’m Crying”...and just prior to “Yellow matter custard”. This mix was unique to the US
  • Music from ChicagoPeople...relax! It's a song...he was tripping while coming up with the lyrics. Has any one in the comments ever trip?
  • Bridget from CoThis sounds a little like it could be about a super crazy costume party.
  • Randall L Dickens from Albuquerque, New MexicoI am the total Beatles Fan; Sadly, I came in the service in 1967 and lost touch with the Fab Four! As far as I am concerned the Beatles were the Band of the 1960s and 70s!
  • Steve from Milford, Ct UsIs John saying after a question "How are you sir"?....."We may have maintained a fortune here."...a response is then heard "we could have". I listened with headphones, it does sound like that listening closely....do you hear that or is that not correct?
  • Zabo from Pugh, Pa.Reading below it seems everybody thinks they've got all the answers to this song.
    I'm just going to say it's a good song and shouldn't be deciphered . After all john Lennon said all there was to be said about it. But for those still trying......Good Luck!
  • Trebor from TexasYes Johan, George Martin was such a failure as a producer of The Beatles music, and The Beatles were so crippled by his advice and help. Such monumental failures and a grand waste of talent!! Give up Johan you are pathetic in your assessment of George Martin's and Paul McCartney's talents and ultimate contributions to The Beatles legacy.
  • Johan Cavalli from SwedenGeorge Martin didn't always understand Lennon's music. Martin brought up in the 1930s, and wanted the pop music to sound like Irwing Berlin's songs. Martin couldn't realize that Lennon had at least two kind of melody types: one with an outer mobility, and one with an inner mobility. In the outer mobility melody type the melody goes up and down in the scale, and uses several notes. In the inner mobility melody type, the melody consists of only one note, but the background changes instead., for example in Julia.
    --Martin preferred Love Me Do instead of Ask Me Why (The Mammut Book of the Beatles, Sean Egan, 2009).
    --Martin didn't like Tomorrow Never Knows, when he heard it the first time. He just said "hmm, hmm". (The Beatles, Bob Spitz, 2005, pg 601).
    --Martin didn't like All You Need Is Love when he heard it the first time. George Martin leaned toward Paul and muttered: "Well, it's certainly repetitive" (Spits again, pg 700).
    --Martin didn't like I Am The Walrus when he heard it the first time. "What the hell do you expect me to do with that?" he asked. (Here, There and Everywhere, Geoff Emerick, 2006, pg 213).
    Martin was were more close to McCartney, than to Lennon (Emerick again pg 7).
    --1964 there was an LP record released by Martin called Off The Beatles Track, with Martin's instrumentations. In I Want to Hold Your Hand, Martin completely missed the point: he didn't put in the octave run in "…I want to hold your HAND!!!...". The same mistake in Please Please Me: he didn't put in the octave run in "…it so hard to reason with YOU!!!..." the most important bits in these two songs. He wanted them to sound more commercial.
    --1994 George Martin released the record George Martin, instrumentally salutes, "The Beatle Girls", where George Martin hasn't understand Lennon's melody in Girl! The melody behind "…who came to stay…" has a half note fall between "who came", but Martin has a whole note. In fact that changes the temperament completely in the song. And why isn't the verse melody in I'm Only Sleeping taken twice? George Martin ought to know that the verse melody always is presented twice.
  • Babbling Babette from Tulsa OkI read a Rolling Stone magazine years ago in which they regarded this song as a Lennon masterpiece. I must agree. It mentioned that it was the B-side to the #1 hit "Hello Goodbye," written by Paul McCartney, but "Walrus" is so superior to it. The Beatles, and John Lennon in particular, were said to always be "pushing the envelope" in musical creativity. Wonder what John would be up to, had he lived. He was a musical genius.
  • Steve from Carthage, NcEverybody's got one. Everybody's got one. Everybody's got one. Eric Burden of the Animals was the egg man, according to Paul, who was the walrus, according to John.
  • Randy from Fayettevile, Ar"I Am The Walrus" - - - - yeah, I've loved the song since '67 when I was in college. It's a fun song by Lennon, who is regarded as a genius composer by many. Yep, it was the flip-side of the single to "Hello Goodbye" written by Paul. I've always preferred most Beatles' song written by Lennon to be superior to McCartney's. In "I Am The Walrus," Lennon was sort of playing with our minds. For those other baby-boomers who recall those times, it was crazy times, the Summer of Love, psychedelia, free love, pot, etc. etc. Kind of difficult to describe to these Gen X kids now, but it was a fun & wild time. This song exemplifies some of that.
  • Lada from Zelenograd , Russia FederationCrazy but great song. Love it
  • Larry from Pleasant Valley, CtI had a real brainstorm about this song whilst watching "Nat's Dream" on the new Magical Mystery Tour DVD, especially the lyric "Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower" - an epiphany that started me on a Google quest, the pieces fit, it's too much for mere coincidence, this must be the origin of the line, etc. The only problem is the film was shot in September 1967, the song was recorded in August. Still, a strange coincidence, I wonder if this crossed Lennon's mind the day he directed "Nat's Dream".

    "Nat's Dream" was shot at the "Huer's Hut" near the Atlantic Hotel in Newquay, Cornwall. One scene features Nat pursuing a lovely young woman in blue up the stairs of the Hut. A plaque on the Hut describes it's use in olden days as a place where the "Huer" or fish spotter, kept watch for schools of sardines, or pilchards. When seen, the huer called the local fishermen to their boats. There is a plaque on the hut that gives the history, including the word Pilchard. Lennon must have read the plaque that day of the shoot.

    The soundtrack to the film is "Shirley's Wild Accordion", a composition played by another lovely lady, the accordionist Shirley Evans, who also appears in the film. I submit for your consideration the coincident analogy between the woman in blue/Shirley to "Semolina Pilchard" and the stair scene to "climbing up the Eiffel Tower".

    On one of the easter eggs in the DVD the cast is shown eating lunch at the Atlantic Hotel, everyone is drinking wine except Lennon, who has a nice glass of milk in a wine glass. Could he or someone around him have also had semolina pudding for desert?

    So, I thought this brainstorm had given me new insights into the lyric, only to learn the song was recorded a month before the film was shot....curiouser and curiouser!

    Here are some pictures of the Huer's Hut, including a good shot of the staircase:

    Here is John Lennon at the Huer's Hut directing "Nat's Dream":

    Here is the young woman who climbs the stairs, second from left:

    Here is the plaque on the Huer's Hut, mentioning Pilchard:

    Et viola! "Semolina Pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower"

  • David from London, United KingdomI don't agree this is simply a "nonsense" song, despite what Lennon might say about its origins.

    It seems to me it is much more a meditation on or hymn to identity forged in the white heat of his LSD experiences.

    Either that, or there are a lot of strange coincidences in this song...

    1. "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" - clearly that sets up this tension between I and We...between our individuality and our universality. I think this theme is also picked up in the title - "I am the Walrus" - I Am/the All Us (sounds like Walrus) - and links human individuality with animal existence (remember the Beatles' fondness for animal masks - one of the effects of LSD is to bring us closer to this our animal origins and I believe they were trying to express this through their usage of masks - as primitive peoples do.)

    2. "I am the eggman" - An egg-man is clearly in some senses both woman and man... the egg being identified with woman and the man with male. So here the song takes us into that female-male identity border area. The themes of individuality v. universality are cleverly combined with the theme of gender at the end of the song: "I am the eggman, They are the eggmen." - by pluralising the "eggmen".

    3. The song references King Lear at the end. Anyone who knows their Shakespeare knows that this is the ultimate drama about identity - a King who has it all is reduced to just a consciousness when he is stripped of all his powers, of his family and of all support (being an old man). Maybe this was just one of those Beatles coincidences - but it is indeed a perfect coincidence that they should reference that particular play.

    4. The song cleverly references the sources of identity in childhood: "Man, you been a naughty boy, you let your face grow long. " Man-boy: "The child is father of the man". Children are really unable to separate the idea of their own emotional worth from society's judgement of them. So naughtiness becomes equated with sadness or vice versa.

    5. The "eggman" of course links in with Humpty Dumpty who of course famously announced that a word could mean whatever he wanted it to. I read that Goo-goo-gojoob or whatever it is was what Humpty said as he fell. Need to check that but it links in nicely with the theme of individuality - we have I Am He As We...Eggman...Humpty...defining meaning himself. Here Lennon is asking what is the meaning of meaning. Is it arbitrary or is it a social construct? There is no answer in the song (unlike his later didactic songs) but the song is definitely playing with this ideas of identity and identity-meaning.

    Probably enough for now!
  • Bill from Ohio, Oh“Crabalocker fishwife, Pornographic priestess…” Man, that line still blows me away. Drugs or no drugs, absolutely brilliant imagery! How does someone come up with THAT? To be in Lennon’s head for a minute would have been fascinating. I often wonder what further impact he would have had on modern music if his life wasn’t abruptly ended at 40.
  • Jessica from Liverpool, United KingdomI'm from Liverpool, just like The Beatles, and "stick it up your jumper" has used to be a common slang phrase. It goes back to when Liverpool's pubs, clubs and bars started making people show ID when they went in, and you'd put your weed "up your jumper"(even if you weren't wearing a jumper, we'd still say it... I don't know why). It's more common amongst the older generation (Beatles generation). Some of the younger generation in Liverpool think it's suggesting something sexual. But it's not. But anyway... They definitely say "everybody smoke pot". But m just saying, it does kind of make sense that they'd say "stick it up your jumper". But they don't...
  • Jeffrey Boe from Campbell, Caoops. someone has a transcription of those fade out line. okay, i'll buy that. but i believe paul is dead & the cover-up was a mistake. i was inspired by the beatles to go into music. in high school, when it occurred, i might've ended up in the army where i was supposed to be, what with my mother's side of the family bieng tri-lateral. paul is dead & there is a cover up & it was a major mistake.
  • Jeffrey Boe from Campbell, Cain the last few seconds of the song certain statements are made. paul says; is your damned father dead? who's father were the beatle's waiting on to die? a future sideman maybe???
  • Guy from Benson, NcHARRY, They are singing "oompah ompah stick it up your jumper." This is noted in the Beatles book on their recording sessions. They hire the choir and Lennon had them sing this.
  • Harry from Sunnyvale, Ca"Oompah oompah stick it in your jumper" doesn't sound at all like the what the voices are saying. "Oompah oompah everybody smoke pot" is what they're saying, and pot fits with the theme of the song, not some nonsense about sticking something in your jumper, that's just crazy.

  • Esskayess from Dallas, TxI know a guy who works for Eggland Farms. He is the Egg Man.
  • Jiveswallow from Cherryvale, Australiai'm sorta surprised that considering this is a site for beatle nuts,that nobody has read the interview where lennon states that it's,,"got one,got one,everybodys got one"..maybe somebody in this forum has already pointed that out ,but i couldn't find anybody...lennon said it referred to that fact that everyones got one mouth ,one arsehole, etc..the film actually kinda demonstrates this at the end of the song.stone me if i'm wrong folks....
  • Dc from Seattle, WaWell, firstly, I read most of the comments, and not one person comments on the beautiful, mysterious and melodic music arrangements or melodies, orchestras, etc. Secondly, the line" Boy, you've been a naughty girl, you've let your knickers down"...does that need any explanation?. I found out what knickers are from British TV shows... Let's just say it isn't a polite thing to do!
  • Daniel from Buenos Aires, ArgentinaThis my favourite song from Beatles. One detail that knocks me off is that many articulations of the instruments are glissandi. I think that Lennon gave that clue to G Martin (I suppose) . And maybe a reason and It has to be with the acid visions of things melting around.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenWhen Lennon the first time played the song for George Martin in September 1967, George Martin showed that he despised the song. Lennon succeeded to get some uncommon arrangements in the song, against Martins wish. (The book "Here, There and Everywhere" by Geoff Emerick, 2006, pages 213 and 215). George Martin often despised Lennons music, and prefered McCartneys more conventional music. George Martin has contributed to the split of the Beatles

    McCartneys more conventional music. George Matin has contributed to the split of the Beatles.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenThe musical change to "sitting in a an English Garden..." reminds very much of many of the musical changes from chaos to lyrical bits in the "Immolation Scene" in Wagners "Götterdämmerung"
  • John from Ny, NyI am absolutely convinced the lyrics to "I Am The Walrus" was a surreal allegory about Joseph Stalin (the walrus) and Vladimir Lenin (the eggman) of Russia's Soviet Union.

    http: // www. youtube. com / watch?v=8Bwl8FcD3xY
  • Eva from Stinkpot, MacauI am the walrus. Sur law is walrus backwards. The first word is French for over, Lennon is saying he is above the law. goo goo ga joob is baby language, for "You do the food" a tribute to Aunt Mimi who made him dinner when he was growing up. Corporation is the BBC (british broadcasting corporation) and the teeshirt is the thing that all people in Britain must have visible, the Television License. "Stupid bloody tuesday" is Lennon's view of the day after Monday, which is traditionally the worst day because it's the first day of the working week. Tuesday is a stupid bloody day because it comes after the worst day but we all still go to work on Tuesdays. People expected the Beatles to be cheerful and positive and Lennon heard a lot of comments from people who thought he was a bad man being serious (i.e. long-faced). I am the eggman denotes confusion about whether he is a woman or a man (ref Brian Epstein who was a homosexual) and Lennon is saying we all have that confusion at some time or another. You are the Walrus indicates that if anybody is above the law, somebody else is. Sitting on a cornflake is about a sect of Buddhists who meditate on sacks of grain and Lennon thinks they are flaky because of that. Waiting for the van to come is about the vehicle that brings them more sacks of grain to sit upon. Crabalocker is a metal box that is put in a long line of lockers, sideways i.e. crab fashion, like a row of jail cells. A fishwife is a woman who gossips and complains, Lennon wants to put complainers and gossiping women in prison cells. Pornographic Priestess is the way some Christians feel about Mary who gave birth to Jesus Christ, and he mentions them because they of all people should not be jailed. Becaus they are really no different from the rest of us. Singing Hare Krishna is about Mary being similar to women in Eastern religions, Edgar Allen Poe is simple intrigue, complexity, mystery, that people are horrified by, and that applies to anybody, but we all kick him and try to ruin his reputation. THe song follows in a similar vein. .
  • Harry from Poole, United KingdomInteresting to read the comments of people who have burst the bubble of some of the urban myths about this song.

    Here is another one:
    Semolina Pilchard is NOT a reference to Norman Pilcher.
    I Am The Walrus was released before the end of 1967. Lennon probably wrote it by the end of summer that year.
    Norman Pilcher arrested Lennon on October 18, 1968. One year after Lennon wrote the song.
    Pilcher had only been transferred to the Drug Squad in late 1967. By the time Lennon wrote the song, he probably wasn't even in the Drug Squad.
    So, that is a total urban myth.
  • Jim from Near I55/i40, TnThere's a bunch of crap written here about the song by people who have no idea about the origins of Lennon and what was common to him in his childhood, etc. Pontificating and pondering about the words is a waste of time. They are a bit of fun, from somebody who had fun with words for decades. He was a funny bloke who had a great sense of the absurd even in school. He wrote nonsense verse that could have come straight out of Lewis Carroll, before he was 16, and definitely recited the "oompah oompah stick it up your jumper" kid's (and adults') thing from the part of England just north of Wales just like we all did. And, as far as the "Everybody Smoke Pot", it's garbage. It is "Everybody's Got One", which probably refers to the Ooompah Oompah rhyme (for you US people, it means something along the lines of Stick It Up Your Ass". And, in the same way, opinions. For, like assholes, everybody's got one. That, my friends, is the fun song.
  • Rocco from New York City, NyHere are the lines from King Lear that are read by several different Beatles and friends:
    Slave, thou hast slain me: villain, take my purse:
    If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
    And give the letters which thou find'st about me
    To Edmund earl of Gloucester; seek him out
    Upon the British party: O, untimely death!


    I know thee well: a serviceable villain;
    As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
    As badness would desire.

    What, is he dead?

    Sit you down, father; rest you
  • Matt from Washington, Dc, Dc"Oompah oompah stick it in your jumper" appears much less likely a lyric than "smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot." I know what the latter means, but what's this "stick it in your jumper" supposed to mean? It was all about marketing and relevance to the drug culture and deniability. And their goofy lyics designed to see what rumors would surface next was not a safe way to write music. The most notable misinterpretation of a Beatles song must certainly be by the Manson family.
  • Steve from Whittier, Ca"I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" is featured after a bridge in the 1969 Chicago song "South California Purples" [CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, side two of cassette version, Columbia and later Chicago records]
  • George from Belleville, NjThis is classic rock.This song is unique.The lyrics seem like nonsense,but I think there is some meaning behind them,but for me it's the music that really shines.Very complex,very sinister sounding but powerful with a strong melody.Has anyone heard of the missing beat? I have the original 45 rpm single released in 1967 and on that record during the brief instrumental break there's an extended part that lasts a bit longer than what is heard on the newer released versions on record and CD.I think it makes the song even more mysterious.One of the weirdest songs ever written.
  • Brian from Boston, MaAt the end of the song it does say smoke pot smoke pot everybody smoke pot.Why is this so hard for some people to believe? Here he have the words actually being said and people still deny the drug reference.
  • Harold from University Park, Payou all need to listen more closely to the ending. they are clearly saying "everybody wants one" and "oompa oompa stick it to your jumper" or some variation of the two at the end, overlapping and making it easy to confuse the actual lyrics.

    and yes, saying that it's "everybody smoke pot" is very juvenile of you.
  • Harold from University Park, PaNo idea who wrote this, but it makes more sense! :D

    I still like the original lyrics though.

    I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.
    See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly.
    I'm crying.

    Sitting on a bench, waiting for the bus to come.
    Corporation t-shirts, stupid bloody Tuesday.
    You've been a naughty boy, you let your hair grow long.
    I am eating eggs, they are eating eggs, I'm John Lennon,
    Goo goo ga joob.

    Mister City P'liceman sitting
    Pretty little girls in a row.
    See how they fly like a plane in the Sky, see how they fly.
    I'm crying.
    I'm cry, I'm crying, I'm cry.

    Yellow custard, dripping from a large black pot.
    Fisherman with his fishwife,
    You've been a naughty boy and you let your face get dirty.
    I am eating eggs (woo), they are eating eggs (woo), I am John Lennon,
    Goo goo ga joob.

    Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
    If the sun don't come, you get wet from
    Sitting in the English rain.
    I am eating eggs, they are eating eggs, I am John Lennon,
    goo goo gajoob ga goo goo gajoob.

    Expert singers, choking smokers
    Don't you think the joker laughs at you? (ho ho ho, he he he, ha ha ha)
    See how they snort like pigs in a sty, see how they snide.
    I'm crying.

    Eleanor Rigby, climbing up the stairs.
    Expert singers singing Hare Krishna.
    Man, you should have seen them reading Edgar Allan Poe.
    I am eating eggs, they are eating eggs, I am John Lennon,
    Goo goo ga joob ga goo goo ga joob
    (everybody ho ha everybody ho ha!)
  • Bloodaxe from Lincoln, Ne@ Jacquot, State of Franklin, TN

    The end refrain first says for several verses in men's voices "Ommpa ommpa stick it in your jumper"

    Then it quickly continues on with the soprano female choir clearly and distinctly singing:


    There isn't any argument about this in professional music circles.

    I was there. Young people who try to "diminish" the song because they're taught to revile drugs... most of the Beatles songs in this period were written about drugs, written while on drugs, and anyone who tries to whitewash it is "on drugs". Don't take drugs... but hey, if you want, smoke some herb when you're 21. It will put a halo on the tractor pulling weeds from your grandma's rotting garden. (Now, that last sentence - go ahead and interpret what I mean! That's just what you're doing when you're trying to find deep meaning in "I Am The Walrus". )
  • Ivy from Springfield, NeI like this song. I like the shout-out to my favourite song, Lucy in the sky with diamonds. "see how they fly like lucy in the sky" 8/10
  • Matthew from Boise, IdThe Beatles were the center of my universe when I was a little kid. There were myriad other artists and bands, but The Beatles led the way for all of us. Thus music, playing instruments, singing, and having a band were all of peak importance. I remember hearing "I Am The Walrus" for the first time through a hard-wired pa system in the wall of my best friend's bedroom very late at night. It thoroughly and absolutely blew me away, and getting obtaining "Magical Mystery Tour" instantly became my objective. Kind of like "Shock The Monkey" and "The Songs of Distant Earth", it has always been on a list of hallmark musical pieces for me.
    Additionally I wanted to comment on the sad state of affairs I see here; I cannot believe how many of you otherwise clever and intelligent folks CANNOT SPELL. Is accurate communication a dying art? I was the son of an english major, and am a writer, so more sensitive to it, but PLEASE.
  • Chriss from Bikini Bottom, Onits not saying "smoke pot" its saying, oompa oompa, stick it to your jumper. THIS SONG ROCKS!!!
  • Arne Biesma from Amsterdam, NetherlandsSitting in an English garden waiting for the sun. Is a very apt discription of being fed up with the British climate but I have also come to think it is one of the best examples of repeating the sound 'in' in a sentence that still makes sense! In that sense it is a great marker for the rest of the song where the opposite seems to be true. The sound of it overtaking sense.
  • Russell from Bridgnorth, United KingdomThe bit about part of the song being based on a schoolyard nursery rhyme is absolutely true. I grew up twenty or so miles from Liverpool, and remember the rhyme being recited to me, although I didn't recognise it in the song until years later. Today I live in the English midlands, about eighty miles from Liverpool, and its curious no one here has ever heard of the rhyme, meaning it must be peculiar to Liverpool and the countryside around it.
  • K from Nowhere, OnThat's not subliminal. Subliminal means it's hidden. Last time I checked, it's not hidden. And it's not even a reference to the song. It was a radio play that John was listening to.
  • Tyler from Greeneville, TnI think the Beatles fuled the "Paul is dead" rumors to get publicity. Don't blame them. Good marketing.
  • Josh from Los Angeles, CaThere is subliminally a reference to Paperback Writer because in the end of I am the Walrus you hear a scene from King Lear, and in Paperback Writer there is a line that says "It's based on a novel by a man named Lear"
  • James from London, United KingdomInterestingly, this song seems to reference at least three other Beatles songs. "See how they run" (Lady Madonna), "Lucy in the Sky" (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds) and "Waiting for the sun" (Here comes the Sun.) Even more interestingly, two of these songs weren't released until AFTER I am the Walrus...
  • Dnnz from Aqp, PeruWho the hell calls Jeff Lynne the 6th beatle???????

    In that same Simpsons episode Flanders is asked why he loves The Batles so much and he replies "Because they're bigger than Jesus" greatest line ever
  • John from Fontana, WiPilchard was the anti-drug cop in England who famously busted George. He busted others including Donovan and a few Stones busted before he went away for corruption. Per The Beatles Anthology
  • Riley from Adelaide, AustraliaThis Song is defiantly One Of The Beatles Most Trippy And psychedelic songs written but still even the beatles on a acid trip can still write really good songs
  • Zach from Thomasville, GaDid anyone else notice that this song has the line "waiting in my English garden waiting for the sun", when George wrote "here comes the sun" in a garden two years later?!
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvWhen we were studying Edgar Allen Poe in school this song was stuck in my head for days! But hey atleast it's a good song to get stuck in your head.
  • Rickylsd from Santa Ana, Caall you need to do is smoke a joint and the whole song will make sense
  • Bob from Ny, KyI believe that "...the joker laughs at you" is a reference to Bob Dylan, who was well-known in '60s pop-culture circles as "The Jokerman" or "The Jester." Lennon may have been honoring Dylan by criticizing the critics who tried to analyze (and criticize) Dylan as they did himself (maybe even comparing himself to Dylan, who was quite popular before the Beatles arrival on US shores?). Don McClean in "American Pie" also references "The Jester;" "... while the Jester played for the king & queen." Dylan, himself, loved the "Joker" imagery. Note his eccentric style of dress, often appearing in striped pants, polka dots, and other assorted Jester-like attire. His lyrics, also, often contained such references (e.g.: "There must be some kind of way out of here, said the Joker to the Thief"). Was Lennon trying to brand himself as the "New Bob Dylan?" A rock-n-roll marter?
  • Clayton from Phoenix, AzAn intersting note to British fans of Dr. Who is not only did the Beatles appear in an episode during the tenure of the first Doctor, william Hartnell, but in the episode titled The Three Doctors featuring Jon Pertwee we hear him explain to his companion Jo Grant "I am he as he is me" and she finishes "and we are all together, Goo goo g' joob." Then she explains it is lyrics from a Beatles song. Interesting how they tried to tie the Beatles in even in science fiction.
  • Dylan from Dodge City, KsThis by far the nuttiest song i've ever heard.
  • K from Nowhere, Onringo is a rooster, obviously!
  • Grace from Malibu, Cathis song was extending on the paul was dead rumor as well. in glass onion it said the walrus was paul, meaning paul died because the "eggman" wus humpty dumpty in this song also the abbey road cover. look how their dressed look how paul is different. in strawberry feilds forever at the very end you can barely hear a faint voice saying "i buried paul" wich is really john saying "cranberry sauce"
  • Martin from London, EnglandIn the UK, the "Magical Mystery Tour" EP was at No. 2 in the singles chart at the same time that "hello Goodbye" was at No. 1. As "I Am The Walrus" was the B-side to "Hello Goodbye" and also a track on the "MMT" EP, this gives the song the unique achievement of being No. 1 AND No. 2 at the same time by the same act!
  • Steve from Chicago, IlI've listened to this song about 6,000,000 times and at the end I hear "f^&*ed up, f%^&ed up, everybody's f^&*ed up. I also hear smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot and about 3 other lines. Is it possible that like American Beauty/American Reality, the Grateful Dead graphic, Lennon was interested in the idea that it could be read multiple ways, thus reinforcing his desire to have it not read at all?
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvEverytime I hear of Edgar Allen Poe I seriously have this song run through my head great song.
  • David from La Mirada, Cait's been said that at the end, people say "everybody smoke pot!"
    idk if it's true, but definitely an interesting song, eh?
  • James from Los Angeless, CaSooo John (My favorite beatle) Is the walrus...Paul was the rino...george was the bunny...Can anyone tell me what the f--k Ringo is...that is the great mystery of the music video
  • Brad from Lexington, KyJohn wanted "I Am the Walrus" to be released as the Beatles' next single, but Paul and the record company agreed that "Hello, Goodbye" was the more commercial single, so "I Am the Waleus" was made the B-side to "Hello, Goodbye". This upset John, who later said "I was tired of being Paul's backup band."
  • Paul from Liverpool, United Kingdom"Boy youve been a naughty girl you let your knickers down" is a play on words reference to the 60s London gay scene. "Knickers" was the word used for a boyfriend. Maybe a reference to Brian Epstein? Some people also claim that Lennon and Epstein were an item. Who knows!?
  • Julia from Richland, WaWow. We're all arguing about the meaning and here John meant Walrus to have no meaning... FYI, I absolutely ADORE this song. It helps me think better when I draw or write. ;)
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaWarrior,MN------about your post...Sorry mate, i think the Beatles may be alittle out of your league or something, really don't know what you're on about.----Styx, now that's probably more your forte. Good luck with everything. Peace.
  • Sam from Hipsville, CaO.K...Just thought this was kind of interesting-------For all of you into listening to various little things said or are heard to be said within this track especially...check this out [with headphones preferrably]---toward the very end when someone is reading an excerpt from King Lear by Shakespeare..the phrase: "oh, untimely death" is heard. other times, that same phrase sounds like it's saying: "oh, you're chokin' me to death". kind of creepy to say the least. Listen to this closely and see for yourself. Other than that..I love the song!!
  • Katie from Port Angeles, WaI have a funny story.
    ....probably was not making a reference to the late Paul McCartney.

    All that crap was just marketing ploys.
  • ~cheryl~ from Glenpool, OkThis is for Michele in Butte, MT
    from Cheryl Lynn Kellogg~Herman.
    Eric Burden of The Animals and war fame is the Eggman.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, MoI am he- you are he- i am the walrus. Hmm....Suppose that makes me the walrus.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moproof that there was nothing john loved doing more than screwing with people's minds. and making awesome songs while doing it.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxIn Magical Mystery Tour video - Paul is wearing the Walrus suit and Lennon the chicken suit - so not sure why people would have thought Paul was dead by siting the walrus costume being dark in MMT...they had to write the song before the video right?
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxIn Magical Mystery Tour video - Paul is wearing the Walrus suit and Lennon the chicken suit - so not sure why people would have thought Paul was dead by siting the walrus costume being dark in MMT...they had to write the song before the video right?
  • Eric from Boston, MaJim Carrey's cover of this song on George Martin's "In My Life" is one of my favorite covers ever. He does a really good job with it.
  • Jane from Austin, Txi thought they were saying "oompah oompah stick it up your jumpa." i wasn't quite sure. my mom used to say that all the time. then again, she's british. probably where she got that was from this song. also, when i was a kid my sibs and i used to go around saying, "hot snot boogie pie" instead of "yellow matter custard" to that nursery rhyme...the rest would be the same.
  • Jane from Austin, Txi thought they were saying "oompah oompah stick it up your jumpa." i wasn't quite sure. my mom used to say that all the time. then again, she's british. probably where she got that was from this song. also, when i was a kid my sibs and i used to go around saying, "hot snot boogie pie" instead of "yellow matter custard" to that nursery rhyme...the rest would be the same.
  • Andy from Shoreham-by-sea, United KingdomA Walrus is interested in everything
  • Andy from Shoreham-by-sea, United KingdomYellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.

    Yello matter custard is the equivalent to a custard pie in the face after you leave the Dog wife/girlfriend for the more attractive fishwife (probably a Bully)
  • Steve from London, United KingdomDid everybody forget the Spooky Tooth cover? A far better version than Styx to my mind, and most definitely the best. A real "hard rocking" style, with a slightly sinister sound to it.
  • Jacquot from State Of Franklin, TnAll those comments about the last part of the song being about smoking pot are entirely wrong.

    Having spent the first part of my life in the same neck of the woods as the Beatles, I can confirm that it's "oompah oompah stick it up your jumper"... simply because it was a common and popular rhyme for kids at that time.
    Just one more example of borrowing that they did... similar to Ob La Di (from a Nigerian song) and Golden Slumbers (from 16th century poet Thomas Dekker)
    But none of this really matters much. Forget the interpretations and all that stuff. All you have to do is dig the music.
  • Peter Clarke from Hobart, AustraliaOasis did a great grunge cover of this song as a B side to one of their singles in the 90s.
  • Mo from Strawberry Fields, NyNo, they say "everybody got some" not "everybody smoke pot"
  • Danny from Wilmore, KyIn regards to the kicking Edgar Allan Poe lyrics. Edgar Allan Poe was a Major Influence on Allen Ginsberg who was the leader of The Beats at the time John wrote I am the Walrus. Griswold depicted Poe as a depraved, drunk, drug-addled madman. The Beats magazine often featured Beatles copy bands such as Billy Pepper and the Pepperpots. Billy Pepper's real name was Billy Shepherd.
  • Nady from Adelaide, Australiauh guys aren't they saying "Oompah oompah stick it in your jumper"?? it's a bit juevenile to think they're saying "Smoke pot smoke pot evertbody smoke pot", give them some credit they were a tad more creative than that.
  • Tay from San Diego, Caoh my GOD! they really do say smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot! at the end when u hear the weird voices! just listen closely.
  • Tay from San Diego, Ca"i am there as you are there as you are me and we are all together" you have to love the trippiness
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn the 1970's John's humerous comment on this song was "It's got a lot of little bitties on it that'll keep you interested, even a hundred years later."
  • Roy from Granbania, MaOK there is one so-called "song fact" here that really grinds my gears:"Lennon wrote most of this while tripping on acid." I find it extremely annoying when people say everything John wrote was somehow drug-related. I know this song's lyrics are quite nonsensical, but he did this intentionally because he was tired of everyone overanalyzing all of his work (much like the people who say his songs are about drugs do), so he wrote something that couldn't possibly make any sense at all just to annoy the overanalyzing critics. He got a few of the lyrics from some nursery rhymes he had heard in his childhood and he had help from one of his school friends (I think it was former Quarrymen member Pete Shotton) when remembering them. If you really want to know a lot about the Beatles and the meaning of their songs, you should read The Beatles Anthology, since it's essentially autobiographical.
  • Hannah from Orange, Bosnia And Herzegovinaif you listen closely what their saying at the end is smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot.
  • Brittany from Townsville, AustraliaThis song is really strange but funny but odd but gross in a way.
  • Chad from Los Angeles, CaThe music video, from Magical Mystery Tour is a little weird, but still a great song.
  • Sky from Boulder, Comy favorite thing about this song is how it really means nothing, yet it could mean anything. lately, i've been obsessed with trying to find out what they're saying at the end. one of my friends told me it was just a bunch of weird radio noise that sounds like "turn me on, dead man" when played backwards, hence adding to the whole "paul is dead" thing, but i think it definitely sounds like words when it is just played normally.
  • Anthony from East Stroudsburg, PaRE: King Lear segment.

    This was not added to the song. According to the Beatles recording session book(a coffee table style book that tracks every day the Beatles were in the studio or performed live), John had a transistor radio in the studio while recording the song. He was tuning it in (you can hear the tuning/static) and happened to pick up King Lear on BBC Radio. It was decided to keep it in the recording and made it to the final version of the song.
  • Henry from Baltimore, MdThe first line, the "I am am he... all together" is a way of saying that I, you, and they, are all talking about the narrator. So when he sings "See how they run like pigs froma gun" he is talking about himself.
  • Eric from Buffalo, NyThis may be my favorite song of all-time. I only wish there was more electric guitar throughout the song but oh well. I remember being a very little kid and being drawn to this song because of the swooping "ahhhh's" during the chorus. A few years later I discovered all of the Beatles music and my life has changed forever. I love how the bass comes in this song. Yet in the video Paul so cooly points to Ringo for the drums to come in and seems to not play the first few chords that sound so great in the studio version. Interestingly Geoff Emerick (Beatles engineer) said in his book that this song was when he thought the Beatles were at their lowest and most unmotivated because of B. Epstein's death. He also hated the multiple overdubbs and sound effects. I love everything about this song. And I'm convinced at the end that it starts out "ooompah, ooompah, stick it in your jumper" but is overdubbed with "everybody smoke pot."
  • Maria from Melbourne, AustraliaContrary to one of the above comments, John Lennon did not write this song on acid. Paul McCartney confirmed that none of their songs were written while on drugs during a BBC interview a few years ago. He said that they "always used to write with a clear head".
  • Andre from Rimouski, Canada Talking about trying to analyze Beatles lyrics? You won't believe this. In early '70s, in a Montréal paper dedicated to music, some fab four fan wrote that with I AM THE WALRUS, the Beatles were in fact predicting the death of Janis Joplin ('Pornographic priestess, Boy you've been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down'), Jim Morrison ('Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower') and Jimi Hendrix ('Sitting in an english garden waiting for the sun'), as Janis was not precisely a nun, Morrison died in Paris and Hendrix in London. According to this guy, the Beatles were aware of a plot by the CIA to eliminate hard rockers that were obviously using drugs.
    André, Rimouski
  • Louis from Cork, Irelandlennon's old teacher was teaching his class to interpret beatles lyrics,lennon was amused and mingled a few songs to create nonsensical lyrics. Although,there are some references to pual's alleged death in '66 this is attributed to the fact that the beatle enjoyes screwing with peoples heads
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, NjGotta love Donny in The Big Lebowski confusing Vladmire Lennin with John Lennon, while The Dude and Walter discuss him..."I am the Walrus?"....."Youre outta your element Donny!"
  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaI love the word imagery of this song...absolutely beautiful.
  • Robert from Calgary, -John was a musical Genius, what a great forum , luv it!
  • Brian from Richmond , VaThis may be the weirdest Beatles song they ever wrote. I always liked the insouciant lyrics and the references which everyone loves to debate.
  • John from Cranston, RiThis brilliant song is an anti establishment nursery rhyme. It pokes fun at commercial capitalism, war, government, sex, marraige, the educational system and religion. What would civilization be like without it all? Can you "Imagine"? Just s few examples. Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dogs eyes is the penis and the seed. Crabalocker fiswife is the snare that is the vagina. Semolina Pilchards climbing up the Eifel tower are the nauseating religious fanatics trying to reach God. Lennon wrote this song knowing his old chain smoking literary teacher was interpreting his songs in his classroom. How absurd he thought. The idiot who called me the class clown and said I was doomed to fail now thought he was qualified to interpret my lyrics. He probally even took some credit for my success. So Lennon sarcastically mocked him right inside his own classroom. Expert Texpert, choking smokers, don't you think the Joker laughs at you? Lennon had gotten the last laugh. When asked what does "I am the Walrus" all mean? He didn't lie. He simply replied, "It means nothing".
  • Susan from Toronto, CanadaI read in a Beatles book (and I can't remember which book!) a Paul McCartney quote, where he said that before the Beatles ever made it, he and John tried to write a play together, but gave up after only three pages! However, in those three pages, they named a character "Semolina Pilchard." And years later John used that character's name in I AM THE WALRUS.
  • Brittny from Indiana, Inbono's version of this for the movie Across the Universe kicks so much ass its unbelievable...freaking awesome movie too
  • Patrickman from Bulacanone of the best songs ever written... the lyrics is just superb. also, i think this the very first rap metal song... john is actually rapping on this song, though not as fast as today's rappers. but john, of course, is much better than all of them combined, haha!
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnJim Carrey did not just cover this song, he covered the hell out of it. He made it so nobody can ever cover it again and not be wasting their time.
  • Jasmine from Ponca City, OkThis is an awesome song. I love it. I think people should stop trying to interpret their songs. Why can't they just enjoy them? Also, people think all the songs are about drugs. I don't think The Beatles were that narcissistic and predictable to write every single song about drugs. Anyways, kick ass song.
  • Jason from State Of Fitz, NjI agree with Kim. Lennon puroposely wrote this song to screw with people because he was sick of them misinterpeting his lyrics. Enjoy the song, your never going to figure out. Only Lennon knows what he meant.
  • Kurtiz from Oklahoma City, OkThe line "Goo Goo Ga joob" is suppose to represent the central illusion that so many failed seekers took down with during the explosion of the acid culture. haha. People are funny. CoMedian JiM CaRrey does a cover of this you can watch it on youtube (worth a listen)
  • Kim from Uk, United StatesI love how this song makes no sense. It amuses me how people read that John wanted them to try and decipher it and then go and do it anyway. Goo goo g'joob... love that line. I always wondered what those voices were.... I never heard them right.
  • Meredith from Chesapeake, VaChicago (then Chicago Transit Authority) had the lyrics "I am he as you are he as you are me
    And we are all together" in their song "Southern California Purples".
  • Marc from Perth, AustraliaAlways thought "waiting for the van to come" referred to the van from the nuthouse... y'know the men in white coats in the little white van... come take you to the cherry farm.

    After all he is "sitting on a cornflake"
  • Paul Bert Bilog from Los Angeles, Caone of the best song of the beatles. one of most complex song lyrically and musically. it's pure genius.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyMany years later Paul said that this song gave a special meaning to the "Magical Mystery Tour" telefilm, since it is the only way to see a Beatles performance of I Am The Walrus.
  • Carl from Wayne, NjI never analyzed it. Its meant to be what it is very artistic, creative, mental nonsense. The arrangement is captivating and John did an amazing job giving us all a nonchemical acid trip. This song will live on as long as people value imagination and the value of art and free thought.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiHow did the King Lear thing get in there? And I doubt Edgar Allan Poe would appreciate this, because he's being kicked.
  • Pat from New York, OrThe greatest song ever written. Stop trying to analyze it. I loved it when I was 7, I still love it at 43.
  • Nick from Murrieta, CaI might have a vague idea as to what this song is about. I think it is about God, Jesus, whatever, watching mankind, and crying about how they avoid death. "See how they run like pigs from a gun" meaning they run from death. "I am the Eggman" An egg is the symbol of birth and life, in some cultures. So, He, God, says He is Birth. He gives life to people. "They Are the eggman" So, they are alive, with the life God gave them. "I am the Walrus" The walrus is a symble of Death, obviously. So God says He gives life, but can take it away, so he is both Life and Death, Or the Eggman AND the Walrus. Well... That is the GENERAL idea. The other random stuff I have no idea... Maybe the "See how they-" lines mean how God is looking at the stuff mankind does. Oh, and the Goo Goo G'joob thing, I just think it was something catchy he added. John may have been on acid, but where is it proven that people on acid cant write complex songs?
  • Max from Laconia, NhThe cello in this song is sooooooooo cool! I love this song, but I don't think it's the best ever.
  • Scott from Newport Beach, CaNear the end of the song the chant is:

    Smoke Pot, Smoke Pot, Everybody Smoke Pot!
  • Andrew from London, EnglandThis was originally on an double EP (extended play) called Magical Mystery tour: not on an LP or album as such. There were two EPs in the sleeves of a booklet which had stills from the film Magical Mystery tour. It was later released on an LP of the same name but included Hello Goodbye, Penny lane, Strawberry fields and Baby you're a rich man. I have both copies at home but have never - ever seen the film Magical Mystery tour broadcast again since it was originally shown on TV! We thought it was strange but wonderful: even in black n white. I have read since that it got bad reviews....
  • Tweet from Wigan, Chinadont you all think that this song is about human nature! ie emotions!helo!! anyways its upto you..
  • John from Manila, OtherBrilliant arrangement, astounding chord progression.. Genius Johnny
  • Katie from Sunderland, United Stateswhat does "pornographic priestess" and "Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your Knickers down" actually mean?
  • Terry from Pekin, InHas anybody heard of Spooky Tooth? They did a pretty good cover of the song in the early seventies-Terry,Pekin,IN
  • Alex from New York, NyI heard this dong was for the "paul is dead" publicity stunt and was about the day paul died.The walrus symbolising death. in glass onion they say."heres another clue for you all the walrus is paul."
  • David from Selma, AlI recently heard that the choir at the end is singing "everybody's f*cked up" over and over. Has anyone else ever heard of this?
  • Montelimat from Jacksonville, FlThe lines from "King Lear" that are recited in the background were recorded by accident.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaActaully I read that somehwere thats John purposely made this song this way. Some many people were trying to find a message or meaning in their songs. So he deiced to make one that no one could understand. John was also working on three different songs at once and couldn't finish one so deiced to join them all together. It is an odd song by it's pretty good.
  • Cheryl Lynn Herman from Glenpool, OkI'm sitting on a cornflake!
    Which is Kellogg's. Kellogg was my maiden name.
    Eric Burden of The Animals and war fame is the Eggman.
  • Taylor from Manchester, EnglandThis has to be one of the most original rock songs ever I defy anyone to find an example like this before this song came out.
  • Andrew from Indianapolis, InJohn Lennon predicted 9-11 34 years before it happened!!!!!!!!!!!! Just look. Pretty little police men sitting in a row is describing the all the cop cars lined up, stupid bloody Tuesday because 9-11 was on a Tuesday, Man you've been a naughty boy you let your face grow long because terrorists have long beards, corporation t-shirt referes to the office workers working for corporations wearing suits which are their corporation t-shirts, John sings i'm crying over and over again refering to all the people crying, choking smokers refering to people choking on the smoke of the towerss..........................................
    Just Kiding, Anybody can interpret anything from any beatles song, esp. those written by John Lennon, he wrote this as joke on people who try to interpret his lyrics. Peace, Make Love not War
  • Bryan from New York, NyTo Warrior: Ringo is still alive along with Paul. What proof do you have that Paul died other than some album covers? John wrote this song to get people to stop analyzing his songs. Maybe he tried to do the same with Paul's death hoax. How do you think they managed to get a replacement Paul with the same voice and face too? The original Paul is still alive.
  • Lance from Pittsburgh, PaAnybody ever seen the video for this? John Lennon eyes are really spaced out! Easy one of the top 5 Beatles songs ever!
  • George from Yonkers, NyGreat example of avant garde with pop rock only the Beatles seem to master this concept. A proto progressive rock masterpiece.
  • Matt from Brisbane, AustraliaThe King Lear snippets are not samples as such, they were recorded live off the radio as the final mix was being done.
  • Warrior from St. Paul, MnThe Styx version was FAR better. After the original Paul McCartney's death, the Beatles got WAY too into rap/hip hop. Isn't it weird how all of the Beatles are dead except the fake Paul?
  • Jay from Kamloops, Canada I think I am the Walrus is John Lennon's masterpiece. I also think it's mostly or entirely about Pauls' death in 1966. As a matter of fact the last 4 years of the Beatles are about Pauls' death. I cannot explain many of the lyrics because I have not understood all the circemstances of his demise. I say this because EVERYTHING about the Beatles and Paul changed after his death. Paul either died or something just as tramatic happened. Maybe someone else has something to share.
  • Sarah from Usa, IaIt's kind of weird that this song is a favourite of Gemini's (my sign) as it's one of my favourite Beatles songs!
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyI Am The Walrus is an early progressive rock tune, that has cacophony with nonsensical lyrics. It combines avant garde with classical influnece in another pyscedelic tune. It has a strange sounding type choir, siren sounding organs, distored vocals and a unusual fade out of noises.
    sal, bardonia, ny
  • Justin from Albany, Nygod y r some of u guys just dissin styx they werent that bad cmon. give them a break already. They may not be as good as the beatles but like leave the poor guys alone they made some good songs, like come sail away. and btw stop yellin at anonymous also its just an opinion dont spaz out. i think that the beatles version is ten times better. That doesnt mean I can persecute him just cuz he likes styx's version better.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaNonsensical lyrics, John's strange vocals, and the odd siren-like melody seem like they should be reasons to hate this song... but for some reason, they make it a work of downright brilliance!
  • Mike from Germantown, MdJohn Lennon was killed exactly 13 years, to the day, after the album was released, December 8, 1967 to December 8, 1980.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nymark b., to me, christian hip-hop is evil. im jewish, and i find that most christian 'songs' are just saying that you should do whatever jesus says to, even if it means being really mean to animals and kids. which i find hypocritical, cuz thats the opposite of what jesus wanted. and jesus was jewish. anyways, getting off track. i don't care what you say, hip-hop is evil, and shouldn't be considered music.
  • Nathan from Bruges, BelgiumCould anyone else write such lyrics??Probably not.
  • Mark B. Stoned from Desperate Hot Springs, CaSorry, Izzy. I will always be a fan of The Beatles' music, no matter what you may believe. I agree that The Beatles are amazing. One of my favorite things about them is their musical diversity, which ranges from early rock and roll to late psychedelia and everything else that they had absorbed thrown in between. As you said, hip-hop had not yet existed, so they obviously had not adopted that style into their music. However, in one of the many ways that The Beatles are known to have been pioneers in the musical world, they provided us with one of the earliest examples of the genre with this song, similar to how The Doors, The Stooges, and The Velvet Underground were creating prototypical punk rock songs in America during the same time period. Hip-hop generally is vulgar, but isn't always; this generalization can also be applied to many forms of rock music though, rendering the vulgarity of a type of music irrelevant. Evil is a force that can pervade anything, and is not represented by hip-hop (ever heard of Christian hip-hop? It's certainly not evil). I would understand if you had said that Norwegian black metal is evil, given it's recurring themes of Satanism and the occult, but hip-hop is not quite there. Considering the properties of most hip-hop: rhythmic lyrical flow, lyrics that are randomly pieced together to fit the pattern, keyboard-synthesized strings, steady drum beat, etc., this song qualifies as an early hip-hop song.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyif i ever had to analize this song in a lit class, i would run out of the class, unlock my bike, and bike home without a second thought. i would be disgusted and appalled if we had to. lennon wrote this song because he didn't want people analyzing his songs!
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nymark b., as of now, you are no longer a beatles fan(if you even were one in the first place) THIS IS NOT HIP-HOP! the beatles didn't do hip-hop. hip-hop is evil and vulgar, and it burns out my ears. the beatles are amazing and genious's, and they rock hard. notice how there's no connection? there wasn't hip-hop then, and there shouldn't be hip-hop now. and anyone else who thinks that this is a hip-hop song should be severly punished
  • Mark B. Stoned from Desperate Hot Springs, CaRyab, from Lackawanna, New York, I was thinking the same thing the other day. I don't see how I never thought of it before, but, yeah, this song is the earliest hip-hop song. Yet another pioneering first for The Beatles. Most people would probably see this idea as absurd, given the fact that when you think of The Beatles, you think of classic rock, psychedelic rock, rock and roll, country rock, pop; pretty much everything but hip-hop. Yet, everything about the song is hip-hop flavored: from the strings, to the drum beats, to Lennon's lyrical flow, and even the King Lear samples. Play this for someone who likes hip-hop, but doesn't know The Beatles' music, and they'll probably appreciate it just as much.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyannonymous, you are wrong and should be punished. how can you say that styx is good in the first place? and how can you say that they can do a better cover of an awesome bands song then the band themself, IF STYX SUCKS? answer that. oh, i didn't say the beatles and the band mentioned above in the same sentece. are you proud of me, steve? jk. (p.s. the 'band mentioned above is styx, incase you didn't get it)
  • John Smith from Southington, CtMakes less sense than the english language but a true classic. And of all things to mention, people being eggmen????
  • Woger from Chichester, EnglandThe page below has a theory about who the Walrus is. Seems it's something to do with Morse being french for Walrus, among other things...

  • Olle from Stockholm, SwedenWonderful song! It catched me at once and my first thought was "what the!!!??"
    However, I soon realised that THIS was a masterpiece.
  • Jack from Mesa, AzAnonymous in Nashville: are you serious? I've never heard the Styx version, and don't get me wrong, Styx has done (some) good stuff, but we're talking about one of the greatest moments in rock history here. (I made sure not to put The Beatles in a Styx sentence). Oops, sorry Steve!
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, Ca"the umpa umpa/stick it up your jumper" chant probably came from the 1935 song "Umpa Umpa" by The Two Leslies (a.k.a. Leslie Sarony & Leslie Holmes), the chorus of which was "Umpa, Umpa, stick it up your jumper, tra la la la la la" (no, really).
    Either that or "umpa umpa/stick it up your jumper" was a now-forgotten expression that was used in both songs.
  • Nathan from Insomeplace, Kya few things

    i think i hear a little bit of Imagine in the intro but that might be only for me there

    and another thing

    there is a japanese video game series called Sonic The Hedgehog from Sega
    there is an evil egg shaped scientist in the series named Dr. Robotnik but Sonic The Hedgehog refers to him as Dr. EGGMAN
    I wonder if Sega took that from this song.
  • Steve from Laconia, NhStyx's cover is nowhere near as good as this. Never mention Styx and The Beatles in a sentence together.
  • Anonnymous from Nashville, TxStyx's cover is better.
  • John Smith from Southington, CtTHIS SONG IS INSANE BACKWARDS!!!!!!! During the line starting with "corporation T-Shirts" I heard ?You?d wish they?d all be small and you?d be mad at two, he slept and hitched her sheets and shaved her butt." Funny but creepy. Also, during the the line "Climbing up the Effel Tower" backwards I heard the most creepy thing yet,"I smoke marijuana."!!!!!! You have to really pay close attention to get the word marijuana so it sounds like it.
  • John Smith from Southington, CtI got another one! In the choras just before the english garden part, backwards, it says," Sir old man, you're a gay buyer, yer a gay man." THis is starting to creep me out like John wrote the words so they say these kind of things backwards.
  • John Smith from Southington, CtAlso, during the line about the english garden, what I heard while played backwards was," Worst of all, he's in the dark chills. Remember this please." "Worst of all" is very creepy because it is so clear like he accually said it. The other words are also pretty clear, though.
  • John Smith from Southington, CtIf you have Windows XP, go play this song on your sound recorder (every windows xp user can use it) and play it til the line "See how they smile like pigs in a sty see how they snied" and right after it ends stop it and play it backwards by going to effecs/backwards and listen real closely to what is heard. I heard John say," Take this ax and his life is going out tonight." I am serious! Try it out for yourself to hear it! Also during the line "If the sun dont come then you'll get a tan from the english rain" I heard something but cant remember it (I am having trouble getting the recorder going. The song has to be in wav format in order to start the recorder with it.
  • Ric from Baltimore, MdI think it would have been an honor to Edgar Allen Poe being mentioned in the Beatles lyrics.
  • Phil from Holland, PaI read somewhere, it could be here, on this site, that the walrus was supposed to be PAUL. Lennon liked to think of himself as the walrus though. He did get the idea from the walrus and the carpenter. It wasn't until later that he found that the walrus was the villian! He didn't seem to mind and ignored this fact.
  • Marcus from Maitland, Flin the movie dogma, it is mentioned how the walrus from the walrus and the carpenter represents eastern religion while the carpenter represents western religion. and which beatle was a well known hindu? george harrison is the walrus ladies and gentlemen. you may thank me later.
  • Frank from Las Vegas, NvTom in Bluemont your wrong Lenonn was not the genius of the Beatles Paul was. Paul was always looking for changes way before Lennon. Paul invented Sgt Peppers and The White Album he wrote Helter Skelter way ahead of its time John just followed but he knew he had to. He admitted in a Playboy interview he Likes to take One chord and ram it home where as Mccartney was more creative and worked with songs together they were Brilliant but apart Paul was More creative. He is a true Musician and Composer and Artist. He was caught up in the Love movement and Paul was Just writing Movement
    Lennon changed his mind with the wind. And as George Martin said the Beatles wouldnt have lasted past Revolver if it wasn't for Mccartneys
    constant concern for the Band. And we have to thank Paul for everything from there on in.
    Someone had to Lead the Group
  • Jack from Mesa, AzI am He, I am the Eggman = He is the Eggman: You are He -> You are the Eggman!
    Yes, You are the Eggman.
    Accept it.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyin the end there's a voice that says 'bury my body here', this aroused more suspicion about the whole 'paul died' conspiricy theory(which is a not true and b just plain weird)
  • Eduardo from Santa Tecla, OtherWell, for me, it isn't about nothing particular, but have some antimilitaristic lyrics (see how they run like pigs from a gun).
    The "Oompa Loompas" were the weird guys in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, "Yellowmater custard..." were of a song that John and a friend heared as childs.
    But who was the walrus, Paul or John?
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nythis song is really cool! but i still don't get the 'Semolina Pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower'. who was this allegid Semolina, and why was she/he trying to climb up the eiffel tower?
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nythis is my FAVEORITE song! although the line 'pornographic priestess' cracks me up. im jewish, and we have rabbis, not priests. this line makes me more happy with my religion.
  • Zoloft from Milton, Wv"I am the egg man. I am the walrus." In another classic Beatles song, "Glass Onion", Lennon reveals a clue for us all: the walrus is Paul. This is not Lennon just being clever with words. Paul really was known as the egg man. Paul's song "Yesterday" was originally titled, "Scrambled Eggs". The reason is because Paul's constant marijuana use gave him a severe case of the munchies. He staved off his hunger by eating large amounts of scrambled eggs, much to the chagrin of the other Beatles who were forced to endure his flatulence in the cramped confines of the recording studio. One day, everyone but Paul was assembled in the studio. George looked up and saw Paul entering and muttered, "Oh God, it's the egg man." This caused John to fall off his stool from laughing so hard. At the end of "I Am The Walrus", there is a chant which many have claimed is, "Smoke pot, smoke pot". In fact, they are actually chanting, "Egg fart, egg fart".
  • Ahmed from Houston, Txto the person who said that shakespeare was on LSD when writing some of his plays: pure bull. acid was invented in 1938. shakespeare died in 1616.
  • Buzz from HamiltonAnd...doesn't anyone ever wonder where he got all these ideas? I mean I'm not trying to get the meaning or anything. I just like this song a lot.
  • Buzz from HamiltonHey all. I love this song. But I'd like to ask why is everyone digging in to the meaning?! Face it we won't find out. It was a joke and it will remain a joke for ever.

    John Lennon, if he did have a secret meaning, will not be able to tell you right now. Face it.
    Well then thats that.
  • Dylan from Abilene, Txon old records when you play the i am the walruss Goo Goo Ga Joob backwards it says "smoke pot smoke pot everybody smoke pot"
  • Christine from Chicago, Ili love this song a lot. i find it interesting how the kid wrote a letter to John telling him that they were analyzing Beales songs in class. especially because i analyzed "i am the walrus" in Lit class freshman year.
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaThis is my second-favourite Beatles song. I'm in awe everytime I hear it. There's never been anything like it before or since (except maybe the Rutles "Piggy In The Middle"). Truly an absolute masterwork of abstract musical art. John Lennon used words like Picasso used paint. Sheer genius! He may have been on acid when he wrote it, but who cares? It's well known that Shakespeare was on acid when he wrote King Lear.
  • Joe from Pontevedra, SpainWell this just goes to show that John really knew we would be here babbling about the meaning of his songs many years after his death.

    it is fun though and i thank him for the good he spoke and sang, a true inspiration, to whom we shall never call SIR.
  • Andy from Florida, FlAmazing! From "She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah" to "Goo Goo Ga Joob" in less than three years. Imagine The Beatles playing this song at the Royal variety show in 1963 or on Ed Sullivan in 1964? :)
    Again, what's truly amazing is how far their creativity had gone in such a short span of two or three years!! Innocence lost!! Thanks Mr. Dylan....
  • Mustafa from Cairo, EgyptThis also appeared on another simpsons episode - the one with the chilli cook off, where homer has his "trip" and Jasper say " Go Go GaJoob", well its not played, the line is said though, thats what's important
  • Margaret from Hanceville, Al It turns out "semolina" isn't a detective , it was a pudding John Lennon been forced to eat as a kid and "pilchard" was a sardine he often fed to his cat , not the last name to the detective!
    ( Seminola Pilchard may have been a detective who busted Lennon, but in " I am the Walrus" , Lennon is making a refrence to the above.)
  • Or from Holon, IsraelAfter the part from "King Lear" there are more sentences.. something about death. I heard "We knew his death" and then more sentences like "Did he is dead?" or something like that.
  • Jeremy from Downingtown, PaI personally just believe this song was written because (like stated) Lennon got pissed people were trying to make sense of all his lyrics

    many people, believing this all talked about Paul dying. Believed "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" To be him saying it was a conspiracy between all the Beatles that they killed Paul.

    The reference to the police men were suppose to be the ones all at the accident where Paul was killed.

    Those two examples right there go to show you how STUPID people are sometimes.........or how brilliant our song writers are

    Lennon was a great, but controversal man.
  • Ping from Norrtälje, SwedenI Am the Walrus.

    Yeah yeah; there are many strange and wonderful rumours going around about this song. I have my own theory. I think that the Walrus was The Fool on the Hill. In Glass Onion Lennon refers to the walrus as Paul. Fair enough. I tried to hard to connect Paul with the walrus and I didn't get very far, until I tried to connect Paul with the eggman. In the video of the fool on the hill it is Paul who plays the main part. He is dressed as the eggman. You can see this because he is wearing almost identical clothes as John is in I am The Walrus. I think that John was trying to say that the walrus was the fool on the hill. So what about the fool on the hill? He is the guy who sees everything. He sees it all but everybody thinks that he is stupid. I put it to you that I am the Walrus is a small extract from the fool on the hill's mind. This is the Beatles letting us get a glimpse of what the so called fool sees. The song starts by connecting all of us. It starts by telling us that we are all equal. (I am he as you are he as you are me and we are al together). John means that we are all misunderstood. We are all fools on our own hills. So why does John use extracts from childhood rhymes? I think he is trying to show us that we are born misunderstood. We are never understood. We are misunderstood as children and we are misunderstood as adults. We are quiet simply always misunderstood. The fool on the hill sees the sun coming down and they eyes in his head sees the world spinning round. See how they run like pigs from a gun see how they fly. We are all waiting around waiting to be slaughtered. We should run, but pigs will fly before we do. Pigs will fly before we "the fools" pluck up the courage to speak. The fool was silent. Maybe that is why he was misunderstood.

    For more clues I suggest you read The Tell-tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe.

    The walrus = The Eggman = The Fool on the Hill


  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaIs "stick it in your jumper" a sexual reference of some kind? If so, what... uh... does it mean?
  • Mike from Germantown, MdTo some of the comments underneath, The Beatles wrote many songs under the influence of drugs, but "Got To Get You Into My Life" Is the only Beatles Song That's about Drugs.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdJoey, What they say Is "Slave, thou hast slain me, villain take my purse, if ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body, send my letters to Edmund, Earl of Glouscter, Seek Him out among the British Party, Oh Untimely Death!" It's From a BBC Production of William Shakespeare's "King Lear".
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, Casupposedly the end of the song says something about Paul being dead, but it's actually played at the end of "Revolution 9" instead.

    well, now I can't remember what it was, but I have all the songs on my computer at my moms, so i'll repost it in a few days
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, Cadidn't the BBC ban this song or something because part of the song said "Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down"???

    i think i saw it on a quiz on some website, but I'm not sure.
  • Kevin Murphy from Ridgewood, Nj'Elementary Penguin' is actually a reference to Allen Ginsberg.
  • Gaura from Peterborough, CanadaIn this song, John writes, " elementary penguin" singing Hare Krishna". After becoming disenchanted by one bhogi yogi, John and George became inspired to hear from a genuinely self-realized soul, A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, who introduced the western world world to the wonderful experience of chanting the Hare Krishna mantra. This is the first song of the Beatles that introduced everyone to this chanting, leading up to George including the full chant in "My Sweet Lord" . I became intrigued to research the meaning of Hare Krishna and by meditating on this chant,it gave me the strength to give up intoxication and meat-eating and become a Hare Krishna minister for over 30 years. Paul still orders out from the Hare Krishna resturant on Soho in England. These profound words changed my life. Thanks a million John, George, Paul and Ringo !
  • Ryan from Seattle, WaIt was widely disputed that the choir at the end of the song was made to sound like,"smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot".
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, Canada(1) The NGO-currently-calling-itself-Styx's version of this song sucks! Why couldn't those washups remake a Beegees song or something.
    (2) The lyrics are meant to be silly nonsense but I suppose there's a backwards satanic messages somewhere.
    (3) They used a keyboard called a mellotron to create the string sounds in this.
    (4) The video they did for this in 'Magical Mystery Tour' is pretty freaky.
  • Joyce from Indianapolis, InI had heard that the choir at the end actually sings "uumpah uumpah - everybody uumpah - like it is supposed to be a dance
  • Mike from Birkenhead, Englandi have always thought that the eggman refered to the painting by Hieronymous Bosch, the Garden of Earthly delights (?) in which three separate panels portray heaven, earth and hell. In the hell panel, there is an image of a man without legs and his his torso is an egg. It's usually refered to as 'the egg man'. The picture, although painted in the 1600's, looks like the painter was tripping on something and i would have thought that this was more likely to be what John, with his interest in art and intention to write a song with confusing lyrics, meant. It seems more likely than a bloke cracking an egg over a groupie?!
  • Max from Parma, OhWhen the band chants "Everybody's got one" at the end of the song, it sounds a lot more like "everybody smokes pot."
  • Bill from Southeastern Part Of, FlThe Canadian group Men Without Hats recorded this song on its Sideways CD, but, if I were you, I'd stick with the original. The same goes for the group's remake of the Roxy Music song Editions of You. However, the group's remake of the ABBA song S.O.S. is well worth a listen. And almost all of the original songs by Men Without Hats are terrific, with the few exceptions of Safety Dance and almost everything from the Sideways CD, except Kenbarbielove. In fact, just get the Pop Goes The World CD (with a cameo by Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson) and be done with it.
  • Dan from Lee, NhI think this song is great and for those of you who say that it "Lacks depth" Well I got TWO words for you "Hello Goodbye"
  • Sjb from Waco, TxHey um, "The Walrus and the Carpenter" wasn't in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it was from Through the Looking Glass.
  • Dawson from Draper, UtThis song was covered by Styx, and Styx's version is a lot better. It was also made while the Beatles were high.
  • Jo Bob from Mccleary, WaI heard that the only meaningful part of this song was the first line in while John says how everybody is equal. I never really thought about "the joker laughs at you" being meaningful, but I see now. So maybe there's TWO lines with meaning. Neato! Eh, the walrus was Paul. In "Glass Onion" John sang, "Here's another clue for you all - the walrus is Paul." Plus, on the cover of Magical Mystery tour, the chicken, I think it is, is John. You can see he's got his glasses on. Go figrue! =P
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cathe only line with any meaning in this song: the joker laughs at you. see...john is laughing at you because you're trying to interpret his random stuff. and the walrus was john. well the walrus on the cover of the album anyway.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cajim carrey sings this? haha...hes my favorite actor but i'm not sure i wanna know...i saw him singing elvis behind the scenes of that one movie...can't remember the name...
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScLuna: I get your point about the drugs thing. I don't think this song's about drugs. I just think John was trying to mess with everyone's heads on this one. It is hilarious though!!!
  • Luna from London, EnglandThis is my favorite Beatles song. When John sings 'don't you think the joker laughs at you?' It's Ringo doing the first laugh ... the ho-ho-ho part. listen and you'll see what I mean. Also everyone knows the Beatles did drugs! It's not a big deal! John,Ringo,and George were heavily into LSD and Paul was heavily into pot. John also had a speed addiction, George a cocaine, and Ringo did a lot of cocaine, drank heavily,and he also smoked pot. So you all are being such babies and complaining and saying" this song is about drugs ...blah blah blah" yeah so what?! a lot of Beatles songs are about drugs but not all of them! just face it! even though they did alot of drugs doesnt make every song about drugs!
  • James from Edwardsville, Ilin "ferris bueler's day off" when ferris gets out of the shower in the beginning of the movie he says "i could be the walrus"
  • Barry from New York, NcTrey Anastasio of Phish (the "Phab Four") covered this tune on his 2005 spring tour.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThis is definitely one of the most screwed up songs ever made, but the best screwed up song ever made. The lyrics are just wonderfully out of nowhere at all. I especially like the part about kicking Edgar Allan Poe, not that I have anything against the guy, I just think it's really awesomely random. It's like some of the the 12 pages of complete randomness I have written for no reason at all, like "Let's lie to the prophets and carry a cable." Maybe it's not random though, maybe it's some insane metaphor that no one can remember what it means.
  • Danny from Sydney, Australiaeasily my favorite Beatles song ever, its so obscure, and the vocals kick ass
  • Jordan from Wimette, IlI still think the walrus was Paul.
  • Thomas from Lubbock, Txhey jack he says,goo goo ga joob. i think it sorta sounds like coo coo cuchoo. also this is a great song. this is my favorite song by the beatles.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhJohn doesn't want you to know who the Walrus is, or the Eggman. He said that many songs he was curious to see who would read meanings into his lyrics. Its jibberish, intentionally. It shouldn't matter, this song is great anyway.
  • Alejandro from Mexico D.f., Mexicooasis has a good cover of this one... is a live version contained in "the masterplan"
  • Jack from St. Paul, MnI've heard the Styx cover, Gary, which was surprisingly decent. Also, does John say "goo goo g'joob" or "coo coo cuchoo?"
  • Dave from Eastbourne, EnglandI agree Lennon had alot of respect for Bob Dylan and would have recognised the fact that Dylan's songs though semingly nonsense had meaning to them even if Dylan was the only one to ever fully understand some of his most cryptic songs. Maybe there are extra meanings for I am the Walrus we dont get and Lennon maybe is the only one that does or maybe the whole meaning of the song is that not everything has meaning its a great song thats for sure and its fun listening to it and thinking about hwat it might or might not all mean.
  • Nick from Solvang, CaSee how they fly, like LUCY in the sky!? Can that possibly be Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds??? Hmm... Well this song is AWSOME
  • Grey-ham from Comox, B.c, Canadathis song is the best! my fav song ever and the whole album is great and has anyone heard of the cover by styx?
  • Nick from Solvang, CaHow dare they kick Edger Alen Poe! What's so bloody about tuesday? Why is the Joker laughing at me? WHAT'S GOING ON?
  • Ocean1 from Atlanta, GaIn the Beatles Anthology book; Paul says the ending of the song is: "Got one, Got one, everybody's got one" Sorry- no reference to smoking pot
  • Clare from Hmilton, CanadaIn an episode of the simpsons Bart and Milhouse break in to Flanders' Beatles parafanalia, and after Bart drinks a thrity year old "John Lemon" novelty drink e starts to hallucinate and recites the line "yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye."
  • Cristian from Brooklyn, NyThe song was actually the result of fanmail recieved from students at John's old school. An English class was trying to analyze his lyrics. John wrote the song to confuse school children :P

    "Let the f**kers try and work that one out, Pete!"
  • Ross from Atlanta, Ganear the end of the song you can hear a voice saying "Oh untimely death!" referring to the paul is dead rumors
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn also said the line "Elementary peguins, singing hare krishna" was his commentary that the Hare Krishna movement was too simplistic for him, that there had to be more than just chanting "hare krishna".
  • Ken from Louisville, KyWhen John became a "guest DJ" for a few hours at a New York radio station in the early 1970's he made sure to play "I Am The Walrus" because he said it was one of his favorite Beatles songs "I wrote it, of course, and it's got a lot of little biddies on it that'll keep you interested."
  • Trisha from Sanfrancisco, Ca******written by the inspiration of Jude,******* **************Thomasville, GAokay,**************
    im not "banging my head up" on this song. just as you, i thought it was brilliant. and i didnt know who semolina pilchard was so i looked it up and got this site. i think you just need to except one's curiosity without assuming that we're so strung up. and even if we were, we have all the reason to. it just shows how in love we all are with their work and lust to comprehend it. -thank you
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaWhat does the song mean? It means John Lennon was a brilliant composer who had a sense of humor and quick wit like Groucho Marx's. I hope Joha and Groucho are up there laughing their heads off at all these fools banging their heads against a wall trying to figure out what every last little syllable "means"!
  • Kevin from Toronto, CanadaThe walrus was David Crosby
  • Guisseppe from Bradford Uk, EnglandI read that Goo Goo Ga Joob were the last words Humpty Dumpty reputedly said...HUMPTY DUMPTY IS THE EGGMAN....obviously!?!
  • Trisha from Sanfrancisco, Cai suppose i was looking for a little more depth from the song than just a way to throw others off. but either way, its still a fantastic song by a band that needs no logic.
    -trisha, sanfrancisco, california
  • Dustin from Black Mountain, Nccharlotte, that is the whole point of this song...to not make sence.
  • Cameron from Southington, CtAlso, during the line "Sitting in the english garden waitnig for the sun to come" backwards, it also sounds like "Worst of all, he's in the dark chills......" It's weird. I have also been hearing backwards things like "Here, have this ax and this city girl's going out tonight"
  • Cameron from Southington, CtDuring the line "See how they smile Like pigs in a sty See how they snied" played backwards (use your recorder if you have windows xp) it acually sounds like "Take this ax and his life is going out tonight"! I mean it! Try it out! A bunch of other weird stuff I heard!
  • Tom from Bluemont, VaNo-one touches John Lennon in the music industry. He stands above all others, bar none. Harrison and McCartney were excellant artists in their own right, but the genius of The Beatles was Lennon. His writing was so far ahead of his time it was as if he was visiting us from the future. 'I am the Walrus' in the 60's...are you kidding me? My 20 year-old son, who was into a lot of current bands, was blown away when I gave him Beatles, Zeppelin, Rush, and CSN&Y CD's for his B'day...and now listens almost exclusively to 60's thru 70's music.
  • Vincent from St. Davids, EnglandJim Carrey made a cover version of this song on a beatles tribute album.
  • R2-d2 from San Francisco, CaDude, I think I am the eggman and you are the eggman . . . just as the first line of the song demonstrates/./ ...//. get it? We're all defenseless eggs . . .
  • Nicole from Boston, MaThat Eric Burden story is a bit disturbing- I really don't want to think of Eric Burden in that way. At the end, don't they chant: "Smoke Pot, Smoke Pot, everybody smoke pot"
  • Miranda from St. Cloud, Mn"Expert Texpert Choking smokers Don't you think the Joker Laughs at You?" Read the lyrics people. John knew a bunch of people smoking dope would start trying to figure it out and now look at what we're doing. Maybe not smoking dope but most definately trying to define nonsense. John laughs at us all.
  • Mary from New York, NyThis is hilarious reading everyone's personal analysis. I love how someone said "The walrus was a capitalist." hahaha. Can't we just enjoy the song for the nonsense that it is???
  • Kristen from Aurora, IlThis was the title of the 2005 season premere of Summerland on the WB.
  • Ryab from Lackawanna, NyI Always felt this song was about being bigger than life. I also feal this one of the earliest rap songs.
  • Cameron from Southington, CtI LOVE this song. Not just for what no sence it makes, but for the nice sound and I just like to listen to it all the time
  • Claudio from Belo Horizonte, Brazilwho cares what it means, who was walrus/eggman, or this or that??! it's just awesome song, probably about an acid trip or something. and btw the whole thing about the walrus meaning death in an eastern religion is absolute and complete bullcrap.
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaJohn from Perth in Aussie: I loved that movie my aunt gave it to me on DVD for my B-day
  • Siri from Milwaukee, WiStyx also does a good cover of this song, complete with trippy music vid.
  • Natasha from Chico, Cadid lennon really say that stuff about bob dylan? cuz if he did, i just lost some respect for john. dylan's a poetic genius, and nobody can write the kind of stuff he writes.
  • Natasha from Chico, Cahey, a fellow chicoan! I agree w/ ya blake, people are delving a little too far into this song, doing just what john wanted. its quite ironic. he was tripping on acid, his senses were magnified, his altered perceptions became his reality, and the song is just a nice tune with a jumbled combination of things from throughout john's life. (even though john said in his famous rolling stone interview "we write songs that you dont know what they mean til afterward" and said that their music was like abstract art, each person making what they want of it, etc.) Not everything has to have a meaning, because is ANYTHING really meaningful??? As humans, we just tend to need an explanation for everything, but maybe sometimes its better to let the dogs with yellow matter custard dripping from their eyes lie.
  • Austin from Charlotte, Ncmaybe its just me but i like the beatles better when they were stoned.
  • Piti from El Ferrol, SpainWhen everybody was thinking nothing new could be done in pop music Lennon blow up with a surprising, exciting and unexpected song. New chords cadence, new lyrics, new sounds in a magic world. Thank you very much indeed, John.
  • John from Perth, AustraliaBetter than the scene in The big Labowski is one in Leslie Nelson's Wrongfully Acused-hilarious movie- when he is tough talkng to the love interest and says "it's like the beatles said it: she loves you yeah yeah yeah,But guess what pancakes, this apeman is now the walrus coo-coo-cacho"
  • Siri from Milwaukee, WiStyx does a version of this song and that's how I heard it for the first time. I had to find out more about becuase it was such an intriguing song. So thanks everyone for posting such useful info about it.
  • Kristine from Hamilton, ChinaDid you also know that the "yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye" was a song that his teacher used to make them sing. It really wasn't "yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye" he just played with words and got that.
  • Kristine from Hamilton, ChinaI don't know if this is true but somebody told me that if you play I think this song backwards you will here Paul is alive.
    Not sure though!
    I am not from China also. I'm from Canada.
  • Lisa from Nyc, NyMy favorite Beatle song; it's so freaky and haunting. The image of yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye creeps me out a bit too much though...
  • Mike from London, EnglandNow this is a very interesting little number. John had been reading "Finnagan's Wake" by James Joyce in which Humpty Dumpty and the Walrus can be found. Misunderstanding the walrus to be the hero of the book, John then sang that he was the walrus who would dispel all this mystery and chaos. Soon he found out that the walrus was the villain, therefore in "Glass Onion" in the following year he pinned Paul as the walrus, as a cheap jibe to Paul. The only reason why this added to the Paul-is-dead rumour is because Vikings, when setting out on a sea voyage, if they saw a dead walrus when leaving port, they would turn back as it is a sign of imminent death and bad luck. So there you have it. The death scene from Shakespeare's King Lear can be heard at the end ("Sit you down father, rest you!"), curiously enough, and was found in the BBC archives as was "Number 9" and the other sound effects like this that the Beatles used, probably why John mentions the FBI, CIA and BBC in "Dig It" 2 years later. (Even though by this stage the FBI had a file on him.)
  • James from Tacoma, WaYeah, Goodman and bridges were talking about Lenin, and Buscemi thought they were talking about Lennon.
  • Taal from Brisbane, AustraliaIn the movie 'The Big Lebowski' Steve Buscemi plays a character who is a bit of an idiot. At the start of the movie John Goodman and Jeff Bridges are discussing something and Steve keeps repeating in the background, "I am the walrus, I am the walrus." Very Funny!!!!!
  • Mike from Jackson, NjSimply genius.
  • Blake from Chico, Caanyone here that is putting in their 2 cents on what this song may mean is doing exactly what john wanted you to do, make sense out of his nonsense.
  • Jennifer from Liverpool, EnglandIn The Beatles 'Magical Mystery Tour', Lennon was actually playing the role as The Walrus {as many of you know}, and he was also an EGGMAN!
  • Richard from Leeds, EnglandAccording to the BBC lennon took inspiration for this song from procol harum's "a whiter shade of pale" (look it up), which in turn was inspired by a poem of deliberate nonsence.
    Yeah the music is great too, really off the wall even today.
  • Brian from St. Louis, MoThis is the best song ever, I don't even care what the lyrics mean.
  • Brittanie from Liverpool, England "One afternoon, while taking "lucky dips" into the day's sack of fan mail, John, much to both our amusement, chanced to pull out a letter from a student at Quarry Bank. Following the usual expressions of adoration, this lad revealed that his literature master was playing Beatles songs in class; after the boys all took their turns analyzing the lyrics, the teacher would weigh in with his own interpretation of what the Beatles were really talking about. (This, of course, was the same institution of learning whose headmaster had summed up young Lennon's prospects with the words: "This boy is bound to fail.")

    "John and I howled in laughter over the absurdity of it all. "Pete," he said, "what's that 'Dead Dog's Eye' song we used to sing when we were at Quarry Bank?" I thought for a moment and it all came back to me:

    Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,
    All mixed together with a dead dog's eye,
    Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick,
    Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick.

    "That's it!" said John. "Fantastic!" He found a pen commenved scribbling: "Yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye...." Such was the genisis of "I Am the Walrus" (The Walrus itself was to materialize alter, almost literally stepping out of a page in Lewis Carroll's 'Through the Looking Glass')

    Inspired by the picture of that Quarry Bank literature master pontificating about the symbolism of Lennon-McCartney, John threw in the most ludicrous images his imagination could conjure. He thought of "semolina" (an insipid pudding we'd been forced to eat as kids) and "pilchard" (a sardine we often fed to our cats). Semolina pilchard climbing up the Eiffel Tower....," John intoned, writing it down with considerable relish.
  • Ian from Urbana, IlLennon was an introspective guy. in strawberry fields he tells us that no one 'i think is in my tree'...no one quite understands him. 'i am the walrus' is an extension of that; a brief vision into a world many fear to tread.
  • Yo from Honolulu, Hiwhat's a walrus? seriously, Oingo Boingo does a great cover of the song....
  • Don from Rapid City, Sd"the walrus was Paul" (for those of you who haven't seen Magical Mystery Tour") refers to the fact that during the "I Am The Walrus" sequence of that movie, Paul is indeed the one in the walrus costume. This is something that is very easily verified by a simple screening of the film.
  • Mathew from Orlando, FlYou guys are over analyzing this song. Just like Lennon said.
  • Jessy from Kettering, OhIn the last part of the song it sounds like they're saying "smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot"
  • Joel from Panama City, FlWas covered by a band called Gray Matter
  • Joel from Panama City, FlA good beatles song very different from most of their other songs
  • Steve from Willmar, Mnthe array of music and musical instruments in this song is never talked about-the words are fantastic-so is the arrangement-
    Lennon was a genius!
  • Julian from Philadelphia, PaLennon supposedly thought that Bob Dylan's lyrics were too twisted and nonsensical for their meaning to have any significance, and said 'I can write this crap too!' so he did. If you haven't heard any Bob Dylan songs, you should, but listening to his words will also put this in perspective.
  • Anonymouswho cares who was the walrus or not, all you need to know is that it's a good song
  • Dan from London, EnglandI love singing this song. It's great
  • Matthew from New York, NyOk, lets get a few points in here:

    1) For all practical purposes, Lennon was the walrus. That's what we, the media, and the fans have named him based on this song. Remember, the song is meaningless. Lennon, because he later said he wanted to make Paul feel adequate (his way of putting Paul in his place), gave him "the gift" of being the walrus--that was why he said the Walrus was Paul. Basically, he was being a dick.

    2) The eggman is based on Eric Burden, the lead singer of the Animals and later of War. According to legend, Burden would crack an egg over groupies while he was having sex with them. I guess he got off on it. Lennon thought this was hilarious, and started calling him "the eggman."

    3) Lennon was actually not that big of a pothead. He was a speed junkie for the majority of his life, and he went through "phases" where he did one drug intensely--for instance, LSD during Sgt. Pepper, coke after the beatles broke up, etc. The REAL pothead in the beatles was...Paul. He claims to have done it every night from 1965-1985.
  • Emery from San Jose, CaJim Carrey sings a good cover to this song. download it...!
  • John from West Covina, CaHe says "the walrus was Paul" in Glass Oinon.
  • Ben Russell from Durham, Ncjohn was the eggman. ringo was the walrus.
  • Ross from Cleveland, OhThis song contributes to the Paul is dead rumors. In some asian religion (you know how the beatles were into all those religions), the walrus was the animal of death. Personally i think all of the paul is dead stuff is a joke that the beatles played on people.
  • Roddy from Southampton, EnglandGeorge Martin released an album a few years back called in my life, where he and other artists sang beatles songs. In it, I am the Walrus was sung by Jim Carrey.
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxA "Semolina Pilchard" is a rather strange combinations: pudding and sardines.
  • Michele from Butte, MtWho was the eggman?
  • John from London, EnglandLater John said he hadn't realised that the Walrus was a capitalist. He also sang in Glass Onion "Here's another clue for you all, the Walrus was Paul" It wasn't anything more than word play..and as much as anything an attempt to get people like us trying to work it all out! Hey..here's another twist...if you read the Alice books you'll see that one of the characters is a Knight. So maybe Sir Paul qualifies as the Knight now eh folks???
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