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''I am the Walrus''

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donegal | 13:07 Tue 24th Jan 2006 | Music
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Was just looking at the lyrics of ''I am the Walrus'' by The Beatles. what a class song by a great man. What was John ''on'' at the time? Were did he get the idea for it?


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Having fun today donegal ? I love that era of the beatles also. Great songs. No answers for you though Im afraid.

Apparently, after hearing that a teacher had his students analysing lyrics to Beatles songs, John deliberately created the song with nonsense lines such as 'elementary penguins', 'sitting on a cornflake', and 'crabalocker fishwife' and said 'Let (the students) work that one out'. In other words, it's just a nonsense song. Although he was 'sitting in an English garden' when he wrote it.
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yeah i am having fun 2day peri, r u?

At the time that "I am the Walrus" was written, 1967, Lennon was a big fan of acid (LSD). Indeed, the Wikipedia article at

states conclusively that Lennon was on acid at the time he began the song. However, the article also mentions various sources for the lyrics which was actually a mish-mash of three different lyrical ideas, and includes part of a nursey rhyme from Lennon's youth. He comments that he was inspired to write it after a schoolchild wrote and told him they were analysing Beatles lyrics at school. Lennon took that as a challenge to write something which defied analysis! Not, it should be noted, that it has stopped people - rather the opposite.

More particularly, if you ever read any of Lennon's poetry, which predates his drug use by many years, you will find that it contains numerous examples of the type of wordplay found in 'Walrus', so that certainly can't be attributed to drugs!

The idea for the Walrus came from the poem The Walrus and The Carpenter from Alice in Wonderland. 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 egg man was apparently Eric Burdon of the Animals - he used to break eggs on women when he was making love to them!?!?

The Walrus was a nickname for Fats Waller.

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''I am the Walrus''

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