Yellow Submarine

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“It was kinda funny to Yellow Submarine, but who could afford it?”

~ Ron Howard on a photo montage
A panel from the 1968 movie adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel 'Yellow Submarine' depicting the day after the night Paul McCartney lost his virginity to John Lennon.

Yellow Submarine is a 1966 song by the Beatles. The song was written by Paul McCartney but after a heated discussion involving a double-barrelled shotgun was attributed to Lenon-McCartney.

Similarly McCartney originally intended to perform the lead vocals until his fellow bandmate Ringo Starr, with the aid of a shattered bottle of Scotch Whisky (Bells- 1942 vintage), convinced McCartney otherwise.

The song reached the #1 position in both the British, American, Australian, Canadian, New Zealander, Irish, and finally South African pop charts.

The song deals with the life and times of Elvis Presley through clever uses of metaphor, which is actually rather ironic, because by reaching the #1 spot in the US charts with this single the Beatles were finally able to surpass Elvis's age old record for the number of records that have numbers of numbered records recording numbers of recorded numbers numerically. This unparalleled feat annoyed Elvis immensely and, in truth, has never been paralleled.

Discussion of the Lyrics[edit | edit source]

The song deals with the life and times of Elvis Presley through, in truth, rather poor uses of metaphor. Let us first examine the opening lines carefully:

"in THE toWn were i was bORn,

lived a Man who Sailed to seA,

and he Told us of his lifE,

In the lANd of suBmarinEs,

so we sailed out to the sun,

til we FOund the sea of gREen,

and we lIved beneath the WAveS,

iN oUr yeLLow submarinE"

In this verse McCartney suggests the "man" (by which he means Elvis) was born in the "town that sailed to sea". This is clearly patent nonsense. As any student of twentieth-century pottery will be able to confirm Elvis joined the US Army in the Vietnam War and not the US Navy.

McCartney's "land of submarines" is a clear and patently nonsensical reference to the later USSR. Note also that the symbol for radioactivity contains both the colour black and the colour yellow, thereby transforming the phrase Yellow Submarine into a rather obvious substitute for Ringworm.

At this point McCartney introduces us to his rather shoddy chorus:

"We all live in a Yellow Submarine,

Yellow Submarine, Yellow Submarine,

We all live in a Yellow Submarine,

Yellow Submarine, Yellow Submarine"

This particular verse with its hauntingly melodic uplift and its weighty emotional downspiral is possibly the most inspirational and certainly the most beautiful single piece of music written by man. It is said that, upon hearing this most wonderful of aural wonders that the Dalai Lama; the spiritual leader of Tibet, was able to transcend the layers of our imposed dreamworld and reach out, hesitantly and, in truth, flatulently to the ultimate reality, and establish a rapport with the eternal creator.

Even the uneducated, crude, illiterate, stinky, unpolished and moronic masses that dwell together with us all, upon this fair Earth would be transformed into caring and compassionate whores after listening to this enlightening piece of music.

Nonetheless we must move onwards:

"And our friends are all on board

Many more of them live next door

And the band begins to play."

In this verse McCartney is referencing the brief romantic affair between Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Through the words "Many more of them are all on board to play" McCartney attempts to represent the loss felt by Elvis when Marilyn left him for President John F. Kennedy.

At this point McCartney decides to milk his rather shoddy chorus for all its worth and drags it out again, like a lame old dog onto the race course to chase the sparkly hare of money for one last time. Unfortunately for him it collapses halfway through, wheezing and coughing, to the dust.

So as to distract us from this degrading spectacle McCartney hastily attaches another verse of original lyrics:

"As we live a life of ease

Everyone of us has all we need

Sky of blue and sea of green

In our yellow submarine."

This verse is so clear and obvious in its meaning, that it really is not necessary to comment upon its well-concealed and numerous hidden meanings.

Despite that, this verse, in truth, describes Elvis's defection to the Soviet cause in December 1871. McCartney notes Elvis's belief that he will "live a life of ease" upon the "sea of green" (money) in the USSR, by using his sizable fortune to purchase the USSR. Perhaps fortunately Elvis's attempt failed and he was exiled from the communist state into the "Sky of Blue", or as it is more correctly known, Tennessee. It was here that Elvis died in 1932 following the ingestion of one too many "Yellow Submarines".

McCartney finishes his epic and soulful tribute to the eternal King of Rock n' Roll with another gutsy rendition of his lusty chorus.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Bandmember John Lennon infamously described this song as being "Bigger than the Lord's Prayer", thereby causing an outcry amongst uptight squares across the United States of America, who rather sillily believed that Lennon meant that the song was better

than the Lord's Prayer.

  • In truth, Lennon was merely commenting upon the length of this song.
  • Between the times of 1:37 and 1:40 the voice of former US President Abraham Lincoln can be heard shouting the phrase "Kill Hitler, Kill Hitler". This is widely cited by conspiracy theorists as proof positive that Hitler did not commit suicide in his bunker during 1945 and, in truth, was still alive when this song was released in 1966. This is clearly patent nonsense because by this point Lincoln was dead too and everyone knows that dead men don't tell no tales.

Album[edit | edit source]

The album was released sometime during 1968.

Tracklisting[edit | edit source]

Side one[edit | edit source]

  1. All-Fella Submarine- 2:44
  2. Only A Southern Song- 3:24
  3. Come Together Now- 2:09
  4. Hey Bullfrog- 3:14
  5. It's Not Too Much- 6:34
  6. All You Need is More Drugs- 4:01

Side two[edit | edit source]

  1. Saltland- 2:44
  2. Ocean No. 1- 3:00
  3. Ocean No. 2- 2:15
  4. Ocean No. 3- 3:41
  5. March, March, March- 2:25
  6. Saltland Comes Again!- 2:40
  7. Yellow Submarine Visits Saltland- 2:15