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Author Topic: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion  (Read 1351 times)

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nimrod

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Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« on: March 08, 2014, 02:59:21 AM »

I told you 'bout strawberry fields
 You know the place where nothing is real
 Well, here's another place you can go
 Where everything flows

Looking through the bent backed tulips
 To see how the other half live
 Looking through a glass onion

I told you 'bout the walrus and me, man
 You know that we're as close as can be, man
 Well, here's another clue for you all
 The walrus was Paul

Standing on the cast iron shore, yeah
 Lady Madonna trying to make ends meet, yeah
 Looking through a glass onion

Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah
 Looking through a glass onion

I told you 'bout the fool on the hill
 I tell you man he living there still
 Well, here's another place you can be
 Listen to me

Fixing a hole in the ocean
 Trying to make a dovetail joint, yeah
 Looking through a glass onion




Glass Onion" is a song by the Beatles from their 1968 double-album The Beatles primarily written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. This is the first track on the album to feature Ringo Starr on drums. Starr briefly left the group during recording sessions for the album and was replaced on drums by Paul McCartney on both "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence."

The song refers to several earlier Beatles songs, including "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am the Walrus", "Lady Madonna", "The Fool on the Hill" and "Fixing a Hole". The song also refers to the "Cast Iron Shore," a coastal area of south Liverpool known to local people as "The Cazzy".

The song's "the Walrus was Paul" lyric is both a reference to "I Am the Walrus" and Lennon saying "something nice to Paul" in response to changes in their relationship at that time. Later, the line was interpreted as a "clue" in the "Paul is dead" urban legend that alleged McCartney died in 1966 during the recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. The line is preceded with "Well, here's another clue for you all".

Lennon himself dismissed any deep meaning to the mysterious lyrics:

“ I threw the line in—'the Walrus was Paul'—just to confuse everybody a bit more. It could have been 'The fox terrier is Paul.' I mean, it's just a bit of poetry. I was having a laugh because there'd been so much gobbledygook about Pepper—play it backwards and you stand on your head and all that


Personnel

John Lennon – double-tracked vocals, acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney – bass guitar, piano, recorder
George Harrison – lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
George Martin – string arrangement
Henry Datyner – violin
Eric Bowie – violin
Norman Lederman – violin
Ronald Thomas – violin
John Underwood – viola
Keith Cummings – viola
Eldon Fox – cello
Reginald Kilby – cello
Personnel per Ian MacDonald
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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2014, 03:32:27 AM »

I've always liked the song and its sound. It's not one of the best songs of the White Album though, just generic rock music.
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2014, 03:36:19 AM »

Interesting thing about the "clue" for you all lyric was written over a year before the story broke in late 1969.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2014, 04:30:26 AM »

It's a cool song. As Hombre says, fairly standard rock. But done well. Has that gritty Cold Turkey sound to it.
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In My Life

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2014, 04:37:55 AM »

Interesting thing about the "clue" for you all lyric was written over a year before the story broke in late 1969.

That is interesting Dave. This is a song I wasn't crazy about at first but the more I listened to it the better I liked it. This is a neat thread for lots of reasons but I particularly enjoy that it makes me look back and consider my Beatles journey over the years.
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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2014, 05:06:17 AM »

Its very A Typical John Lennon isn't it..

I mean the lyrics & a hard edge to the sound

apparently a glass onion is a coffin with a glass lid - hence the Paul is dead thing again, John taking the p*ss  !

Ive always liked it, I don't like Cold Turkey even though I can see where moog is coming from but that is a bleak miserable song, this is fun and lighter in atmosphere
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2014, 05:25:11 AM »

There some good lyrics in it. I like the " bent back tulips" imagery. And yes it's certainly a cheerier song than Cold Turkey. Johns harder stuff always sounded better with the Beatles. I think they played it better than the Plastic Ono Band in whatever permutation.

I read once where a glass onion was possibly a crystal ball.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2014, 05:49:38 AM »

I had a mate at school who hated Glass Onion. He couldn't stand how it referred to other songs. His hatred was such that the only Beatle record he actually had was the soundtrack to the old Broadway show Beatlemania. Which of course wasnt even the Beatles but imitators. His rather bizarre rationale was that it didnt have crap like Glass Onion on it. Why he simply didnt buy the Red and/or Blue compilations was beyond me.
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2014, 05:51:40 AM »

I heard this song for the first time a year before the Paul Is Dead rumor went viral.  "The walrus was Paul" line sent me studying the Magical Mystery Tour LP cover and booklet very closely.  We were already playing Revolution 9 forward and backward and at different speeds.  That was some album that white album!

I learned to like the song more over the following years.  When I heard the song for the first time in 1968, I had none of John's subsequent hard stuff to compare it to.  It had an odd ending and I was all smiles again when Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da began playing right after.
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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2014, 05:57:49 AM »

Interesting thing about the "clue" for you all lyric was written over a year before the story broke in late 1969.


This is the album that got us searching for "clues" in earlier albums.  The ones I noticed in the Magical Mystery Tour booklet were Paul's black flower and the crack running through his head...


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Klang

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2014, 09:24:22 AM »


Nice shift in gear on the record. The lyrics used to put me off. It was obvious that John was poking fun at the "deeper meaning" searching, but to what end? Kind of a waste of real estate in my young opinion. Now I see it as an irreplaceable piece of the whole puzzle. The album itself, that is.

 :)

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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2014, 09:30:47 AM »

It's remarkable that a song with as crisp a production as 'Glass Onion' can exist on an LP, albeit a double, with a song as defiantly lo-fi as 'Long, Long, Long'. I love the way it sequences into 'Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da' as well.
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tkitna

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 11:48:46 AM »

It's remarkable that a song with as crisp a production as 'Glass Onion' can exist on an LP, albeit a double, with a song as defiantly lo-fi as 'Long, Long, Long'.

This is true. The album was all over the place production and quality wise.

Glass Onion is a pretty decent tune. Love Ringo's drum sound. The song itself has a nice beat and is enjoyable enough. I guess its a middle of the road song for me.

Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 03:54:28 PM »

It's funny that John confused the name of the song during an interview in 1980.

Quote
PLAYBOY: "Do you find that the clamor for a Beatles reunion has died down?"

LENNON: "Well, I heard some Beatles stuff on the radio the other day and I heard 'Green Onion' ...no, 'Glass Onion,' I don't even know my own songs! I listened to it because it was a rare track..."

PLAYBOY: "That was the one that contributed to the 'Paul McCartney is dead' uproar because of the lyric 'The walrus is Paul.'"

LENNON: "Yeah. That line was a joke, you know. That line was put in partly because I was feeling guilty because I was with Yoko, and I knew I was finally high and dry. In a perverse way, I was sort of saying to Paul, 'Here, have this crumb, have this illusion, have this stroke... because I'm leaving you.' Anyway, it's a song they don't usually play. When a radio station has a Beatles weekend, they usually play the same ten songs... 'A Hard Day's Night,' 'Help!,' 'Yesterday,' 'Something,' 'Let It Be' ...you know, there's all that wealth of material, but we hear only ten songs. So the deejay says, 'I want to thank John, Paul, George and Ringo for not getting back together and spoiling a good thing.' I thought it was a good sign. Maybe people are catching on."
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blmeanie

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 11:45:22 PM »

I've gone back and forth on whether using song references was a slacker move, a song built in a few hours. 

In the end, the song, the lyrics,and the music all have to work together regardless of the subject matter.  I like it and included it in one of my youtube videos last year.

I use Beatle songs for two reasons, obviously a fan, and youtube doesn't pull the sound when you embed Beatles music in them like they do for other artists.

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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2014, 02:29:00 AM »

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lk5c67Ppog1qdvsg8o1_500.jpg

Paul had a geodome in his garden at St. John's Wood where he used to write and rehearse music with the other Beatles at times. I think they called it his Glass onion. Cool!https://sp1.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608036449987988837&pid=15.1
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 02:31:25 AM by Dcazz »
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2014, 02:33:10 AM »

https://sp.yimg.com/ib/th?id=HN.608031188658357324&pid=15.1

Here's a better shot.

It's interesting that john is probably reflecting on some of the songs that we're written or perfected while in the dome it's almost like a different version of Penny Lane or In My Life only he's reminiscing about songs instead of people and/or places through the windows of the place they were perfected. A room with granny specs...!
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 02:40:35 AM by Dcazz »
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stevie

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2014, 07:45:55 AM »

Interesting thing about the "clue" for you all lyric was written over a year before the story broke in late 1969.

You had me excited there for a sec, bro, thinking 'hang on, I never realised this. Maybe Paul did die'!

Then I remembered John is referring to who was in the Walrus costume in MMT, and whether he was for or against the Walrus or the Carpenter that he hinted IATW was about.

I think...lol
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Dcazz

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2014, 10:27:11 AM »

Stay excited. My point was that this is one of two clues that are deliberate references to the Paul Is Dead hoax. The other was my avatar from MMT for a while but even I found it a bit too creepy!
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Glass Onion
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2014, 11:17:31 AM »

Stay excited. My point was that this is one of two clues that are deliberate references to the Paul Is Dead hoax. The other was my avatar from MMT for a while but even I found it a bit too creepy!

What am I missing in that photo Dcazz? Except that it has a sort of creepy face look when viewed as a thumbnail I'm not sure why it's a Paul is Dead clue.
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