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John Lennon Alphabet Writing
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28 March 2014
12.26am
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Musketeer Gripweed
Coldspring Harbor, NY
Carnegie Hall
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16 January 2014
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Hey, recently saw this work of writing done by John up for auction. I was sitting there pondering if there was a pattern or if it is just jibberish fun. Thought maybe if others saw it they might be able to give input on what they think this. I was thinking the letter might symbolize what he says in the phrase. Like an A kind of looks like a parrots beak. A B, sort of looks like glasses turned on its side. But then he repeats parrot for J, so I have no idea. Anyone what a take a crack at decoding this? It might be pointless if it is jibberish, but thought perhaps I am missing something others might see.

 

A is for Parrot which we can plainly see
B is for glasses which we can plainly see
C is for plastic which we can plainly see
D is for Doris
E is for binoculars I’ll get in five
F is for Ethel who lives next door
G is for orange which we love to eat when we can get them because
they come from abroad
H is for England and (Heather)
I is for monkey we see in the tree
J is for parrot which we can plainly see
K is for shoetop we wear to the ball
L is for Land because brown
M is for Venezuela where the oranges come from
N is for Brazil near Venezuela (very near)
O is for football which we kick about a bit
T is for Tommy who won the war
Q is a garden which we can plainly see
R is for intestines which hurt when we dance
S is for pancake or whole-wheat bread
U is for Ethel who lives on the hill
P is arab and her sister will
V is for me
W is for lighter which never lights
X is easter—have one yourself
Y is a crooked letter and you can’t straighten it
Z is for Apple which we can plainly see

This is my story both humble and true
Take it to pieces and mend it with glue

29 March 2014
5.41pm
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Billy Rhythm
Candlestick Park
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22 December 2013
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Mr. Kite said
I realized that the alphabet it out of order! Does that mean something?

 

I suspect that the answer will be in the form of what's known as 'Wordplay'  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_play  as we're all well aware of John's fondness for James Joyce's works.  Play this video from the  19:20  mark to hear John Lennon himself demonstrate an example of "wordplay" very effectively on Dick Cavett:

 

 

John was a master at this literary technique and utilized it very often...:-)

 

 

29 March 2014
8.58pm
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Musketeer Gripweed
Coldspring Harbor, NY
Carnegie Hall
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16 January 2014
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Billy Rhythm said

Mr. Kite said
I realized that the alphabet it out of order! Does that mean something?

 

I suspect that the answer will be in the form of what's known as 'Wordplay'  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_play  as we're all well aware of John's fondness for James Joyce's works.  Play this video from the  19:20  mark to hear John Lennon himself demonstrate an example of "wordplay" very effectively on Dick Cavett:

 

John was a master at this literary technique and utilized it very often...:-)

 

 

Always wondered who influenced his artwork. Its amazing how similar his style is to Thurbers and Searles. He kind of mixed James Thurber's and Ronald Searle's styles together. If anyone hasn't they should check it out. 

29 March 2014
9.02pm
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Ron Nasty
"Where have you been?" "I'm not telling you..."
Apple rooftop
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29 March 2014
10.00pm
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Billy Rhythm
Candlestick Park
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22 December 2013
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It's a bit ironic Ron Nasty, for one who believes it to be "nonsense verse" (which you may very well be correct on), you've actually made a pretty clear connection to the "This is my story both humble and true" declaration by making the "Z is for Apple..." reference to Zapple Records.  If we literally translate the "my story" bit this way, we may possibly make other such connections, such as "T is for Tommy who won the war" could relate to either his 'How I Won The War' role, or The English Army "had just won the war" lyric from a 'A Day In The Life'.  Is "Ethel" actually Paul McCartney?  "who lives on a hill"?  "who lives next store"?  The fact that there are two references to an "Ethel" suggests that this person is of great significance to "my (John's) story".  The names could just be convenient to his rhyming scheme, such as this example of "wordplay" from the Wiki link:

 

An epitaph, probably unassigned to any grave, demonstrates use in rhyme.

Here lie the bones of one 'Bun'
He was killed with a gun.
His name was not 'Bun' but 'Wood'
But 'Wood' would not rhyme with gun
But 'Bun' would.
If the piece is indeed nonsensical, there likely still could be personal references.  Much like 'Glass Onion' where John was mocking those whom he felt read far too much into his work (perhaps as we are doing here!) with things like "here's another clue for all".  In other words, yeah, John could very well be messing with us, sticking in just enough tidbits to have you believe that there's something highly significant beneath the Onion Peelings just so you'll go through the trouble of the laborious task of peeling it, the end result is that the Onion Peeler is just as confused as they were before....:-)
29 March 2014
10.31pm
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Billy Rhythm
Candlestick Park
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22 December 2013
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I've looked at it quite a bit and so far haven't been able to see a clear "pattern", but I think there's a few "clues" to perhaps construct one, or do exactly as Lennon has instructed, "Take it to pieces and mend it with glue".  Another literary technique that John was very keen on was "double use", such as the 'Please Please Me' lyric (same word used twice but different meanings) or The Beatles name itself where "when people heard it they thought of crawly things and when you read it, it was Beat Music".  There's more than a few things here that can be doubled up, such as "K is for shoetop that we wear to the ball" appears to be connected to "O is for football which we kick about a bit", or the double use of the name "Ethel", "Parrot" is used twice, "the oranges" etc.  The things "which we can plainly see" could be an instruction in itself, to either ignore or place emphasis on the obvious, or plainly seen.  The "double use" appears throughout and I believe is key to constructing, or deconstructing this "wordplay"...:-) 

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