"This One" lyrics | Paul McCartney | Fab forum

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"This One" lyrics
17 September 2013
7.01am
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 3439
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29 August 2013
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I have to ask (having just got "Flowers" off ebay - yay); this has been at the back of my mind for a while, but receiving the CD just now reminded me.  Just what does:

"The swan is gliding above the ocean
A God is riding upon his back"

mean?? a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

17 September 2013
4.25pm
acmac
Carnegie Hall
Forum Posts: 231
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1 August 2013
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In Indian iconography, the goddess Saraswati is often depicted riding a swan. She is the goddess of learning, wisdom, music, art, and science. More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saraswati

Moreover, Paul seems to associate John with white birds (the peacock in that Anthology photo, Julian said John told him to think of him whenever he saw a white feather, and there's one other example I'm forgetting). The line "fade this swan/one to black" might refer to John's death, especially since Paul has at least twice brought John (and George) up in discussing the meaning of the song itself, as an example of why it's important to say what you want to say to people when you have the chance.

17 September 2013
10.20pm
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 3439
Member Since:
29 August 2013
Offline

^ Thanks - some great info there.  I had the idea there were some Eastern references in the song, given the video and all, but had not been able to track it down before.

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