The "handbell" in "Everybody's Got Something To Hide 'Cept For Me and My Monkey" | The songs | Fab forum

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The "handbell" in "Everybody's Got Something To Hide 'Cept For Me and My Monkey"
5 November 2012
3.39am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
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1 November 2012
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The most remarkable thing about this song (other than the fact that it's a superbly ass-kicking rock song) is the use of the "handbell".  I see that is what is noted under the song section of this site.  I am guessing this means a bell, like a small churchbell, perhaps without a clapper inside, or with a string attached to the clapper to facilitate rapid striking.

 

And rapid striking is putting it mildly.  The use of it in this song is brilliant.  For years I thought, without listening too closely, that it was the center "bell" part of a cymbal being played with two sticks (only Gene Krupa or Joe Morello could play that tempo with one stick!) and amplified unnaturally with a close mic.  But I suppose a handbell makes more sense.  (It also sounds like an old-fashioned supper bell being rung by a stark-raving mad housewife…)

 

Still, I have never heard any other musician or band in any genre -- rock, pop, jazz, Latin, African or classical -- use a handbell in quite the way the Beatles did on "Everybody's Got Something To Hide 'Cept For Me and My Monkey".  And I suspect that the whole thing was Paul's idea.

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5 November 2012
10.14pm
Long John Silver
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Why you suspect it is Paul's idea?

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5 November 2012
11.21pm
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Long John Silver said
Why you suspect it is Paul's idea?

I don't know, he seems to be more musically inventive and gimmicky for the sake of it.  John tended to be too concerned with "meaning", and George and Ringo tended to be rather mainstream in that department (despite the former's sitars).

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6 November 2012
8.55am
Long John Silver
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So you suspect melody of If I fell was Pauls, bell in this song is Pauls idea, you think Paul "scream" (if I remember correctly) is better than John. We get it, you prefer Paul but there is no need to open a new topic about it. You think John wasn't capable of thinking of something like this? A man who wrote Rain, Tomorrow Never Knows, I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever etc… those are actually one of the most inventive songs in Beatles catalogue.

 

I was never that much into "who did what" in each song, and I don't say that this was or wasn't Paul's idea, just not sure what's with suspicion that John wouldn't think of something like this.

Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see.
6 November 2012
11.45am
Joe
Pepperland
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I don't know who added the bell. There was also another percussion instrument, a chocalho, in some of the verses when the bell wasn't ringing. I've no idea why you'd presume it was McCartney – they all had access to the Abbey Road trap room containing effects and instruments, and raided it every now and then when a song needed something new (Yellow Submarine was one).

http://www.beatlesbible.com/19…..-monkey-2/

This is a handbell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handbell - AFAIK they didn't use a drumstick, and it would have had a clapper inside.

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6 November 2012
3.42pm
Funny Paper
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Long John Silver said
So you suspect melody of If I fell was Pauls, bell in this song is Pauls idea, you think Paul "scream" (if I remember correctly) is better than John. We get it, you prefer Paul but there is no need to open a new topic about it. You think John wasn't capable of thinking of something like this? A man who wrote Rain, Tomorrow Never Knows, I Am The Walrus, Strawberry Fields Forever etc… those are actually one of the most inventive songs in Beatles catalogue.

 

I was never that much into "who did what" in each song, and I don't say that this was or wasn't Paul's idea, just not sure what's with suspicion that John wouldn't think of something like this.

Well, if you take the totality of my OT post, the remark about Paul was parenthetical (and hypothetical).  My main point was how cool the use of the handbell is, regardless of who thought of it.

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6 November 2012
3.47pm
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Joe said
I don't know who added the bell. There was also another percussion instrument, a chocalho, in some of the verses when the bell wasn't ringing. I've no idea why you'd presume it was McCartney – they all had access to the Abbey Road trap room containing effects and instruments, and raided it every now and then when a song needed something new (Yellow Submarine was one).

http://www.beatlesbible.com/19…..-monkey-2/

This is a handbell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handbell - AFAIK they didn't use a drumstick, and it would have had a clapper inside.

Thanks Joe; from the wiki link I can see a person could manage to play that handbell as rapidly as it sounds on the song by simply wielding the handle and deftly oscillating it side to side.

 

I don't know about a chocalho, but the other instrument I hear sounds like maracas.

 

As for my comment about Paul, it's not a matter of availability, but the thought occurring to someone.  You could have a room full of musicians, in a room full of exotic percussion instruments, but it wouldn't necessarily occur to all of them to use the same instruments.  There's some je ne sais quoi about Paul where I could imagine him, more than the other three, saying after they'd recorded the song a few times -- "Hey, let's try using the handbell!" 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
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