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Mentioning The Beatles by name in song
3 January 2010
2.52pm
Joe
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My wife asked me about this when we were playing Rock Band last night: were each of The Beatles mentioned by name in their songs?

The ones that spring to mind are the ones where Ringo says something like "Play it for Ringo one time, George", but the precise songs escape me right now - I know Act Naturally was one, and I suspect Honey Don't was another. If You've Got Trouble, on Anthology 2, had "Ah, rock on, anybody!" which I suppose includes all four of them.

Others: "Go Johnny, go go" in For You Blue, "the walrus was Paul" in Glass Onion, and "Come on Ringo, let's hear it for Denis" in You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).

Are there any others?

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3 January 2010
3.16pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
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"Play it for Ringo one more time, George" was 'Honey Don't' I'm sure...... I'm struggling to think of any others.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
3 January 2010
4.17pm
SugarPlumFairy
Cloud Cuckoo Land
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Doesn't Ringo sing "If you don't want Ringo's peaches Honey..." at some point in Matchbox?

3 January 2010
4.51pm
skye
AZ
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Yeah he does, he also refers to John in that song before the guiter bit. (Wow that lyric looks wrong written out.)

Ad hoc, ad loc, and quid pro quo! So little time! So much to know!
3 January 2010
7.21pm
BeatleMark
Pensacola, Florida
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Yawn, Paul,  in "I'm Only Sleeping".  Ring, my friend I said you'd call..."Dr. Robert".  Paul is dead man.  Miss him, miss him, miss him!  Backwards at the end of "I'm So Tired".  Confused

Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me.
5 January 2010
10.37am
Joe
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Thanks all (though I'm not so sure about any of BeatleMark's!). And here's another Q for you all:

I was listening to All Things Must Pass yesterday and noticed the line "Let me roll it to you" in I'd Have You Anytime. So I started thinking about solo Beatles songs which reference the other members.

Paul's Let Me Roll It was presumably a tribute to John, as it sounded a lot like a Plastic Ono Band song, but the above line could well have been a nod to George. He also wrote Here Today after John's death. Ram has a few references to John and Yoko (Too Many People preaching practices, "We believe that we can't be wrong" etc), and of course John got his own back on How Do You Sleep.

George did All Those Years Ago for John, and wrote When We Was Fab about The Beatles in general. Was It's Johnny's Birthday on All Things Must Pass about Lennon? And did Ringo do any songs about the others?

Although it's clear what most of those songs were about, actual naming of the other members seems uncommon in the solo years. Did any of the songs mention them by name?

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5 January 2010
6.48pm
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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And did Ringo do any songs about the others?


Ringo's "Early 1970" is a nice little song about the breakup, and the willingness of his former bandmates (none of 'em mentioned by name, as usual) to jam with him when they come to town. (George is always willing and able to play; John's making plans to do so; as for Paul, he's hopeful but unsure.) 

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
5 January 2010
8.32pm
SugarPlumFairy
Cloud Cuckoo Land
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Ringo is still at it! And on the song Liverpool 8 from a couple of years back, he actually did mention all three of his ex-bandmates by name, in a verse about playing in Hamburg. And the following verse mentions playing Shea Stadium as well. There's also his tribute to George, Never Without You, which manages to include a couple of his song titles in the lyric. 

7 January 2010
7.08pm
Amphion
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I always thought that Paul's 'Let Me Roll It' from the Band On The Run album was a response to John's 'How Do You Sleep.' In fact, I always thought 'Jet' made certain obscure references to Yoko. In fact, I always think that most of Paul's solo lyrics of the 70's were probably written with John in mind!

8 January 2010
1.16pm
mjb
Candlestick Park
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George's Living In The Material World:

"Met them all there in the material world
John and Paul here in the material world
Though we started out quite poor
We got 'Richie' on a tour
Got caught up in the material world"

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
8 January 2010
1.20pm
mjb
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Amphion said:I always thought that Paul's 'Let Me Roll It' from the Band On The Run album was a response to John's 'How Do You Sleep.' In fact, I always thought 'Jet' made certain obscure references to Yoko. In fact, I always think that most of Paul's solo lyrics of the 70's were probably written with John in mind!


I thought How Do You Sleep? was in resoponse to Too Many People.

"If we feel our heads starting to swell.....we just look at Ringo!"
9 January 2010
10.09am
Barry Cappi
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In the spoken outro to the reprise of Just Because on the 'Rock n Roll' CD, John says 'Hi to Ringo, Paul & George & everyone back home in England'.

Similarly, in the spoken outro on the final track of the 'Ringo' album, (You & Me Babe), Ringo name checks George Harrison, John Lennon & Paul McCartney.

10 January 2010
4.00am
Giovi
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In "Boys", John sings "Alright, George". 

And there's a Ringo's song, that was written for George, as SugarPlumFairy said, called "Never Without You". 

25 January 2010
9.51pm
Alissa
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In John's #9 Dream, during the second bridge before the chorus, you can hear May whispering "George, hare krishna." I read about it, and after a little closer inspection you can hear it's definitely there.

Tongue, lose thy light. Moon, take thy flight… see ya, George!
25 January 2010
10.00pm
Joe
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I'm pretty sure that's not the case. They reversed the tape from the earlier verse where May says "John... John... John" ("Somebody calling my name...") - it sounds like "Norj". You can reverse it back and hear it.

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31 January 2010
6.51pm
Elsewhere Man
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In regards to "Let Me Roll It," (which sounds like Paul imitating John's recording style - particularly on Plastic Ono Band) I find it rather amusing that John quoted the riff from that song in "Beef Jerky," his instrumental number from Walls And Bridges.

11 February 2010
4.23pm
MadiYasha
Granite Falls, WA
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Joe said:

And did Ringo do any songs about the others?


On Y Not (which I bought the day it came out because I'm a 'tard) Ringo has a song called 'Peace Dream', and while not being directly about John, it has a lyrics that goes like...

"Just like John Lennon said,

In Amsterdam from his bed

One day we'll all wake up

to see the reality."

The following people thank MadiYasha for this post:

Mr. Kite
"I'd like to end up sort of unforgettable."
11 February 2010
6.40pm
PeterWeatherby
A Park in the Dark
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Joe said:

 Ram has a few references to John and Yoko (Too Many People preaching practices, "We believe that we can't be wrong" etc), and of course John got his own back on How Do You Sleep.


I remember Carlin made the same point in his book, drawing out several lyrics from various songs on Ram and showing how they applied to John, but in his 1984 Playboy interview, Paul seemed to narrow the scope a bit and indicated that only the song "Too Many People" was specifically directed at John:

PAUL: ... I was looking at my second solo album, Ram, the other day and I remember there was one tiny little reference to John in the whole thing. He'd been doing a lot of preaching, and it got up my nose a little bit. In one song, I wrote, "Too many people preaching practices," I think is the line. I mean, that was a little dig at John and Yoko. There wasn't anything else on it that was about them. Oh, there was "You took your lucky break and broke it in two."

LINDA: Same song. They got the message.

PAUL: But I think they took it further--

LINDA: They thought the whole album was about them. And then they got very upset.

PAUL: Yeah, that was the kind of thing that would happen. They'd take one small dig out of proportion and then come back at us in their next album. Then we'd say, "Hey, we only did two percent. they did 200 percent"--and we'd go through all of that insanity. (source, italics added)

It might be a bit of a stretch, but the lyrics to Paul's "The Song We Were Singing" (Flaming Pie) seem to be a general reference to the Beatles' days together: "To the sound, blue guitars, caught up in a philosophical discussion ... But we always came back to the songs we were singing, at any particular time."

And wasn't there a line in "You Never Give Me Your Money" that was more-or-less directed at John?  "And in the middle of negotiation you break down ..."

Not a bit like Cagney.
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