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When We Was Fab
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26 May 2013
5.48pm
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Egroeg Evoli
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Here's my song analysis:

Back then long time ago when grass was green
Woke up in a daze
Arrived like strangers in the night
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - back when income tax was all we had (Taxman reference?)

Caresses fleeced you in the morning light
Casualties at dawn (I think in this part of the song there's something that reminds me of the orchestral crescendo of A Day In The Life.)
And we did it all
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - you are my world you are my only love

And while you're in this world
The fuzz gonna come and claim you
But you mo better wise
When the buzz gonna come and take you away
Take you away (Magical Mystery Tour reference? Also, Blue Jay Way voice effect?)
Take you away

The microscopes that magnified the tears (Referring to the press, as in the press during Beatlemania?)
Studied warts and all
Still the life flows on and on (Within You Without You reference?)
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - but it's all over now baby blue
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - like this pullover you sent to me

Fab
And you've really got a hold on me (The Beatles covered the song You've Really Got a Hold On Me.) 
Fab - long time ago when we was fab

At the end of the song, there's an Indian-sounding bit which is reminiscent of songs like Within You Without You and Love You To. After the Indian bit, there's a screaming crowd, which could represent Beatlemania.

Of course, there's the whole "fab" and "gear" thing, too.

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Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy, Ravioli, Eggroll Eggrolli...

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26 May 2013
8.19pm
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Ron Nasty
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A pretty good analysis, Egroeg. The only thing I'd say you missed out is the Dylan reference in "but it's all over now baby blue". It's All Over Now, Baby Blue being a Dylan song, and Dylan's influence having a major impact on the Beatles throughout their career, with George's walk-out during the Get Back sessions even having a Dylan - he'd spent some time with Dylan and The Band in Woodstock during the weeks before, and loved the atmosphere, and then came back to the atmosphere at Twickenham.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

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27 May 2013
6.57pm
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fabfouremily
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Nice analysis, Autumn :D

I get what you're saying, mja, but that's not really a Beatles reference, imo.

Did George ever confirm any of these references individually, or even just one in particular? I don't think I've come across an interview or anything...

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

(Passover - I. Curtis)

27 May 2013
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Ron Nasty
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I'd say it's reference to somebody who had a huge influence on them, and on George in particular during the later years of The Beatles. I also think it's interesting in being the only obvious reference to something they didn't do (though they did attempt many Dylan songs during the Get Back sessions). To get some of the references I think you have to sideways glance, and I think the Dylan reference is one such case.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

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16 February 2015
1.24pm
AL Ruano
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He also says 'baby blue', which has to be a reference to For You Blue, no?

16 February 2015
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Ahhh Girl
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Welcome to the Beatles Bible, @AL Ruano. We have a similar thread that you might enjoy too: solo songs about Beatlemania.

16 February 2015
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Starr Shine?
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AL Ruano said
He also says 'baby blue', which has to be a reference to For You Blue, no?

It could also be about the Badfinger song since they were also on apple and George produced one of their songs.

https://youtu.be/52nwiTs7bk8

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16 February 2015
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Ron Nasty
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Regarding the "baby blue" in the lyric, I have no doubt, looking at the whole line, "Fab - but it's all over now, baby blue," that it's a nod to his friend, Bob Dylan. George was far too big a fan and friend of Bob not to see he was directly quoting a Dylan title. It can't be denied it's a Dylan title, nor that there were many direct links between Bob and The Beatles, and Bob and George in particular.

Sometimes there's no need to look further then at what's in plain sight.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

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16 February 2015
7.27pm
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PeterWeatherby
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"Arrived like strangers in the night"

That could be a reference to the early days in Hamburg. They did arrive in the middle of the night, and they were very much strangers to the country.

"The microscopes that magnified the tears
Studied warts and all"

I believe that's a reference to the Get Back/Let it Be sessions -- the camera (microscope) that was supposed to capture the Beatles, in Lennon's words, "warts and all."

Not a bit like Cagney.

16 February 2015
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meanmistermustard
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I would have thought that ""The microscopes that magnified the tears. Studied warts and all" is more in reference to the press that reported on, examined and analysed every single thing during the Beatle years and onwards.

"Arrived like strangers in the night" is probably in reference to the explosion of Beatlemania which caught many off-guard so it appeared that The Beatles came out of nowhere. Either that or the Frank Sinatra song (i'm not being serious on that one).

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16 February 2015
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ewe2
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Could also be an off-the-cuff reference to 1 Thessalonians 5:2 or was it Peter 3:10 "the Lord will arrive like a thief in the night". Rather a naughty joke by George if so.

I'm like Necko only I'm a bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin and also everyone. Or is everyone me? Now I'm a confused bassist ukulele synthesizer penguin everyone who is definitely not @Joe.

16 February 2015
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meanmistermustard
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Considering the track is an ode to the Beatles i think its unlikely that George would refer to a line or two of Biblical scripture.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

17 February 2015
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Bongo
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meanmistermustard said
"Arrived like strangers in the night" is probably in reference to the explosion of Beatlemania which caught many off-guard so it appeared that The Beatles came out of nowhere. Either that or the Frank Sinatra song (i'm not being serious on that one).

Isn't that a reference to arriving in N.A. in 1964?

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

17 February 2015
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meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8Very well could be. But Beatlemania seemed to suddenly just explode as well even tho it had been brewing for a while if not just in the national press. It went from manic to mania in a very short period of time.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

18 February 2015
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Bongo
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Ya, it became world wide once they conquered America (USA), as we all know they were already big in Europe, and here in Canada a few months earlier since England was our Mother Land.

 Either way, great song!  beatlemaniacs_02_gif

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

7 February 2016
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Randie
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No doubt that what George was referring to with the lines caresses fleeced you in the morning light, casualties at dawn and we did it all, all of the young women groupies they had sex with and many were teen girls,especially when they were touring  from 1963-1966 ironically during the joke fake cleaned up image Brian Epstein created for them in their early days.They were like pimps playing the part of priests!

8 February 2016
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Bongo
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Randie said
No doubt that what George was referring to all of the young women groupies they had sex with and many were teen girls

Can't say I blame them..... apple02

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

29 August 2017
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SgtPeppersBulldog
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I thought I might develop upon Egroeg's analysis of the song for references, whether they be intentional or not. Egroeg's original analysis is at the top of the page.

Egroeg Evoli said
Here's my song analysis:

Back then long time ago when grass was green
Woke up in a daze ("Woke up, fell out of bed " from A Day In The Life?)
Arrived like strangers in the night 
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - back when income tax was all we had (Taxman reference?)
Caresses fleeced you in the morning light
Casualties at dawn (I think in this part of the song there's something that reminds me of the orchestral crescendo of A Day In The Life.)
And we did it all
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - you are my world you are my only love ("Attracts me like no other lover" from Something?)
And while you're in this world
The fuzz gonna come and claim you  (Blue Jay Way reference, in that George telling the hippies to drop out of the establishment? The fuzz/buzz referring to the police?)
But you mo better wise
When the buzz gonna come and take you away (Could perhaps refer to John and George's drug bust incidents?)
Take you away (Magical Mystery Tour reference? Also, Blue Jay Way voice effect? )
Take you away
The microscopes that magnified the tears (Referring to the press, as in the press during Beatlemania?)
Studied warts and all
Still the life flows on and on (Within You Without You reference?)
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - but it's all over now baby blue (As Ron Nasty said, a reference to the Bob Dylan song, but I am curious with AL Ruano to whether it could be a reference to For You Blue.)
Fab - long time ago when we was fab
Fab - like this pullover you sent to me
Fab
And you've really got a hold on me (The Beatles covered the song You've Really Got a Hold On Me.) 
Fab - long time ago when we was fab

At the end of the song, there's an Indian-sounding bit which is reminiscent of songs like Within You Without You and Love You To. After the Indian bit, there's a screaming crowd, which could represent Beatlemania.

Of course, there's the whole "fab" and "gear" thing, too.  

Just my ideas. a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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-  George Harrison

 

 
 

 

 
29 August 2017
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meanmistermustard
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You could also reference the count-in to 'Taxman' and 'I Saw Her Standing There', even if it only goes up to two. 

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"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

29 August 2017
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Silly Girl
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I thought Yer Blues more, since it's Ringo who does it and in a similar cadence.

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