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15 September 2016
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Joe
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Thanks @Ahhh Girl and @meanmistermustard!

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25 September 2017
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robert
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So it's been about a year since anyone posted on this song - but it's one of those songs which fascinates me. It always has.

I first heard it in mid 1970 when my friends and I got the first bootlegs of Let It Be album (The Sliver Album and Kum Back). It had the "All I want is you" opening which I am glad was cut - since it just wasn't all that good an opening (IMHO).

The song was shocking to us - not the words - but the sound and style - especially on the heels of Abbey Road . At the time it was just very much a muddled type song especially on the early bootlegs. It was much cleaned up by Spector. Over the years I've come to appreciate and like it more.

"The Dig A Pony " line is, I believe, a reference to heroin as in doing a little horse or a little heroin. Horse is a nickname for heroin and pony is a reference to doing a little bit of heroin. "I dig a little horse."

Ultimately I believe the song is John talking about John - writing about his life sort of - so there are references to Paul (I pick a moondog - John picked Paul), Jagger, Dylan, Yoko. And some of it means nothing.

I also believe that many of John's songs are about Paul or reference Paul - more than I think even John realized.

I truly believe that John was confused about his sexuality - we're talking the 50's, 60's and 70's when a lot of sexual understanding was just forming - and I believe that John was genuinely "in love" with Paul and Paul somewhat with John.

I also think Paul knew this and used this as a way of "controlling" John a bit. Yoko also seemed to know this which is one of the reasons why Yoko brought John back to the Dakota - when? - when John was getting ready to reunite with Paul in New Orleans. In various interviews she makes a few oblique references to John and Paul's relationship bordering on seeming to have the heat of a romance.

Not sure how shocking this is to some of you - but this a theory which has been around for quite some time. It was whispered in the Apple offices how John called Paul his princess - and John and Paul called each other Darling - a lot - which really makes Oh Darling take on a whole new meaning - especially since Paul was mourning the loss of The Beatles all over Abbey Road .

Which also explains comments from John such as, "I want a divorce" for the break up of the Beatles and calling Paul an "estranged fiance". And the many ways John references Paul in romantic/relational terms. I think these were subconscious references.

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29 September 2017
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Zig
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That was very well thought out and expressed @robert. After reading it, I went back and looked at the lyrics for both this song and Oh! Darling . For the most part, they do support what you wrote about - especially O!D. It never dawned on me before, but the line in DAP "Everything has got to be just like you want it to" is similar to something George would say when instructing friends how to get the most out of an acid trip. It was something along the lines of "picture how you want it to go and try to maintain that" - not an exact quote but very similar. John's inserting that line in a song about his heroin sessions would not be that much of a stretch.

Anyway, thanks to what you wrote, those two songs have taken on new meanings for me.

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29 September 2017
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Ron Nasty
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You could also say that the "Everything has got to be just like you want it to" line, though predating, echoes George's "I'll play whatever you want me to play, or I won't play at all..."

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22 February 2018
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sigh butterfly
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robert said

Not sure how shocking this is to some of you - but this a theory which has been around for quite some time. It was whispered in the Apple offices how John called Paul his princess - and John and Paul called each other Darling - a lot - which really makes Oh Darling take on a whole new meaning - especially since Paul was mourning the loss of The Beatles all over Abbey Road

Driving to work today I was listening to Side 2 of Abbey Road . I recorded the CD to the hard drive in my car so it is always available. The sound system has a feature that announces the title of each song if you are in track mode. Unfortunately it is failing and it now announces the song titles even if you are in album mode, which makes listening to side 2 of AB a little weird paul-mccartney(guitar solos, pause, female voice "THE END", pause, piano...). Anyhoo, as Golden Slumbers was announced I suddenly flashed back to this post. If you accept the Oh! Darling premise Robert expresses, then it could also change the meaning of Golden Slumbers . I always thought Paul's sentiment was aimed at distraught Beatle fans, but perhaps he was speaking directly to John.

Once, there was a way to get back homeward
Once, there was a way to get back home
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Golden Slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

Once, there was a way to get back homeward
Once, there was a way to get back home
Sleep, pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

ahdn_paul_02a-hard-days-night-john-7

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22 February 2018
3.06pm
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Zig
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That's an interesting take on the 'Golden Slumbers ' lyrics, SB. You may be aware that the words were lifted by a poem written centuries ago by Thomas Dekker:

Golden Slumbers kiss your eyes
Smiles awake you when you rise
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby
Rock them, rock them, lullaby
Care is heavy, therefore sleep you
You are care, and care must keep you
Sleep, pretty wantons, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby
Rock them, rock them, lullaby

Replacing "wantons" with "darling" made sense to begin with, but he could have used any term of endearment. The term darling would support your theory.

Sorry about the derail, folks. I realize this a thread about 'Dig A Pony '.

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22 February 2018
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sigh butterfly
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Hi @Zig , oh yes I forgot all about the Dekker poem.  When I read the "rock them" line it created a little chill up and down my spine (in a nice waya-hard-days-night-paul-7). I'm also sorry for the derail - believe me it took me quite a while to find this post a-hard-days-night-john-3

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22 February 2018
8.41pm
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Beatlebug
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Rock 'em like Queen...?

Somehow I don't think that would be very lullabying a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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23 February 2018
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sir walter raleigh
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Dig A Pony has such a nice solo. Although it stays pretty in line with the melody, it still sounds so free and fresh. 

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23 February 2018
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sir walter raleigh said
Dig A Pony has such a nice solo. Although it stays pretty in line with the melody, it still sounds so free and fresh.   

Just what I've always thought, SWR. john-lennon-salute_gif That stuck out to me the very first time I heard it -- a marvellous example of George's talent for taking a melody in a direction that you would never have thought of, but sounds just right nevertheless. a-hard-days-night-george-4 heart

George really got good toward the end there, didn't he? a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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7 May 2019
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Watching Above Us Only Sky and found it interesting that Yoko wrote some of the lyrics to this.

John and Yoko are on video saying it at Tittenhurst.

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7 May 2019
3.21pm
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Von Bontee
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Huh, that's interesting. 

"I feel the wind blow" and "You can celebrate anything you want" sound pretty Yokoesque. 

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!"
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7 May 2019
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Von Bontee said
Huh, that's interesting. 

"I feel the wind blow" and "You can celebrate anything you want" sound pretty Yokoesque. 

  

“You can radiate everything you are” was her line. Not sure whether she added anything else.

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8 May 2019
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Timothy
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sir walter raleigh said
Dig A Pony has such a nice solo. Although it stays pretty in line with the melody, it still sounds so free and fresh. 

  

It’s fantastic. Dig A Pony makes me feel very poignant, especially that solo. The lyrics are strange but the melody provides a counterweight to it. John’s singing so passionately and soulfully (some of his best IMO) about obscure things. It’s genius.

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8 May 2019
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QuarryMan
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Yeah, I love the solo too. The way it balances more restrained phrases with exuberant ones feels very cathartic. 

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8 May 2019
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I used to not like Dig A Pony (DON'T KILL ME PLEASE) but it's grown on me.

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8 May 2019
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50yearslate said
I used to not like Dig A Pony (DON'T KILL ME PLEASE) but it's grown on me.

  

As long as you've seen the light now john-lennon-salute_gif

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8 May 2019
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I have, and you can thank my dad for that. john-lennon-salute_gif

I really love the sudden transition from the slower, calmer parts of the song to the energetic "all I want is you, everything has got to be just like you want it to." And the lyrics are amazing.

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8 May 2019
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50yearslate said
I used to not like Dig A Pony (DON'T KILL ME PLEASE) but it's grown on me.  

That's okay. It's an odd one at first but definitely a grower.

I had a longtime fantasy about writing new verses for it and making it a 'normal' song... which is kind of blasphemous, I know... a-hard-days-night-paul-10 I don't think I'd be able to tamper with it, though. ahdn_paul_01

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8 May 2019
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Beatlebug said

50yearslate said

I used to not like Dig A Pony (DON'T KILL ME PLEASE) but it's grown on me.  

That's okay. It's an odd one at first but definitely a grower.

I had a longtime fantasy about writing new verses for it and making it a 'normal' song... which is kind of blasphemous, I know... a-hard-days-night-paul-10 I don't think I'd be able to tamper with it, though. ahdn_paul_01

  

You should do it.

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