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Happiness Is A Warm Gun
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26 November 2011
11.00pm
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GlassOnionArchitecture
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I'm pretty certain this may have been discussed previously, maybe even on this site but I could not find it.  So I thought I would post a thought.

 

One night I awoke from a sleep and immediately I had one of the lines from Happiness Is A Warm Gun in my head.  The line was "Mother Superior Jumped the Gun" and it was going over and over.  I suddenly thought, wow it just keeps replaying over and over in my head as it knew it did in the song.  I immediately wondered how many times it repeats and spoke out loud to my wife "I wonder if Lennon says that line six times?" of course she was like "what?" I said, I wonder if it is six times.  Which is how many shots are in a revolver, that would make sense for  the song.  Sure enough, there are six.  I thought that was really cool to figure out after a dream.  I'm pretty sure that is the reason why Lennon put it in that many times, but I honestly never heard anyone say that before in all these years.  

 

I love figuring out little clues in their music, it makes it fun,  Even though it obviously annoyed Lennon by his Glass Onion song on the same album.  Anyway, just thought I'd share.

The following people thank GlassOnionArchitecture for this post:

I was the walrus
26 November 2011
11.26pm
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meanmistermustard
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Cool if it was that way, but i doubt its anything more than coincidence. I cant see John working songs out like that, he was more about the feel and sound of a song. Only my opinion tho.

"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)

26 November 2011
11.50pm
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mr. Sun king coming together
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I think a general topic on the song would be great, as the song is the most unhearaled song they did. When my cousin was in town in August, we went through the White Album, for a single disc version. While she didn't know the end well (Side 4, really) this was one of maybe 5 songs we both agreed were masterpieces. Out of 30 songs, this is a testament of the greatness of this song. Other then George's Gently Weeps, this may be the best song (and the part about its title coming from Peanuts - just great) on the album. Yet, it has never appeared on anything but the White Album and Anthology 3, and is frankly mentioned scarcely on the forum. This is the unhearaled masterpiece they did. Rerelease it as a song, and I guarantee you 5 weeks at #1. Easy.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

27 November 2011
12.27am
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AliJaggerMcCartney
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

I think a general topic on the song would be great, as the song is the most unhearaled song they did. When my cousin was in town in August, we went through the White Album, for a single disc version. While she didn't know the end well (Side 4, really) this was one of maybe 5 songs we both agreed were masterpieces. Out of 30 songs, this is a testament of the greatness of this song. Other then George's Gently Weeps, this may be the best song (and the part about its title coming from Peanuts - just great) on the album. Yet, it has never appeared on anything but the White Album and Anthology 3, and is frankly mentioned scarcely on the forum. This is the unhearaled masterpiece they did. Rerelease it as a song, and I guarantee you 5 weeks at #1. Easy.

Speaking of the Peanuts, did anyone watch "Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown" Thanksgiving night? I almost had a heart attack when I saw it on TV. a-hard-days-night-ringo-9

Good Dog Nigel. Arf, Arf, he goes, a merry sight. Our little hairy friend. Arf, Arf, upon the lampost bright, arfing around the bend. Nice dog! Goo boy, waggie tail and beg. Clever Nigel, jump for joy
Because we're putting you to sleep at three of the clock, Nigel.
-John Lennon "In His Own Write"

27 November 2011
2.26am
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PennyLane
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I agree with Sun King as this song being one of the masterpieces of the White Album. I think it was a smart move on the band's part for the song to follow While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Two real artistic works right after the other. It's one of my favorites if I were to really create a list of my favorite Beatles' songs.

Pertaining to the "Mother Superior jumped the gun", I don't think there is nothing to it but just effect. No cultural significance to saying the phrase six times. If it was intentional, then that's a good ear in making that connection.

Well we all shine on like the moon, the stars, and the sun.

27 November 2011
2.41am
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meanmistermustard
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I love Peanuts hence my avatar but it is rarely shown in the uk.

I would be amazed if Happiness Is A Warm Gun didnt feature on anyone who has heard the White Albums top 10 list and for me its definately one of the first songs on the list. Paul gets a lot of credit for being able to piece together little bits of unrelated lyric to make a complete track but this shows that John could as well. And it jumps all over the place.

Plus the demo is a highlight of the Anthology discs - "oh shit, wrong chord" and it wasnt one of the commonly available bootleged Esher demos! I am glad that the Yoko Ono part was dropped tho.

"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)

27 November 2011
4.49am
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GlassOnionArchitecture
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Well, thanks for the comments. I'm almost flattered no one has ever thought of this before. I think you're kinda missing my point. I'm not really speaking of a cultural significance at all. The song is obviously about a gun.. even the six lines I'm speaking of has the word gun in it. The most generic phrase reference to a gun is a "six shooter" the line is repeated six times. That's all really. I thought it was insightful and actually makes sense.

What are some other songs that you have heard or thought of with similar clever meanings. I obviously really like the term Glass Onion as well, very clever indeed.

27 November 2011
5.11pm
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mithveaen
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I never thought of that. Six shots, six times he says that. I can't think now of another song with a clever meaning... a-hard-days-night-paul-10

 

I have to make space for all the stuff I'm reading LOL!!

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie……

Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower…

Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go.

Beware of Darkness… 

27 November 2011
7.12pm
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GlassOnionArchitecture
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Thanks man. But I'm sure there are tons out there that haven't been thought of yet. That's the beauty of such great music. I love this stuff and I'm very curious to hear of other similar instances. Although I have honestly never done cocaine myself, I used to wonder about the street reference/term of 'girl' for it. It's making more sense I guess listening to the track Girl on Rubber Soul...

27 November 2011
9.39pm
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minime
Carnegie Hall
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GlassOnionArchitecture said:

Thanks man. But I'm sure there are tons out there that haven't been thought of yet. That's the beauty of such great music. I love this stuff and I'm very curious to hear of other similar instances. Although I have honestly never done cocaine myself, I used to wonder about the street reference/term of 'girl' for it. It's making more sense I guess listening to the track Girl on Rubber Soul...

I don't think so. "She's the kind of girl who puts you down when friends are there, she makes you feel a fool", "she promises the earth to me", "did she understand...". I think it's really stretching it to to think that song's about drugs. And after all, Lennon said "Woman" is a grownup version of "Girl". And I don't think anyone would think that is a drug song. In my opinion, Girl seems to be mostly about a woman who is very desirable yet difficult and this combination makes every man go crazy. And the last verse is more about political/religious stuff. But maybe you were being sarcastica-hard-days-night-ringo-7 I suck at telling the difference

28 November 2011
6.46am
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Happiness is a warm gun
Buddyhollyland
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

I think a general topic on the song would be great, as the song is the most unhearaled song they did.

 

Don't think I haven't noticed this. a-hard-days-night-john-1 I'm not a girl who misses much.

 

Rerelease it as a song, and I guarantee you 5 weeks at #1. Easy.

I don't think it would. It's too irregular of a song and the music industry's mass marketing machine wouldn't know what to do with it.

I'm not a girl who misses much.

28 November 2011
7.06am
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Happiness is a warm gun
Buddyhollyland
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GlassOnionArchitecture said:

One night I awoke from a sleep and immediately I had one of the lines from Happiness Is A Warm Gun in my head.  

This happens to me regularly. a-hard-days-night-john-1

 The line was "Mother Superior Jumped the Gun" and it was going over and over.  I suddenly thought, wow it just keeps replaying over and over in my head as it knew it did in the song.  I immediately wondered how many times it repeats and spoke out loud to my wife "I wonder if Lennon says that line six times?" of course she was like "what?" I said, I wonder if it is six times.  Which is how many shots are in a revolver, that would make sense for  the song.  Sure enough, there are six.  I thought that was really cool to figure out after a dream.  I'm pretty sure that is the reason why Lennon put it in that many times, but I honestly never heard anyone say that before in all these years. 

I agree with meanmistermustard that this is likely a confidence more than anything. It's an interesting coincidence, true, but from a compositional stand point, why this phrase is repeated six times make sense.

 

What's being repeated is not "Mother Superior jumped the gun" but "Mother Superior jumped the gun/Mother Superior jumped the gun"–that encompasses the whole melody that gets repeated, which in this case, it's only repeated three times. Three times is a good number here. Two repeats would feel rushed and awkward, while four repeats would give the listener to a kind of sense of resolution. But you don't want a sense of resolution here because there's another section of the song, and THAT is going to be the song's resolution. So three is enough to not sound awkward but still maintaining enough momentum to move into the last section of the song. And yes, this is how songwriters think when they arrange songs–they strive to get all the elements of the song to work together musically. 

I'm not a girl who misses much.

28 November 2011
7.32am
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Happiness is a warm gun
Buddyhollyland
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PennyLane said:

I agree with Sun King as this song being one of the masterpieces of the White Album. I think it was a smart move on the band's part for the song to follow While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Two real artistic works right after the other. It's one of my favorites if I were to really create a list of my favorite Beatles' songs.

I think placing this song at the end of one of the White Album's side was an obvious choice, but that they put it on the end of Side 1 always impressed me. It was a brilliant and gutsy choice. It just such an oblique song that I think a lot of others bands would have tried to bury it further back in the album's playing order. There's a kind of unconscious attempt by many bands to arrange their albums--OK, I mean, back when albums mattered--so that a fickle listener would not be turned off too quickly. The more accessible songs would get up front and less accessible ones further back. The White Album went against the grain in many ways, including how the songs were ordered. Having this song at the end of Side 1 would have been unsettling, I think, for many listeners at that time, especially since the album was a double LP--sort of like "Oh boy, will the next *3* sides just get *even* weirder?" kind of thing. The whole curious psychology of having to flip the LP over  and anticipating what is on the other side while the last song is ringing in your ears is lost with CDs and MP3s, but this certainly factored into how the White Album was arranged. But it is a brilliant transition, not just from WMGGW to this but from this to Martha My Dear as well. Martha is much more lighthearted, conventional and straightforward song that lets the listener relax after listening the emotionally intense WMGGW and the intellectually challenging Warm Gun.

I'm not a girl who misses much.

28 November 2011
11.31am
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Zig
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

(and the part about its title coming from Peanuts - just great)

I understood the title came from the cover of a gun magazine George Martin showed John. Maybe it was a combination of the two? I tried to Google search the magazine cover but too much clutter made me realize it would take longer than I wanted it to. Among the clutter, however, was this little gem...

Image Enlarger

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

28 November 2011
12.51pm
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minime
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Image Enlarger

 

A friend of mine once showed me this, and I was all "It's the Beatles! Beatles!", but he had no idea what I was talking about a-hard-days-night-paul-2

28 November 2011
3.05pm
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meanmistermustard
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The Peanuts cartoon was in 1965 or 1966 and was 'Happiness is a warm puppy' with i think Lucy hugging Snoopy. One was a play on the other; John saw that heading 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' and was intriqued by it, a warm gun meaning it had been fired. Not sure of he was shown it by George M or someone else or if he saw it himself tho.

 

Ooh, here's the comic strip itself.

Image Enlarger

"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)

28 November 2011
3.41pm
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seaglass eyes sunny smile
The Kingdom of Marigold
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That cat Zig found is adorable!!!! a-hard-days-night-ringo-10heart

Happiness Is A Warm Gun said:

Don't think I haven't noticed this. a-hard-days-night-john-1 I'm not a girl who misses much.

 and I see that inspired your new signature. I like it!

I agree with you about the album order and "Happiness."

It's a little disturbing twist on the end of Side one. Very clever idea for the placement of this song. It and WMGGW are the best on the album IMO, although others have already said this.

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that."

"What happens to them?" insisted Milo.

"Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars."

The Phantom Tollbooth

28 November 2011
9.17pm
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Zig
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meanmistermustard said:

The Peanuts cartoon was in 1965 or 1966 and was 'Happiness is a warm puppy' with i think Lucy hugging Snoopy. One was a play on the other; John saw that heading 'Happiness Is A Warm Gun' and was intriqued by it, a warm gun meaning it had been fired. Not sure of he was shown it by George M or someone else or if he saw it himself tho.

 

According to the article from our fearless leader, he was shown the magazine by george-martin.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

28 November 2011
9.43pm
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meanmistermustard
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Which is why Joe is the leader and the one we must hail as 'o great one'. 

"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)

11 November 2013
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In Happiness Is A Warm Gun, I had always heard "I need a fix coz I'm going down, down to the bitch that I left uptown."

But I noticed that he is supposedly singing "down to the bits that I left uptown."  Bits of what?  Did he leave bits of paper, or bread crumbs?  Enlighten me.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

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