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The Ballad Of John And Yoko
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15 August 2018
6.27am
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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Timothy said
This song goes under the radar for me, for some reason. Like it, though. Agree it’s like a solo Lennon type tune.  

Yeah, me too on both points. I don’t know why i don’t listen to it more. And its way more lennon than Beatle. I don’t know why… Maybe the focus on peace a-hard-days-night-george-10

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15 August 2018
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sir walter raleigh
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But I love the traces of Paul. Just him and John, with a ripping baseline, harmonies that to me are reminiscent of In My Life , and a pretty nice drumline. 

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15 August 2018
2.05pm
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Billy Rhythm
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TheWalrusWasBrian said

its way more lennon than Beatle

If you look at it in the context of its original form, being that it is the A-Side of a single which also featured ‘Old Brown Shoe ‘ on the flipside, it’s a pretty concise group effort all around…  George & Ringo dominate the B-Side to offset this latest Lennon/McCartney showcase to the world…

 

Of course it had to be John who makes ‘The Ballad of John & Yoko’ the statement song that it is…  Only 3 years had passed since John had first made his “Jesus comments” which had rocked the Bible Belt and many other faithful worldwide…  comments which he had to reluctantly apologize for publicly (and ultimately had him killed, in my opinion)…  here he is in 1969 now, not only declaring to his inner circle that he IS Jesus Christ, but immortalizing it forever on a Beatles’ single…  while there were many radio programmers who were not too keen on airing it, it still became a HUGE hit…  seemingly vindicating his controversial views of Christianity…

 

and as if that wasn’t enough…  just over a year later he uncategorically states to the world “I don’t believe in Jesus” on, what many believe to be his greatest solo work, the ‘Plastic Ono Band’ record…  all of this making his 1966 remarks to Maureen Cleave seem tame by comparison…  yet, Lennon’s legendary status as a genius only escalated afterwards…  the “family album” portrayal of his union with Yoko on this single is really just a side show to what was really going on with John at the time…  I love the “what do you got to tell me this time old man in the sky!?” attitude that comes across…  excellent…:-)   

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17 August 2018
9.58pm
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Timothy
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TheWalrusWasBrian said

Yeah, me too on both points. I don’t know why i don’t listen to it more. And its way more lennon than Beatle. I don’t know why… Maybe the focus on peace a-hard-days-night-george-10  

Yeah. It’s a song about John and Yoko, which is a specific subject – two people. This song was recorded near the end of the Beatles’ recording history, which amplifies that vibe, too.

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20 August 2018
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I like it… however it does owe a lot to Lonesome tears

 

Lonesome tears

20 December 2022
9.32pm
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Sea Belt
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My thoughts on this great song.

Ringo would have been better on drums.

John’s little electric guitar two-note licks are wonderful, but they always go down — he should have gone up at least once or twice to vary it — the two notes would be based on A-B-C-C# but I don’t know what the accompanying notes would be (I’d have to work it out on my guitar). This upward lick would be the third before the final of the fourth each time.

The final little electric guitar riff is wonderful, but should have ended with the notes C#–B down to deepest E.

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20 December 2022
9.44pm
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Sea Belt
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My favorite lines are

“Made a lightning trip to Vienna, eating chocolate cake in a bag”

and

“Think!”

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20 December 2022
10.38pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Yep, I like that first line too. I like it so much, I named my dog Sacher Torte.

https://www.beatlesbible.com/1…..to-vienna/

Lennon and Ono spent the night at the Hotel Sacher, where they enjoyed the famous rich chocolate cake Sacher Torte.

My Sacher Torte…

Sacher-Torte-jumping2-1.jpgImage Enlarger

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20 December 2022
11.03pm
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Ahhh Girl said
Yep, I like that first line too. I like it so much, I named my dog Sacher Torte.

https://www.beatlesbible.com/1…..to-vienna/

Lennon and Ono spent the night at the Hotel Sacher, where they enjoyed the famous rich chocolate cake Sacher Torte.

My Sacher Torte…

Sacher-Torte-jumping2-1.jpgImage Enlarger

  

beautiful dog!  How do you call out to her? “Here, Sacher”?  Do you pronounce it in German fashion?

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20 December 2022
11.23pm
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Ahhh Girl
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American fashion.

pronounce-Sacher-Torte.PNGImage Enlarger

Sometimes I just say Sacher, but I usually say her whole name.

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21 December 2022
12.22am
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looks like it would sound like “Soccer” which would be cool

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21 December 2022
1.40am
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Ahhh Girl
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Yes, it does sound like that.

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22 December 2022
12.31am
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Sea Belt
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More thoughts on this song. I’m still working on the 2-note guitar lick I think should replace what John does every third time in the “Christ you it ain’t easy” sections.

Also, they should have invited Mick Jagger to shake the maracas and provide some backup vocals towards the end as it gets more rompy — not too overtly but just enough so you can make his voice out (like in “You’re So Vain”)

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22 December 2022
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Sea Belt
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Found an isolated vocals YT.  Lots of interesting details, but I’ll just mention my favorite: at the very end, John softly mimics his final guitar lick with “da da da”

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22 December 2022
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Found a guitarist who does the 2-note guitar lick EXACTLY like I imagined it should be — only difference is he puts it as the 2nd of the 4 licks of the “Christ” refrain.  I still think it should be 3rd, but at least I can feel the satisfaction of hearing it in the song.

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22 December 2022
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PS: I’m watching the whole video. Interestingly, the lead guitarist of the pair seems to think John did the 2-note lick the way he does it — going up instead of down — but I’ve listened and RE-listened to John doing it about 10 times now and it’s ALWAYS going down.

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24 December 2022
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Actually, upon listening to it yet again, I notice John DOES do the 2-note lick the way I like it (on the 2nd of the 4, good enough) at the last “Christ” portion of the song. 

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27 December 2022
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Timothy
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I like the backstory about the recording, how Paul was looking out for John after the bigger than Jesus drama, due to the song’s use of Christ. And the way their dynamic in the studio while recording the song seemed rather good despite the overall mood of that time. 

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27 December 2022
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Timothy said
I like the backstory about the recording, how Paul was looking out for John after the bigger than Jesus drama, due to the song’s use of Christ. And the way their dynamic in the studio while recording the song seemed rather good despite the overall mood of that time. 

  

Since the Jesus brouhaha erupted in early 1966, one would have thought it had long subsided by the time April 1969 rolled around.

 
I found a website that supposedly shows all songs that have the word Christ in it. It would be interesting to see if they include this song, but I’m not sure I have the patience to scroll through 1,247 pages of results especially when my computer takes several seconds each page. Having scrolled through the first three pages, I noticed that all the songs are either from Jesus Christ Superstar, gospel songs, or Christmas carols, though there is one outlier — a song that references Anti-Christ by some rock band called Surge.
 
Anyway, John’s use of it is purely in the colloquial casual sense of a fairly mild expletive that only dogmatic sticklers among Christians would take special exception to. Of course John’s use of it is directly linked to the following phrase about how they’re going to crucify him. It’s kind of ironic and amusing since the troubles he’s recounting in this ballad are hardly Third World troubles — gallivanting across Europe as a millionaire, splashing around in the waves of Gibraltar for a beachside wedding, etc., and occasionally having a pestering paparazzi ruin his mojo. Hardly a Shakespearean tragedy or Christian Passion to whine about (or whinge as the Brits say).

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29 December 2022
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I just think it goes to show the impact the incident actually had for Paul to raise it as a potential issue. He’s looking out for John and the band as a whole. It wasn’t exactly a fun time.

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