6 March 2019
Sandwiched between Savoy Truffle and Revolution 9 on the second disc of the White Album , Cry Baby Cry is completely overlooked by many people (myself included). Recently, I heard it and thought, Wow! This is definitely about how everyone is separated from each other, and how we’re all going to die because of it! Why didn’t I notice this sooner? I am a total pessimist with weird opinions, and I knew it, so I played Cry Baby Cry for a bunch of people and asked them what they thought it was about. The general consensus seemed to be that the world was not going to end because the king and the queen are in love with each other, or that it was just a boring, harmless lullaby. So, what I want to know is, what do people who actually know the song well (at least well-ish) think about it? (I hope this doesn’t turn into Paul is Dead part 2 with too much over-analysis.)
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Isn't he a bit like you and me?
15 November 2018
I never really tried to read anything into it, I just figured it was one of John’s little I’m-bored-let’s-write-a-song-about-nothing songs. (not that that’s a bad thing, that approach has led to some masterpieces!)
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Love one another.
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26 January 2017
Hear Sing A Song of Sixpence. John plays on the old nursery rhyme in Cleanup Time as well. He loved referencing that type of thing.
"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"
-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues
"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"
-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl
1 May 2011
14 June 2016
It’s about being old enough to know better. So if you screw up, too bad. Cry, baby, cry.
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6 March 2019
17 December 2017
Inspired by a tv advert jingle and old nursery rhymes but means nothing and John hated it.
seems about right. typical john
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Walrian here! Not Fiddy, or anyone else, actually.
6 March 2019
Well, I’m back on this thread (after having to read the world’s cringy-est first post at the beginning: why, SF91, why?) I was hoping this thread would fade into obscurity and never be seen again, but I know I shouldn’t start another thread. (I also titled the thread very wrongly; what I meant was “how did you interpret Cry Baby Cry the first time you heard it?”)
I’m here because I just read that the song was partially inspired by a commercial that said “Cry Baby Cry , make your mother buy.” I found this very interesting, especially considering that it ties in surprisingly well with what I think is the underlying meaning of the song (we are all going to die someday because everyone is isolated and self-centered and we’re never going to do anything about it and we’re all going to die someday, etc).
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Isn't he a bit like you and me?
14 November 2017
16 June 2019
“Cry Baby Cry ” is a Lennon dream to me. I have always been fascinated with it and want more when it’s over like I want to know what else happened.
In the context of the album it works best with the mysterious “Can You Take Me Back” snippet that follows then all heck breaks loose with “Revolution 9 ” but all is well after “Good Night “. A medley before the “Abbey Road ” medley?
Here’s what others say;
“An underrated Lennon royalty satire; it’s his most accomplished Lewis Carroll pastiche,” writes Tim Riley.
“A song with an air of a particularly dreamlike ghost story…one of the strangest and most beautiful lyrics on the ‘White Album,’” writes David Quantick.
“Alice trips gently through Lennonland for just about the last time…(it ranks) among his most magical,” writes Nicholas Schaffner.
Ian Mac Donald describes “Cry Baby Cry ” as “one of the most evocative products of that creative channel.”
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20 August 2013
@WillowRunSon, I think you would like this post I made https://www.beatlesbible.com/f…..2/#p151211
Edit: yep, thanks @Tangerine, for doing that @ for me. @fail while posting on my phone
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29 April 2019
11 September 2018
Not a lot of people know this (not even Mark Lewisohn, and he knows almost everything about the Beatles) but Cry Baby Cry is actually a scene-by-scene account of a Christmas Pantomime performance broadcast on BBC1’s Blue Peter. The King of Marigold was played by John Noakes, the Queen by Valerie Singleton. The Duchess of Kirkaldy was a cameo role by comedian Stanley Baxter, whilst ‘her’ husband was played by the new presenter, Peter Purves. The episode is unfortunately ‘missing, believed-wiped’ was the custom in those days, but there is a storyboard version in the Blue Peter Archives (i.e. a time capsule buried in the garden).
Lennon was a huge fan of the popular children’s television programme, and can even be seen wearing a Blue Peter badge during the photo sessions for the Sgt. Pepper album cover. Of couse his ‘I ? BP’ badge was taken to mean ‘I Loved Burying Paul’ by ‘Paul-is-Dead’ fanatics, in much the same way that that they used John’s ‘I buried Paul’ exlamation as evidence. Of course, Lennon had accidentally buried Paul’s bass in an early mix for Stawberry Fields Forever when somebody (probably Geoff Emerick) agreed to let John have a fiddle with the controls.
Lennon watched this edition of Blue Peter – broadcast on Monday 18th December – whilst at home in Kenwood. Any mentions of him being elsewhere on that day are incorrect.
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1 December 2009
That’s fascinating, TJ, thank you for that (and welcome back!)
I wonder if the song’s origin was somewhat embarrassing for John; I believe he dismissed the song in his Sheff interview.
GEORGE: In fact, The Detroit Sound. JOHN: In fact, yes. GEORGE: In fact, yeah. Tamla-Motown artists are our favorites. The Miracles. JOHN: We like Marvin Gaye. GEORGE: The Impressions, Marvin Gaye. PAUL & GEORGE: Mary Wells. GEORGE: The Exciters. RINGO: Chuck Jackson. JOHN: To name but eighty.
17 December 2012
Myself, I think it’s complete billhooks… anything you can point to that isn’t you coming up with a clever joke?
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24 August 2012
I find it slightly short sighted of John (not literally as he was this as well, tee-hee) to contribute what is essentially a ‘pretty’ song, but devoid of any meaning and very attuned with what he called ‘granny music s**t’ Ob La Di Bla Da; at least the latter has an energy and some ‘life’ in it (I hate it but I don’t love this one either compared to Dear Prudence , Julia , Yerr Blues, Happiness is… & Paul’s beast “helter Skelter” which does more for embryonic heavy metal than The Who or even MC5).
Right of John (and most of us) to find ‘Honey Pie ‘ and it’s ‘Wild Honey Pie ‘ sister act on this album to be terrible (‘the less said about this the better’ he was quoted as saying in 1980) but he was guilty of contributing ‘filler’ by way of this silly song too.
Only George avoids contributing filler on this album, and he muses in ‘Savoy Truffle ‘, predicting that Ob La Di would be a breakout track or to be widely known when he sings ‘we all know ob la di bla da, but can you show me where you are’ (I take this to mean, yes we all know pop hits that are widely known but do you have meaning or awareness?
I could talk about this album forever. And I will………………
6 July 2016
I always got the impression when listening to this song that it was written in the same manner as I Am The Walrus . There is no meaning intended but only that which you want to derive from it. I think it’s such a great song and the lyrics are fantastic. Strange how John dismissed it as a throwaway. My favoutite line….”With voices out of nowhere put on specially by the children for a lark.”
Pivotal Moments in Beatles History No.118: Yoko helps herself to one of George's digestives.