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What is the Actual Meaning of Cry Baby Cry?
9 March 2019
6.28pm
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StrawberryFields91
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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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QuarryMan

Isn't he a bit like you and me?

 

 

 

9 March 2019
6.36pm
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50yearslate
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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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TheWalrusWasBrian, kurwabobrze, Leppo

Love one another.

- - -

(I'm Fiddy, not Walrian)

- - -

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10 March 2019
3.43pm
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sir walter raleigh
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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

12 March 2019
7.28am
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meanmistermustard
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Inspired by a tv advert jingle and old nursery rhymes but means nothing and John hated it.

"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)

12 March 2019
7.36am
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Timothy
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It’s about being old enough to know better. So if you screw up, too bad. Cry, baby, cry. ahdn_ringo_09

1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

12 March 2019
11.33pm
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StrawberryFields91
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meanmistermustard said
Inspired by a tv advert jingle and old nursery rhymes but means nothing and John hated it.

  

Makes sense. a-hard-days-night-john-6

Isn't he a bit like you and me?

 

 

 

13 March 2019
7.10am
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TheWalrusWasBrian
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meanmistermustard said
Inspired by a tv advert jingle and old nursery rhymes but means nothing and John hated it.

  

seems about right. typical john ahdn_john_08_gif

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50yearslate

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~~~

The Concert for Bageldesh

~~~

Walrian here! Not Fiddy, or anyone else, actually.

12 May 2019
6.19pm
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StrawberryFields91
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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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50yearslate, Kaniffee, Getbackintheussr

Isn't he a bit like you and me?

 

 

 

15 May 2019
9.03am
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Father McKenzie
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It's my favourite song on the album. Everytime I listen to my Beatles playlist on my iPod, it's one of the first songs I go to. I just love it

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Still writing the words to the sermon that no one will hear......

18 June 2019
7.14am
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WillowRunSon
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"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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18 June 2019
7.50am
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Ahhh Girl
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@WillowRunSon, I think you would like this post I made https://www.beatlesbible.com/f.....2/#p151211

Edit: yep, thanks @Kaniffee, for doing that @ for me. @fail while posting on my phoneblue-meanie

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18 June 2019
7.55am
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Kaniffee
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@WillowRunSon

Why yes that is a picture of Paul dabbing. Deal with it.

30 July 2019
9.28am
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Tony Japanese
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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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30 July 2019
11.53am
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vonbontee
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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.

Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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https://rateyourmusic.com/~Myo.....Von_Bontee

30 July 2019
12.00pm
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Ron Nasty
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Myself, I think it's complete billhooks... anything you can point to that isn't you coming up with a clever joke?

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

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

18 August 2019
7.48pm
ziggysawdust
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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..................

18 August 2019
8.12pm
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Leppo
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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. 

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