♫ Yellow Submarine ♫

I know I’ve disappointed Clive with my music choices of late, and I know that where he is concerned, you can’t go wrong with the Beatles.  But alas … I’ve recently (within the last two years) played all my favourite Beatles’ songs!  What to do … oh yeah … there are a few that, while not favourites, aren’t going to leave dents inside my head, like this one … Yellow Submarine!  I always thought of it as a bit of fun, so it was with a smile that I listened to this one tonight!

According to SongFacts …

Paul McCartney wrote the majority of this song. He explained shortly after it was released in 1966: “‘Yellow Submarine’ is very simple but very different. It’s a fun song, a children’s song. Originally we intended it to be ‘Sparky’ a children’s record. But now it’s the idea of a yellow submarine where all the kids went to have fun. I was just going to sleep one night and thinking if we had a children’s song, it would be nice to be on a yellow submarine where all your friends are with a band.”

Paul purposely used short words in the lyrics because he wanted kids to pick it up early and sing along.

Ringo Starr sang lead, as he did on many of the lighter Beatles songs, including “Octopus’s Garden” and “Act Naturally.” Originally, Ringo had a spoken intro to go with the children’s story theme, but this was discarded. Ringo did eventually get his chance to narrate for children: He was voice talent on the UK cartoon Thomas The Tank Engine.

As with just about every Beatles song, there’s a lot that can be read into this one if you look hard enough. One possible interpretation: Once famous, The Beatles were forced to stay in hotel rooms and live under pressure = Submarine. Because they were having a great time it was Yellow (friends are all aboard). Sea of green = money.

The sounds of bubbles, water, and other noises were recorded in the studio. The background vocals (and some effects) were done by John, Paul, and George and they had some help on the fadeout chorus by Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall, George Martin, Alf Bicknell (their chauffeur), Geoff Emerick, Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithful, Pattie Harrison and a few other staff people that were in the building at the time. The “bubble” effects are John blowing into a straw. All of the speaking parts are done by John and Paul.

According to Steve Turner’s book A Hard Day’s Write, about a month after the album was released, there were barbiturate capsules that started to be known as “yellow submarines.” McCartney denied any comparison to drugs and said the only submarine he knew that you could eat was a sugary sweet he’s come across in Greece while on holiday. These had to be dropped in water and were known as “submarines.”

This charted at #1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and more, and #2 in the U.S.

Yellow Submarine

The Beatles

 In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines
So we sailed on to the sun
‘Til we found a sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

And our friends are all aboard
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play

We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Full steam ahead, Mister Boatswain, full steam ahead
Full steam ahead it is, Sergeant
(Cut the cable, drop the cable)
Aye-aye, sir, aye-aye
Captain, captain

As we live a life of ease (a life of ease)
Every one of us (every one of us)
Has all we need (has all we need)
Sky of blue (sky of blue)
And sea of green (sea of green)
In our yellow (in our yellow)
Submarine (submarine, aha)

We all live in a yellow submarine
A yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
A yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney

Yellow Submarine (Documentary) lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Songtrust Ave, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

24 thoughts on “♫ Yellow Submarine ♫

  1. Jill, Ringo always kept The Beatles from taking themselves to seriously. Also, Ringo was known for playing with everyone in studios and on stage. He was the consummate professional and collaborator. I saw an interview with him where he said he preferred to record in the same room with other band members so he could play off them and vice versa. He said it made a better sound. Keith

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    • Back in the day, I always just saw Ringo as something as a comic, never paid him much attention (my teenage self was too busy drooling over Paul McCartney), but since then I’ve learned to see him as a serious and multi-talented musician!

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  2. A bit off course for The Beatles, but they always did steer their own course, so not off at all. A lively little tune that inspired a full length aninated feature movie. When the song was released the world needed some laughter. We need more laughter right now!

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  3. A lovely bit of nostalgia for me. We changed the lyrics to suit our home town : “We all live where the sea is dirty green.” The animated movie is fun. I think this would have been #1 there too if you guys hadn’t counted the tracks on double A-side singles separately.

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    • I’m really glad you enjoyed the trip down memory lane! I wonder how many different forms of the lyrics have been created, such as the one you mention? It might have … it definitely has one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head!!! I know, ’cause it’s been stuck in mine since I did this post last night!

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      • We used to do that a lot as schoolkids. The song is forever in my memory as being #1 here just after England won the World Cup and it was played over the speakers at our local team’s ground. The country was still on a football high and we had a great time singing the wrong words.

        It is a catchy little number, isn’t it 🤣.

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        • I’m thinking it played some role in sports over here, too, but I have no clue what. Yep, it is a catchy little number that is STILL STUCK IN MY HEAD!!! I went into the kitchen to start the dishwasher and get a pack of smokes a few minutes ago and found myself whistling it!

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          • It may well have done, perhaps for a team that plays in yellow? I know of the Spanish team, Villarreal, who have it as their nickname but I’m not well up on US sports: rounders and handegg have no appeal for me.

            There’s a lesson for you in that: give up smoking!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Maybe so. ‘Rounders’ and ‘handegg’? Okay, I’m guessing that is basketball and football?

              Ha ha … oh, if that was all it took! I’ve smoked for nearly 60 years now, so like I told my doc, I’ll likely die with a cigarette in my hand! Oddly, though, when I was in the hospital for 11 days in 2021, I didn’t have withdrawal!

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              • Baseball and what you guys call football: a game played by squads of a gazillion terminators of whom only two ever kick the thing.

                I’m lucky in that respect. I tried smoking when everyone did it and didn’t like it, so I’ve probably saved myself a fortune over the years. I wonder where it went 🤔

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                • Ha ha … that’s a pretty good description of football here! Don’t you guys have baseball over there? I was thinking you did, but perhaps I was wrong. If there’s any major sport I don’t mind, it’s baseball, for at least I can keep up with what’s happening and where the durned ball is!

                  I tried my first cigarette when I was 8 in my aunt’s bathroom, got caught, and she made me smoke a couple in succession. I actually liked it, and started seriously smoking at age 13 when I had a full-time job and could afford to buy them. Before that, I just snuck some from my parents each evening!

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                  • We do have some baseball but on a very small scale and at a low level. The game like it here is rounders, which is mostly played in schools. By girls.

                    We get baseball on tv here but I’ve never understood how all the stats work so after a couple of half-hearted attempts I gave up.

                    My parents both gave up smoking when I was quite young so I didn’t have their example to follow into bad habits!

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                    • Ha ha … you never understood how the baseball stats worked, while I never even understood where the ball was in fùtbal! I knew it was somewhere under that pile of bodies, but … why the heck were they all lying on top of it???

                      You were probably lucky, then! My girls don’t want me to quit smoking, ’cause I’m a veritable grump without my cigarettes!

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                    • ‘Tis how I feel about most sports. I like the idea of sports in school promoting teamwork and teaching the values of working together toward a common goal, but beyond that, it’s all about money and competitiveness.

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