Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Yellow Submarine


Apple Films

   Some songs gain a life beyond the music and lyrics. Paul McCartney's simple child's ditty (written with a little help from his friends) is one of a number of Beatles songs which have entered the gestalt: a structure, configuration, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts*  (or something to that effect.)

   The song's charm starts with the first line of the first verse with all the other nouns equally evocative; starting with a routine tale (town—born—man—sea—life—land) and throwing in the kicker, submarines, turning the story into an exotic adventure:
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
   The next verse turns surreal, with a trip to the sun and its mysterious sea of green:
So we sailed up to the sun
Till we found the sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine
   And quickly turns into a party:
And our friends are all on board
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play
   Everybody sing!
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all live in a yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
   And, like the fairy tale which it is, everyone lives happily ever after:
As we live a life of ease
Everyone of us has all we need
Sky of blue and sea of green
In our yellow submarine

   The song began as a tune to give Ringo a vocal presence on Revolver which is perhaps the most critically acclaimed Beatles album. With the exception of Eleanor Rigby, none of the other songs have such a wide appeal. Yellow Submarine grew into a colossus with an animated feature film which was followed by a tsunami of merchandise: toys, clothes, and uncountable ephemera—which continues to this day. Other Beatle songs have inspired art in other forms: Norwegian Wood figures heavily in Haruki Murakami's novel of the same name; the new film The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, draws its title from the song (which was the flip side of the Yellow Submarine single.) In addition to the films starring The Beatles, Sgt. Peppers, Across the Universe, P.S. I Love You, Helter Skelter, Can't Buy Me Love, I Wanna Hold Your Hand and many others show up from time to time. But none of these have had the cultural impact of one of the simplest tunes in the entire Beatles canon.



*Merriam-Webster Online




By Professor Batty



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