The Paul McCartney Project

Hey Bulldog

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Yellow Submarine (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Hey Bulldog” is a song by the Beatles which first appeared on the Yellow Submarine soundtrack album in 1969. Credited to Lennon–McCartney but written primarily by John Lennon, it was finished in the studio by Lennon and McCartney. The song was recorded during the filming of the “Lady Madonna” promotional video, and like “Lady Madonna“, is one of the few Beatles’ songs based on a piano riff. It had a working title of “You Can Talk to Me“. Although the Yellow Submarine album had a mixed reception, “Hey Bulldog” was generally considered its highlight song.

Overview

A few days before the recording session, Paul McCartney had played drums on a Paul Jones rocker called “The Dog Presides,” which had featured barking sound effects. During the Beatles recording, McCartney started to bark without warning. The next lines, initially written as “Hey bullfrog” by Lennon, were changed mid-song to “Hey bulldog“, which would become the song’s title.

Geoff Emerick, the Beatles’ engineer, would subsequently claim this was the last song the band recorded that featured a team dynamic with enthusiasm from every member. He also praised the performance in his book Here, There, Everywhere, saying “Paul’s bass line was probably the most inventive of any he’d done since Pepper, and it was really well played. Harrison’s solo was sparkling, too–one of the few times that he nailed it right away. His amp was turned up really loud, and he used one of his new fuzz boxes, which made his guitar absolutely scream.” When the group reconvened in the studio in May 1968 for the The Beatles sessions, their group cohesion had already been undermined by the business, artistic, and personal differences that would culminate in their eventual break-up.

During these sessions, a film crew photographed the Beatles recording the song. It was one of the few times they allowed themselves to be extensively filmed while recording at EMI’s Abbey Road studios, for a promotional film to be released during their scheduled four-month retreat to India (which was later edited together as a promotional film for the single “Lady Madonna“).

The song was used in a segment of the animated film Yellow Submarine. Initially it appeared only in some European theatrical prints. It was cut from the American version by the movie’s producer Al Brodax as he and the group felt the film was too long. It was restored for the film’s 1999 re-release. To promote the reissue, Apple went back to the original footage shot for the “Lady Madonna” promo film and restructured it for use as a promotional clip for “Hey Bulldog” (as it is possible to identify what they were playing, and therefore possible to synchronise the music with the original footage). The 1999 clip was included in the three-disc versions (titled 1+) of the Beatles’ 2015 video compilation 1.

The guitar riff from “Hey Bulldog” was included in the 2006 album Love in its version of “Lady Madonna“, but in a different key (from the key of B minor to A major). Some of Lennon and McCartney laughing was featured in the “Blue Jay Way” transitional piece.

McCartney spoke fondly of “Hey Bulldog” in 1994: “I remember (it) as being one of John’s songs and I helped him finish it off in the studio, but it’s mainly his vibe. There’s a little rap at the end between John and I, we went into a crazy little thing at the end. We always tried to make every song different because we figured, ‘Why write something like the last one? We’ve done that.’ We were on a ladder so there was never any sense of stepping down a rung, or even staying on the same rung, it was better to move one rung ahead“.

Later releases

New stereo mixes of the song were made for the Yellow Submarine Songtrack (1999) and Love (2006) albums.

A previously unreleased 1968 mono mix was included in the Mono Masters compilation as part of the 2009 box set The Beatles in Mono. (While the original soundtrack album had also been issued in mono, the version of “Hey Bulldog” used was a “fold-down” mix created by electronically combining the two channels of the stereo version, rather than a true mono mix). […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] stereo 29 Oct 1968.
    UK: Apple PCS 7070 Yellow Submarine 1969.
    US: Apple SW 153 Yellow Submarine 1969.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46445 2 Yellow Submarine 1987.
  • [a1] mono made from [a] 1968.
    UK: Apple PMC 7070 Yellow Submarine 1969.

An 11 February 1968 mono mix was in the film print used at the London premiere of Yellow Submarine, but the song was then dropped from the film entirely. The version of the film with the song has occasionally appeared in the UK but is not the standard version there either.

Last updated on December 3, 2016

Lyrics

Sheepdog, standing in the rain
Bullfrog, doing it again
Some kind of happiness is
Measured out in miles
What makes you think you're
Something special when you smile

Childlike no one understands
Jackknife in your sweaty hands
Some kind of innocence is
Measured out in years
You don't know what it's like
To listen to your fears

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you're lonely, you can talk to me

Big man (yeah) walking in the park
Wigwam frightened of the dark
Some kind of solitude is
Measured out in you
You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue

You can talk to me
You can talk to me
You can talk to me
If you're lonely, you can talk to me

Hey Hey

Roar

Hey, Bulldog (Hey Bulldog)

Woof

Hey, Bulldog
Hey, Bulldog
Hey, Bulldog

Hey man

Whats up brother?

Roof

What do ya say

I say, "roof"

You know any more?

Ah ah (You got it, that's it, you had it!)
That's it man, Wo ho, That's it, you got it!

Woah

Look at me man, I only had ten children

Ah ah ah ah ah ah ha ha ha ha
Quiet! Quiet! (OK)
Quiet!
Hey, Bulldog, Hey Bulldog

Officially appears on


Yellow Submarine (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1969

3:11 • Studio versionA1 • Mono • Mono made from [A]

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Tambourine, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 29, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Yellow Submarine (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1969

3:11 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Tambourine, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 29, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road


Yellow Submarine Songtrack

Official album • Released in 1999

3:14 • Studio versionR1999

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Tambourine, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison:
Guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Paul Hicks:
Remix engineer assistant
Mirek Stiles:
Remix engineer assistant
Peter Cobbin:
Remix engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Feb 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Remixing:
Circa 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

0:49 • Outtake • Take 1 Or 2 Partial Mono


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

0:22 • Outtake • Unknown Take - 2 Versions Mono


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

0:07 • Outtake • Unknown Take - Mono


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

3:10 • Outtake • RM2 From Take 10 Mono


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

3:12 • Outtake • RS From Take 10 V1 Stereo


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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