I Am The Walrus

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Hello, Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (UK version) 7" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1967

Song facts

Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be ‘open’ when writing for teenagers. Then when we do we get criticized. Surely the word ‘knickers’ can’t offend anyone. Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!

Paul McCartney, 1967 – From Beatles Wiki – Interviews, Music, Beatles Quotes

From Wikipedia:

“I Am the Walrus” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1967 television film Magical Mystery Tour. Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was released as the B-side to the single “Hello, Goodbye” and on the Magical Mystery Tour EP and album. In the film, the song underscores a segment in which the band mime to the recording at a deserted airfield.

Lennon wrote the song to confound listeners who had been affording serious scholarly interpretations of the Beatles’ lyrics. He was partly inspired by two LSD trips and Lewis Carroll’s 1871 poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter“. Producer George Martin arranged and added orchestral accompaniment that included violins, cellos, horns, and clarinet. The Mike Sammes Singers, a 16-voice choir of professional studio vocalists, also joined the recording, variously singing nonsense lines and shrill whooping noises.

Since the “Hello, Goodbye” single and the Magical Mystery Tour EP both reached the top two slots on the British singles chart in December, “I Am the Walrus” holds the distinction of reaching numbers one and two simultaneously. Shortly after release, the song was banned by the BBC for the line “Boy, you’ve been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down”.

Composition

According to author Ian MacDonald, the “model” for “I Am the Walrus” was most likely Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale“, which was a hit single during the summer of 1967 and Lennon’s favourite song of the period. The lyric came from three song ideas that Lennon had been working on, the first of which was inspired by hearing a police siren at his home in Weybridge; Lennon wrote the lines “Mis-ter cit-y police-man” to the rhythm and melody of the siren. The second idea was a short rhyme about Lennon sitting amidst his garden, while the third was a nonsense phrase about sitting on a corn flake. Unable to finish the three different songs, he combined them into one. The lyric also included the phrase “Lucy in the sky”, a reference to the Beatles’ earlier song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds“.

The walrus refers to Lewis Carroll’s poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” (from the book Through the Looking-Glass). Lennon later expressed dismay upon belatedly realising that the walrus was a villain in the poem.

The final piece of the song came together during a visit from Pete Shotton, Lennon’s friend and former fellow member of the Quarrymen, when Lennon asked him about a playground nursery rhyme they sang as children. Shotton recalled the rhyme as follows:

Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,
All mixed together with a dead dog’s eye,
Slap it on a butty, ten-foot thick,
Then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick.

Lennon borrowed a couple of images from the first two lines. Shotton was also responsible for suggesting that Lennon change the phrase “waiting for the man to come” to “waiting for the van to come”. The Beatles’ official biographer, Hunter Davies, was present while the song was being written and wrote an account in his 1968 book The Beatles. According to this biography, Lennon remarked to Shotton, “Let the fuckers work that one out.” While the band were studying Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968, George Harrison told journalist Lewis Lapham that one of the lines in “I Am the Walrus” incorporated the personal mantra he had received from their meditation teacher, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. According to Pattie Boyd, Harrison’s wife at the time, the words “semolina pilchard” refer to Sergeant Pilcher of the London Drug Squad, who waged a campaign against British rock stars and underground figures during the late 1960s.

Lennon claimed he wrote the first two lines on separate acid trips; he explained much of the song to Playboy in 1980:

The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend. The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko … I’d seen Allen Ginsberg and some other people who liked Dylan and Jesus going on about Hare Krishna. It was Ginsberg, in particular, I was referring to. The words ‘Element’ry penguin’ meant that it’s naïve to just go around chanting Hare Krishna or putting all your faith in one idol. In those days I was writing obscurely, à la Dylan. […] It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist system. I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles’ work. Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy. I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy. I should have said, ‘I am the carpenter.’ But that wouldn’t have been the same, would it? [Sings, laughing] ‘I am the carpenter …’

Musical structure

The song is in the key of A, and the instrumental introduction starts in the Lydian mode of B major. Verse 1 begins with a I–♭III–IV–I rock pattern: “I am he” (A chord)…”you are me” (C chord) “and we are all toge…” (D chord) “…ther” (A chord). Verse 2, however, involves a ♭VI–♭VII–I Aeolian ascent: “waiting” (F chord) “for the van” (G chord) “to come” (A chord). The chorus uses a ♭III–IV–V pattern: “I am the eggman (C chord) “they are the eggmen (D chord). “I am the walrus (E chord), “coo-coo-ca-choo” hanging as an imperfect cadence until resolved with the I (A chord) on “Mr. City Policeman”. At the line “Sitting in an English garden” the D♯ melody note (as in the instrumental introduction) establishes a Lydian mode (sharp 4th note in the scale), and this mode is emphasised more strongly with the addition of a D♯ note to the B chord on “If the sun don’t come“.

The song ends using a Shepard tone, with a chord progression built on ascending and descending lines in the bass and strings, repeated as the song fades. Musicologist Alan W. Pollack analyses: “The chord progression of the outro itself is a harmonic Moebius strip with scales in bassline and top voice that move in contrary motion.” The bassline descends stepwise A, G, F, E, D, C, and B, while the strings part rises A, B, C, D, E, F♯, G: this sequence repeats as the song fades, with the strings rising higher on each iteration. Pollack also notes that the repeated cell is seven bars long, which means that a different chord begins each four-bar phrase. The fade is described by Walter Everett as a “false ending”, in the form of an “unrelated coda” consisting of the orchestral chord progression, chorus, and sampling of the radio play.

Recording

“I Am the Walrus” was the first studio recording made by the Beatles after the death of Brian Epstein, in August 1967. The basic backing track featuring the Beatles was released in 1996 on Anthology 2. George Martin arranged and added orchestral accompaniment that included violins, cellos, horns, and clarinet. Paul McCartney said that Lennon gave instructions to Martin as to how he wished the orchestration to be scored, including singing most of the parts as a guide. The Mike Sammes Singers, a 16-voice choir of professional studio vocalists, also took part in the recording, variously singing “Ho-ho-ho, hee-hee-hee, ha-ha-ha”, “oompah, oompah, stick it up your jumper!”, “everybody’s got one” and making a series of shrill whooping noises.

In 2015, founding Moody Blues member Ray Thomas said in an interview that he and fellow band member Mike Pinder contributed backing vocals to the song, as well as harmonicas to “The Fool on the Hill“.

Incorporation of text from King Lear

The dramatic reading in the mix is Shakespeare’s King Lear (Act IV, Scene 6), lines 219–222 and 249–262. It was added to the song on 29 September 1967, recorded directly from an AM radio Lennon was fiddling with. Lennon tuned around the dial and settled on the 7:30 pm to 11 pm broadcast of the play on the BBC Third Programme.

The first excerpt (ll. 219–222) moves in and out of the text, containing fragments of lines only. It begins where the disguised Edgar talks to his estranged and maliciously blinded father the Earl of Gloucester (timings given):

Gloucester: (2:35) Now, good sir, wh— (Lennon appears to change the channel away from the station here)
Edgar: (2:38) — poor man, made tame by fortune — (2:44) good pity —

In the play Edgar then kills Oswald, Goneril’s steward. During the fade of the song the second main extract (ll. 249–262), this time of continuous text, is heard (timings given):

Oswald: (3:52) Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
If ever thou wilt thrive, (4:02) bury my body,
And give the (4:05) letters which thou find’st about me
To (4:08) Edmund, Earl of Gloucester; (4:10) seek him out
Upon the British party. O, (4:14) untimely Death!
Edgar: (4:23) I know thee well: a (4:25) serviceable villain;
As duteous to the (4:27) vices of thy mistress
As badness would desire.
Gloucester: What, is he dead?
Edgar: (4:31) Sit you down, father, rest you.

On the radio broadcast the roles were read by Mark Dignam (Gloucester), Philip Guard (Edgar), and John Bryning (Oswald).

Mono vs. stereo versions

In the original (1967) stereo release, at around two minutes through the song, the mix changes from true stereo to “fake stereo”. This came about because the radio broadcast had been added “live” into the mono mix-down and so was unavailable for inclusion in the stereo mix; hence, fake stereo from the mono mix was created for this portion of the song.

The mono version opens with a four-beat chord, while the stereo mix features six beats on the initial chord. The four-beat-only intro is also included on a different stereo mix (overseen by George Martin) for the previous MPI Home Video version of Magical Mystery Tour, especially the US Magical Mystery Tour album. The US mono single mix includes an extra bar of music before the words “yellow matter custard”. This is actually the original uncut version of the mono mix called RM23. An early, overdub-free mix of the song released on Anthology 2 reveals John singing the lyrics “Yellow mat-” too early—this was edited out. A hybrid version prepared for the 1980 US Rarities LP combines the six-beat opening with the extra bar of music that precedes the words “yellow matter custard” (from the aforementioned US mono single mix). An entirely new full stereo remix was done in 2012 for Apple’s DVD and Blu-ray release of the restored version of Magical Mystery Tour.

A 5.1 surround sound full stereo remix of the song appeared on the DVD release of Anthology in 2003, on disc 4. A full stereo digital remix was also done for the Cirque du Soleil show Love and album of the same name, released in 2006. Producers George and Giles Martin were allowed access to early generations of the original master tapes. Musical parts that had previously been mixed were now available as separate elements. Additionally, a copy of the BBC broadcast of King Lear was acquired. Now, with all the sound sources used in the original mono mix present, a proper stereo remix could be accomplished. These tracks were transferred digitally and lined up to create a new multi-track master, from which a new mix would be made.

In addition to the stereo remixes prepared for the Love show and the 2012 Apple reissue referenced above, the DVDs that were released for those same projects contain a 5.1 surround sound mix of the song, making three distinct 5.1 remixes of the same song. […]

Reception

Critical reception at the time of the track’s release was largely positive. Writer Derek Johnson stated: “John growls the nonsense (and sometimes suggestive) lyric, backed by a complex scoring incorporating violins and cellos. You need to hear it a few times before you can absorb it.” Nick Logan wrote: “Into the world of Alice in Wonderland now and you can almost visualise John crouching on a deserted shore singing ‘I am the walrus’ to some beautiful strings from far away on the horizon and a whole bagful of Beatle sounds, like a ringing doorbell and someone sawing a plank of wood. A fantastic track which you will need to live with for a while to fully appreciate.” In a review for Melody Maker, Nick Jones considered the song “not such a complex sound as a lot of previous Beatles stuff but it builds nicely to a chattering, spinning cacophony of electricity and hissing gongs behind a barely audible “conversation””.

Richard Goldstein of The New York Times wrote that the song was “their most realized work since ‘A Day In The Life‘” and described it as “a fierce collage” with a “musical structure [that] mirrors this fragmentation”. He said it “suggests a world much like that of ‘A Day In The Life,’ where the news is bad and John Lennon (now a Walrus, with a drooping moustache) would like to turn us on. Because he is an artist, he does.”

In a highly unfavourable review of Magical Mystery Tour, Rex Reed of HiFi/Stereo Review said that “I Am the Walrus” “defies any kind of description known to civilized man. Not only is it ugly to hear, lacking any cohesion of style or technique, but it is utterly silly and pointless.” He stated that the song “begins with an intro sounding suspiciously like one of John Barry’s James Bond film scores”, then quoted some of the lyrics before saying that “the whole thing fades out to what sounds like people being fried on electric fences and pigs rooting in a bucket of swill.”

The song was banned by the BBC for the use of the word “knickers” in the line “You’ve been a naughty girl, you’ve let your knickers down”.

Interpretation

After receiving a letter from a student at his former school, Quarry Bank High School for Boys, about how literature classes there were analysing the Beatles’ songs, Lennon wrote “I Am the Walrus” to confuse those who tried to interpret it. There have nevertheless been many attempts to understand the meaning of the lyrics.

Lennon returned to the subject in the lyrics of three of his subsequent songs: in the 1968 Beatles song “Glass Onion” he sings, “I told you ’bout the walrus and me, man / You know that we’re as close as can be, man / Well here’s another clue for you all / The walrus was Paul”.

Eric Burdon, lead singer of the Animals, claimed to be the “Eggman” mentioned in the song’s lyric. […]


The whole point is that this is quite a commonplace saying — to be caught with your knickers down is to be taken by surprise or to be caught on the hop. Naturally, this one line sounds different if you take it out on its own and make headlines out of it. It’s quite harmless, you know. I can’t see being shocked. Certainly, we weren’t out to create deliberate double meanings here.

Paul McCartney – From Disc And Music Echo – November 18, 1967

We write lyrics, and I write lyrics that you don’t realize what they mean till after. Especially some of the better songs or some of the more flowing ones, like ‘Walrus.’ The whole first verse was written without any knowledge. With ‘I Am the Walrus,’ I had ‘I am he as you are he as we are all together.’ I had just these two lines on the typewriter, and then about two weeks later I ran through and wrote another two lines and then, when I saw something, after about four lines, I just knocked the rest of it off. Then I had the whole verse or verse and a half and then sang it. I had this idea of doing a song that was a police siren, but it didn’t work in the end (sings like a siren) ‘I-am-he-as-you-are-he-as…’ You couldn’t really sing the police siren.

John Lennon – Interview with Jonathan Cott, November 23, 1968

I’ve always liked the sound of a French horn, I’ve always liked a string quartet. ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’, those kind of things, ‘The Walrus’ with John. We’ve dabbled with that enough to know what it’s about. You meet musicians and know some little tricks and some little things that get orchestras ‘at it’.

Paul McCartney – From “Conversations with McCartney” by Paul du Noyer, 2016

Even now I’m a bit shy to say I was the director of Magical Mystery Tour although it was the fact: it was me that was first up in the morning, me that virtually directed the whole thing. So being the de facto director, I would go and say good night to everyone. Just to check on the team. I was saying good night to John in the hotel in Cornwall and saying thanks for doing the Nat Jackley thing. I was standing at the door and he was in bed, and we were talking about the lyrics of ‘I Am the Walrus’, and I remember feeling he was a little frail at that time, maybe not going through one of the best periods in life, probably breaking up with his wife. He was going through a very fragile period. You’ve only got to look at his lyrics — ‘sitting on a cornflake waiting for the van to come’. They were very disturbed lyrics.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

John worked with George Martin on the orchestration and did some very exciting things with The Mike Sammes Singers, the likes of which they’ve never done before or since, like getting them to chant, ‘Everybody’s got one, everybody’s got one…,’ which they loved. It was a session to be remembered. Most of the time they got asked to do ‘Sing Something Simple’ and all the old songs, but John got them doing all sorts of swoops and phonetic noises. It was a fascinating session. That was John’s baby, great one, a really good one.

Paul McCartney – From “Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 29 Sep 1967. edited.
    UK: Parlophone R5655 single 1967, Parlophone MMT 1 (EP) Magical Mystery Tour 1967.
    CD: EMI single 1989, EMI EP box set 1991.
  • [a1] mono 29 Sep 1967. edited.
    US: Capitol 2056 single 1967.
  • [a2] mono made from [a1] 1967, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol MAL 2835 Magical Mystery Tour 1967.
  • [b] stereo, and mock stereo made from [a], 6,17 Nov 1967. edited.
    UK: Parlophone SMMT 1 (EP) Magical Mystery Tour 1967, Apple PCSP 718 The Beatles 1967-1970 1973.
    US: Capitol SV-12199 Reel Music 1982.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 48062 2 Magical Mystery Tour 1987, EMI EP box set 1991, EMI CDP 7 97039 2 The Beatles 1967-1970 1993.
  • [b1] stereo, and mock stereo made from [b]. edited (by Capitol?).
    US: Capitol SMAL 2835 Magical Mystery Tour 1967, Apple SKBO-3404 The Beatles 1967-1970 1973.
  • [b2] stereo, and mock stereo made from [b], and mock stereo made from [a1] 1980, by Capitol.
    Capitol: SHAL-12060 Rarities 1980.
  • [c] stereo 1995.
    CD: Apple CDP 8 34448 2 Anthology 2 1996.

The orchestra and choral singers were recorded on two generations of a separate tape, take 25, with edit pieces, synchronized during mixing to the Beatles on take 17, making a difficult mix that took many tries to get. Lewisohn does not describe this as two tapes at mix stage, but the many attempts at mixing are otherwise inexplicable. The mixes seem to run at slightly variable speeds, maybe a byproduct of synchronizing.

Mono [a] is reportedly mono mix 23, which is an edit of mono mix 10, up to the end of the second “Goo Goo Gajoob”, into mono mix 22. Mix 22 is the one with the radio sound mixed in, from a BBC broadcast of King Lear. [a] has three edits, all in the first part of the song (originally from mono mix 10): 2 of the 6 beats in the intro are cut off; a cymbal crash at the first “Goo Goo Gajoob” is mixed out; and a few beats after “I’m crying” are edited out.

Mono [a1] is similar to [a] and has the first two of the three edits. The beats after “I’m crying” remain in place. This could be mix 22 in its entirety, which Lewisohn says is a complete mix of the whole song, or it could be an early copy of mix 23 before the last edit was done. Mono [a2] appears to be an attempt to edit those beats out of [a1], to sound like [a], but the edit is slightly different.

Stereo [b] is a new mix from the synchronized tapes up to the same spot as the edit in [a]. After that [b] is mock stereo made from mono mix 22, in order to include the radio, which was added sound-on-sound to that one mono mix. [b] has all 6 beats of the intro, and has the cymbal crash at the end of verse 1, but the third edit, the beats after “I’m crying”, was done. The mock stereo sound starts to pan left and right near the end of the fadeout.

[b1] is [b] with the first 2 beats of the intro cut off, as in [a]. This might have been done by Capitol. [b2] is a forgery made by Capitol. The beats after “I’m crying” have been edited back in, in mock stereo made from [a1], to create a bogus complete stereo version.

The stereo home video release of Magical Mystery Tour has a new mix with the 4 beat intro like [b1], to synch with the film. At the edit, it cuts into the mono master, not fake stereo.

The Anthology mix [c] is deliberately different and entirely omits the orchestra and choral singers, and filters out much of the bass. It has the 6-beat intro and the cymbal crash after verse 1. The extra beats after “I’m crying” are revealed to be a miscue with a vocal that was mixed out in [a1], and of course the whole thing is edited out otherwise. (A mono mix available on bootleg since 1978 has that vocal mixed out and has bass; perhaps this is a later state than [c].)

Last updated on May 8, 2023

Lyrics

I am he as you are he as you are me
And we are all together
See how they run like pigs from a gun
See how they fly
I'm crying

Sitting on a cornflake
Waiting for the van to come
Corporation T-shirt, stupid bloody Tuesday
Man you've been a naughty boy
You let your face grow long

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob

Mr. City policeman sitting
Pretty little policemen in a row
See how they fly like Lucy in the sky
See how they run
I'm crying
I'm crying, I'm crying, I'm crying

Yellow matter custard
Dripping from a dead dog's eye
Crabalocker fishwife
Pornographic priestess
Boy, you've been a naughty girl
You let your knickers down

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob

Sitting in an English garden
Waiting for the sun
If the sun don't come you get a tan
From standing in the English rain

I am the eggman
("How do you do sir")
They are the eggmen
("The man maintains a fortune")
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob Goo Goo Goo g' joob

Expert, texpert choking smokers
Don't you think the joker laughs at you
(Ho ho ho hee hee hee hah hah hah)
See how they smile like pigs in a sty
See how they snide
I'm crying

Semolina Pilchard
Climbing up the Eiffel tower
Elementary penguin singing Hare Krishna
Man, you should have seen them kicking
Edgar Allen Poe

I am the eggman
They are the eggmen
I am the walrus
Goo goo g' joob
Goo goo goo g' joob
Goo goo g' joob
Goo goo goo g' joob
Goo goo
Juba juba juba
Juba juba juba
Juba juba juba
Juba juba

(Oh I'm tired, servicible villain
Set you down father, rest you)

Officially appears on


Hello, Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (UK version)

7" Single • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Mono)

LP • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionA2 • Mono • Mono made from [A1]

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Magical Mystery Tour (US LP - Stereo)

LP • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionB1 • Stereo • Stereo, and mock stereo made from [B]

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29 & Nov 06 & 17, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Hello, Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (US version)

7" Single • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionA1 • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Magical Mystery Tour (UK EP - Mono)

EP • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Magical Mystery Tour (UK EP - Stereo)

EP • Released in 1967

4:33 • Studio versionB • Stereo • Stereo, and mock stereo made from [A]

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29 & Nov 06 & 17, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Magical Mystery Tour Plus Other Songs

LP • Released in 1972

4:33 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29 & Nov 06 & 17, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

1967-1970 (US version, 1973)

Official album • Released in 1973

4:33 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29 & Nov 06 & 17, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

1967-1970 (UK version, 1973)

LP • Released in 1973

4:33 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29 & Nov 06 & 17, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Hello, Goodbye / I Am The Walrus (UK - 1976)

7" Single • Released in 1976

4:33 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Tambourine
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Mellotron, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Conductor, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Jack Rothstein :
Violin
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sidney Sax :
Violin
Peggie Allen :
Backing vocals
Wendy Horan :
Backing vocals
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Jill Utting :
Backing vocals
June Day :
Backing vocals
Sylvia King :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
G Mallen :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
John O'Neill :
Backing vocals
F Dachtler :
Backing vocals
Allan Grant :
Backing vocals
D Griffiths :
Backing vocals
J Smith :
Backing vocals
J Fraser :
Backing vocals
Ralph Elman :
Violin
Andrew McGee :
Violin
Jack Greene :
Violin
Louis Stevens :
Violin
John Jezzard :
Violin
Jack Richards :
Violin
Lionel Ross :
Cello
Eldon Fox :
Cello
Bram Martin :
Cello
Terry Weil :
Cello
Gordon Lewin :
Clarinet
Neill Sanders :
Horn
Tony Tunstall :
Horn
Morris Miller :
Horn
Ray Thomas :
Backing vocals (?)
Mike Pinder :
Backing vocals (?)
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Sep 05, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Sep 06, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Orchestra overdubs:
Sep 27, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One and Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 28-29, 1967
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

4:34 • Studio version


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:07 • Alternate take • Take 8


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 2

Unofficial album

5:45 • Alternate take • Take 9


Magical Mystery Tour Sessions

Unofficial album

1:30 • Alternate take • Take 2 partial mono


Magical Mystery Tour Sessions

Unofficial album

1:53 • Alternate take • Take 7 monitor mix mono


Latest concerts where I Am The Walrus has been played

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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