The Beatles song that John Lennon wrote based on a magazine and became an enigmatic lyric — Rock&Pop

John Lennon He is recognized as the writer of the most enigmatic lyrics of the Beatles. The musician is the author of songs that baffled the fans of the quartet.

However, sometimes the strangest lyrics come from quite mundane places. So much so that one of the songs most full of metaphors and strange changes, came out of a magazine.

The Beatles song that came from a magazine ad

One of the strangest lyrics that John Lennon did on The Beatles’ self-titled album is “Happiness Is A Warm Gun“, with mentions of a “hand with the touch of velvet”, and “a lizard on a windowpane”.

However, the origin of the idea for the song comes from a much simpler place: A magazine advertisement gave John Lennon the idea for the song.

“George Martin showed me a magazine cover that said: ‘Happiness is a hot weapon“I thought that was a fantastic and crazy thing to say. A hot gun means you just shot something.” he revealed in the book Anthology.

American Rifleman Magazine

The first section of the song is composed of phrases from John Lennon and Apple publicist Derek Taylor during an acid trip they experienced with Neil Aspinall and Lennon’s childhood friend, Pete Shotton.

For example, the line “velvet hand” was inspired by a fetishist Taylor and his wife met on the Isle of Man.

“I told a story about a guy my wife Joan and I met at the Carrick Bay Hotel on the Isle of Man. Late one night, drinking in the bar, a local guy who liked to meet tourists and talk to them, suddenly he said to us: ‘I like to wear moleskin gloves, you know?’. “It gives me a bit of an unusual feeling when I go out with my girlfriend.” Then she said, “I don’t want to go into details.” So we didn’t do it. But that provided the phrase: “She knows well the touch of the velvet hand” Derek Taylor told in the book, A Hard Day’s Write by Steve Turner.

Censorship on the radio

The indecipherable lyrics of the song caused problems for the song when it was broadcast on the radio. The BBC at the time thought that there were references to drugs in The Beatles’ song.

“‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ was another one that got banned from radio,” Lennon recalled in Anthology. “They said it was about injecting drugs. But they were advertising guns (in the magazine) and I thought it was so crazy that I made a song out of it. It wasn’t about ‘H’ at all“.

While in the second part, he was inspired by his infatuation with Yoko Ono. “Mother Superior” was the name he used for her, and “jumping the gun” could be interpreted as a sexual metaphor.

“Oh, well, by then I’ve got double meanings,” Lennon explained in the book. All We Are Saying by David Sheff.. “The initial inspiration was the cover of the magazine. But that was the beginning of my relationship with Yoko and So I had a great sexual orientation. When we weren’t in the studio, we were in bed

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