Just in one of those moods . . . . goo, goo ga-joob.
A clip of the song as performed in the 1967 film, Magical Mystery Tour.
You know, I've never actually seen Magical Mystery Tour. Originally broadcast on BBC1 on Boxing Day, 1967, the film was considered an unqualified disaster when it came out. And, from watching this clip, I think I can see why.
At least the song was weird enough to keep the visuals interesting. (I'm not sure what animal George Harrison is supposed to be in some of those sequences, but I find him terrifying.)
The song itself, however, has always been one of my favorite Beatles' tunes, even as a kid. Which probably explains why my mind's not quite right.
It was also one of John Lennon's own favorites. From The Beatles Anthology:
"I Am the Walrus" is also one of my favourite tracks - because I did it, of course, but also because it's one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later.That's what happens, I guess, when you're taking LSD on a constant basis, as Lennon was at the time.
It's from "The Walrus and the Carpenter"; Alice in Wonderland. To me, it was a beautiful poem. 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." But that wouldn't have been the same, would it? "I am the carpenter..."
John goes on to talk about Bob Dylan's influence on the song:
In those days, I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, never saying what you mean but giving the impression of something, where more or less can be read into it. It's a good game. I thought, "They get away with this artsy-fartsy crap." There has been more said about Dylan's wonderful lyrics than was ever in the lyrics at all. Mine, too. But it was intellectuals who read all this into Dylan or The Beatles. Dylan got away with murder. I thought, "I can write this crap, too."I don't know, do people really over-analyze Dylan and The Beatles?
From Wikipedia's entry on "I Am the Walrus":
The song also contains the unusual exclamation goo goo g'joob. Various unsatisfactory hypotheses exist regarding the origin and meaning of these syllables. One popular, yet impossible, claim is that the phrase was derived from the very similar "koo koo ka choo" in Paul Simon's song Mrs. Robinson, written in 1967. However, the film The Graduate, where "Mrs. Robinson" debuted, was not released until December 1967, a month after the release of "I Am the Walrus", and The Graduate Original Soundtrack (which contained only fragments of the final version of "Mrs. Robinson") was not released until January 1968.Well, long live the absurdity and meaninglessness of "I Am the Walrus" anyway!
Perhaps due to the close chronological timing of the release of the two songs, the "Walrus" chorus is often misquoted as "Mrs. Robinson"'s "koo koo ka choo", although the lyrics to "Walrus" were published as part of the Magical Mystery Tour EP packaging, so there is no debate to the actual lyric.
- ...like milk-juggles as if it was the wrake of the hapspurus or old Kong Gander O'Toole of the Mountains or his googoo goosth she seein, sliving off over the sawdust lobby out of the backroom, wan ter, that was everywans in turruns, in his honeymoon trim, holding up his fingerhals...
It is not clear that Joyce is the source, or what it would mean if he were, but it has been a hypothesis put forward by fans of both artists alike.