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The Ballad of John and Yoko was recorded by John Lennon and Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios on April 14, 1969 and was originally released in the United Kingdom on May 30, 1969 and in the United States on June 4, 1969 as a single. Its B-side was George Harrison's Old Brown Shoe. The song talks about events, which occurred in late March of that year, that revolved around John and Yoko's wedding and honeymoon.

After he wrote it, John was in a rush to get the song recorded. Because it was such short notice, Paul was the only other of the four that could make the session. Using several tracks and overdubbing, John played the acoustic background guitar, two electric leads and sang vocals, while Paul played the piano, bass guitar and drums. George Martin later commented about the two recording the background track, with John on rhythm guitar and Paul on the drums, "John said to Paul, 'Hey, go a bit faster, Ringo' and Paul replied, 'Okay, George!'" They were finished recording in only eight and a half hours.

Standing in the dock at Southampton, Trying to get to Holland or France. The man in the mac said, "You've got to turn back". You know they didn't even give us a chance.

In a spontaneous decision to get married, John and Yoko tried to board the Channel ferry in Southampton. They thought they could have the captain marry them while at sea and then honeymoon in Holland or France. But Yoko didn't have her passport and they weren't allowed to board.

Christ you know it ain't easy, You know how hard it can be. The way things are going They're going to crucify me.

In the chorus John literally addresses Christ (he is not swearing). He looked at himself as a Superstar who was trying to spread a good and loving message, much like Christ. Earlier, in a newspaper interview, John condemned organized religion but praised Jesus when he said, "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that. I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now. I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me." He received a great deal of ridicule for proclaiming this. People misunderstood what he was trying to say and took it as arrogance and blasphemy, much like Christ. In this chorus he jests that if Christ was crucified because he went around proclaiming good things, could it get so bad in this modern day that they would (metaphorically) crucify him as well?

Finally made the plane into Paris, Honey mooning down by the Seine. Peter Brown called to say, "You can make it O.K., You can get married in Gibraltar, near Spain".

John and Yoko chartered a private plane to Paris. When they arrived John called Peter Brown, Executive Director of the Beatles' management company, and asked him to arrange the wedding. He first informed them that it would be impossible to arrange on such short notice, but then called back to inform them they could go to Gibraltar and get married at the British Consulate. They chartered another plane to the Spanish peninsula and were married in a very short ceremony on March 20, 1969.

:: chorus ::

Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton, Talking in our beds for a week. The newspapers said, "Say what you doing in bed?" I said, "We're only trying to get us some peace".

In less than an hour the two were driving for Amsterdam where they had reserved the Presidential Suite at the Hilton. Seeing as they had no way to keep the press from hounding them on their honeymoon, they decided to use the press to convey a message they both felt strongly about. So John and Yoko invited reporters into their room to talk about world peace. "We're trying to make Christ's message contemporary. What would he have done if he had advertisements, records, films, TV and newspapers! Christ made miracles to tell his message. Well, the miracle today is communications." They stayed in their bed for a week as a protest for peace.

:: chorus ::

Saving up your money for a rainy day, Giving all your clothes to charity. Last night the wife said, "Oh boy, when you're dead You don't take nothing with you But your soul - think!"

Made a lightning trip to Vienna, eating chocolate cake in a bag. The newspapers said, "She's gone to his head, They look just like two gurus in drag".

After their week in bed, they decided to spend a night in Vienna. When they arrived they gave an interview while inside a large bag and professed something they called bagism. Also the two shared some Sacher Torte, which is a type of chocolate cake. They read some of the article written about their time at the Amsterdam Hilton and not everything the reporters had to say was flattering.

:: chorus ::

Caught an early plane back to London. Fifty acorns tied in a sack. The men from the press said, "We wish you success, It's good to have the both of you back".

When they arrived back in London on April 1, they gave another press conference at the airport. The British press seemed to be a lot more friendly and accepting than the international press. They also started another peace movement, Acorns For Peace, where they sent acorns to the leaders of the world and asked them to plant it as a symbol for peace.

:: chorus ::

The way things are going They're going to crucify me.

The publishing rights to The Ballad of John and Yoko are owned jointly by Sony Music Publishing and Michael Jackson. The lyrics were used fairly without permission. Contact was made August 18, 2003; request for permission is in the works. CST Approved.


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