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Come Together -- John Lennon

Guest poem submitted by Matthew Chanoff:
I know you already did your song lyric theme, but I've got to propose you
run this anyway.
(Poem #995) Come Together
 Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
 He got Joo-Joo eyeball he one holy roller
 He got hair down to his knee
 Got to be a joker he just do what he please

 He wear no shoeshine he got toe-jam football
 He got monkey finger he shoot coca-cola
 He say "I know you, you know me"
 One thing I can tell you is you got to be free
 Come together right now over me

 He bag production he got walrus gumboot
 He got Ono sideboard he one spinal cracker
 He got feet down below his knee
 Hold you in his armchair you can feel his disease
 Come together right now over me

 He roller-coaster he got early warning
 He got muddy water he one mojo filter
 He say "One and one and one is three"
 Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see
 Come together right now over me

 Come together, come together, come together, come together, yeah.
-- John Lennon
This is my all time favorite obscure poem.  What could they have had in
mind? Maybe it's a poem about a street person with a personality disorder
who needs to come together.  Maybe it's a parody of John "he got Ono
sideboard."  Maybe it's just a stream of imagery.

One thing I love about it is the rhythm.  Everyone over 30 has that rhythm
somewhere in their brain cells. You can tell you have it if you try reading
the thing aloud.  Try saying "He say "One and one and one is three" without
stretching and syncopating on "one."  The poem is also very heavy on
trochees (stress-unstressed feet) like slowly, roller, football, cola,
gumboot, cracker, warning, filter. Very often they're used as a signal for
indecisiveness, passivity, etcetera. cf, the "To be or not to be" soliloquey
in Hamlet.

Maybe it's about recognizing mentally distrurbed street people as not so
different from you and me.

I'm not sure who wrote it. At this stage in their development, Lennon and
McCartney pretty much wrote separately, though they continued to put both
names on all songs. [It was Lennon, actually - ed.]

For a bio of the band, check out
[broken link]

For a complete Beatles lyric archive, check out
[broken link]


151 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Michael & Christine Bailey said...

I believe this song was a huge slam on Paul. Some of those lyrics that point to Paul are: Here comes old flattop (Paul wore a flat top hairstyle in the pre-Beatles days. He also had a cheap old acoustic six string which are known as flat tops. He wear no shoeshine (Abbey Road - Paul has no shoes). He got monkey finger (a bass player usually has walking fingers that go all over the place.) He say "I know you, you know me" You say yes, I say no ... John was very critical of Paul's lyrics and deemed them banal. Got to be good-looking 'cause he's so hard to see Paul the cute one. Of course the other lines probably refer to personal events that only John could encript. This album was the Beatles' last. Recorded after the disasterous and later released "Get Back." John and Paul were pretty hostile to each other at this phase in their lives.

Patricia Beland said...

Come Together was actually written as a campaign song for Timothy
Leary's bid for Governor of California. Of course he didn't win, he
went to prison and later escaped to Alegeria.

Patricia Beland

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