Oliver: “We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.
We all live in a yellow submarine,
And our friends are all on board.”
Patti, do you know the title of this song?
Patti: Of course! “Yellow Submarine” is one of the catchiest songs ever written by a rock band. You only need to hear it once and the tune stays in your head. We will play the song at the end of our talk, and I bet you will be singing its chorus for the rest of the day.
Oliver: Totally! “Yellow Submarine” is also known as an “ear worm song” because it gets into your head like a worm getting into an apple. While this is not exactly a pretty image, it perfectly describes how a catchy song sticks in your head even if you don’t want it to.
Patti: Back to the topic, “Yellow Submarine” is a 1966 song by The Beatles, the most famous music band in history. The band was formed in Liverpool, England in 1960 and was disbanded a decade later. They are so influential that you can even say many of today’s biggest K-pop bands like BTS, EXO, and SHINee owe their success to The Beatles. Oliver, how many members were there in the band?
Oliver: There were four male members in the band: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison. Lennon and McCartney wrote most of the songs.
Patti: In fact, Paul McCartney came up with the idea of writing a simple, catchy song that children would enjoy listening and singing along to. He got the idea for “Yellow Submarine” in bed one morning when he was staying at a friend’s house.
Oliver: And that’s exactly what the ‘Yellow Submarine’ is about. Paul McCartney wrote most of the lyrics himself. He used really easy words because he wanted kids and young teens to pick it up quickly. So, what is this song about, Patti?
Patti: It’s about a group of kids living in a yellow submarine, and having a great time. They live in a world of submarines where there is music and fun every day. McCartney has said “Yellow Submarine” was meant to be a nonsense song for children but there were many social and political interpretations of its lyrics when it has released. What do you think?
Oliver: I agree that the “Yellow Submarine” is nothing more than a happy, fun song. Also, the Beatles had great fun recording it in London in 1966. Ringo Starr did the vocals, but there is much more to the song! The members even brought their friends along to add sound effects to the track!
Patti: Indeed! When you listen to the song, you will hear the Beatles and their friends shaking iron chains, banging doors, ringing bells, stamping their feet on the floor and playing around with wind and thunder machines.
Oliver: They were very creative with different sound effects. John Lennon blew through a straw into a pan of water to create bubbling noises. Paul shouted into a tin can to make it sound like the submarine’s captain on a megaphone. Ringo stood outside the recording studio shouting “Cut the cable! Drop the cable!”
Oliver: Now that you know more “Yellow Submarine”, let’s sing along to the song when we play the video. All together now! One! Two! Three!
Patti and Oliver: We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine ...