John Lennon Wrote “I Am The Walrus” To Spite A School Teacher


John Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus” was a response to a school teacher’s teaching methods.

John Lennon
John Lennon (photo via

Some say Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus” was his final masterpiece as a part of The Beatles. He wrote it in 1967, and he reportedly wrote the opening lines while under the influence of LSD.

“The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend, the second line on another acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko,” Lennon said, according to the book All We Are Saying by David Sheff.

The tune earned a spot on the soundtrack of the Magical Mystery Tour TV film.

Although it first came out as a B-side of “Hello Goodbye,” Lennon wanted it to be the next single after their hugely successful “All You Need Is Love.”

But Paul McCartney and George Martin thought “Hello Goodbye” was much more commercial and would be more widely accepted.

And after the band broke up, Lennon was vocal about his resentment toward McCartney.

photo via

“I got sick and tired of being Paul’s backup band,” he said.

The song contains ridiculous words and phrases. Here are just a few of them:

  • Crabalocker
  • Texpert
  • Goo goo g’joob
  • Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye

As the story goes, Lennon got a letter from Stephen Bayley, a pupil at his old primary school Quarry Bank. Bayley said a teacher there was having his class analyze Beatles lyrics.

So that, in part, inspired Lennon to write this song full of nonsense words and indecipherable meanings.

“Let the f**kers work that one out,” Lennon told Shotton after finishing “I Am The Walrus.”

Lennon’s poetry was looser than probably most poets out there.

“You know, you just stick a few images together, thread them together, and you call it poetry,” he said in All We Are Saying. Well, maybe it is poetry.”


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Caleb Murphy is a musician who writes about music. His writing appears in Consequence Of Sound, Pittsburgh City Paper, and some other cool places. He blogs about music at
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