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"The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill"

Categories: Beatles songs

The other 3 Beatles playfully pushing John Lennon's head onto the ground ca. 1968

'Ey up! Elephants and tigers...

"Bungalow Bill" was the all-American college rich-kid transcendental trainee who decided to take a little time out from his search for inner peace and enlightenment to go tiger shooting...

Such blatant hypocrisy naturally provided prime material for a Lennon lampoon and, with names duly changed to protect the guilty, a fine old time he — and all and sundry — had of it.

Bill became a swaggering Boy's Own comic-strip hero (or perhaps an adaptation of John's own juvenile Daily Howl jottings), with his "Continuing Story" recounted in an epic folk ballad with a sing-and-whistle-and-clap-along refrain: complete with a range of silly cartoon voices to hammer home the absurdity of the situation. In its way, it's every bit as eccentric as Paul's preceding slice of Pie — and as a parody of the pith-helmeted, Great White Saxon Hunting Brigade, only The Bonzo's "Hunting Tigers Out In Indiah", released the following year, comes anywhere near the mark.

"Deep in the jungle", bullet-headed Bill is cornered by a ferocious feline — which is all the bastard deserved, if you ask me — only to be miraculously rescued by Captain Marvel, zapping in from yet another comic book in the very nick of time. Bill's adoring horde of infant followers enquire as to the 'thou shall not kill' morality of it, but mother (superior) assures them that when it comes to the survival of the fittest, a shotgun's always fitter than a tiger...

The curiously incongruous but spot-on Spanish-style opening was apparently served up by Chris Thomas on the mellotron. Mother Superior in person provided part of the backing vocal, along with 'Thanks Mo' Starkey (RIP) and the other Beatles, with some uncredited snaky woodwind accompanying "all de children" for the meandering outro until the smug BB is abruptly dropped from his applauding admirers' shoulders:

'Ey up!
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