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"Magical Mystery Tour" (song)

Categories: Beatles songs

Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour:
Step right this way!

Absolutely no prizes for guessing precisely what we should be rolling up. After all, this was 1967, man: and the question on everyone's lips was, as Jagger put it round the same time on Satanic Majesties — probably asking John or Paul who were helping to "Sing This All Together" (to see what happened) —

Where's that joint?!!

But anyway, "On With The Show"... From the strident fanfare which introduces it (apparently composed on the spot by one of the trumpeters), the whole track is an open invitation to get on board and join in the ensuing chaos. "Coming to take you away", just like those little white men in their clean white coats in a song from the previous year (ha-ha, ho-ho, hee-hee!)

An unexpected key/tempo shift abruptly shifts the emphasis:

The mystery trip...

Double entendre entirely intentional, needless to say. As John assures in his movie voice-over, "We guarantee... the trip of a lifetime". After all, this was 1967, man!

Ringo kicks it in with some exemplary drumming and what sounds like a kettle-drum roll: or is it an overdubbed bus engine rolling by? Neil and Mal are credited with 'percussion' on the track and, though precise details are unavailable, they were almost certainly rolling something. After all...

The vocal harmonies vie with the tootling trumpets in a final exhortation to get your tickets and get on the bus, with the jingle-jangle outro providing prospective passengers with a last opportunity to roll up their own, and take whatever else they require for the trip.

We've got ev'rything you need,
Satisfaction guaranteed!
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