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"Rocky Raccoon"

Categories: Beatles songs

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Now, somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota,
There lived a young boy, name of Rocky Racoon...


Thus commences Paul's Wild West parody — though the Rockster had originally been surnamed 'Sassoon'. And quite how a cowboy saga had come to him somewhere in the grey Himalayan foothills of Northern India in the first place is anyone's guess, but there you have it!

Affecting a cod-y'all drawl to commence the narration, his lazy acoustic strumming is ably accompanied by Big John's six-string bass, harmonium and — natch — campfire harmonica. Sherrif Martin's honky-tonk saloon piano similarly stands out in setting the scene. Hoss Harrison limited himself to backing vox, with ranch-hand Ringo roping 'em in nicely (always loved that gunshot crack!) The Return Of The Magnificent Five...

While it is one of the slighter songs on The White, the plot is every bit as complete as that of many an old Gary Cooper flick. It's the cast of characters, however, that makes it most memorable: the plucky young hero himself and his two-timin' gal Lil McGill (aka Nancy) — a bar-room floozy if ever there was one; Deadshot Dan (who I'm darn sure dain't take no ten steps before he pulled that pistol); Reverend Gideon, the itinerant revivalist Bible-dropper, and — last but not least — the gin-shminkin' Doc.

Of course, it was never going to pick up any Oscars — or Grammys, for that matter. "All in good fun", as Marshall McCartney put it: and a perfect set-up for the next number, to (cowboy) boot!

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