Magical Mystery Tour

The Trip of a Lifetime

You’re in the car on a road trip with your family, you’re all bored out of your minds when suddenly your dad puts a song on. You hear the words “Roll up! Roll up for the magical mystery tour! Step right this way!” as the song fills the car you hear the sound of trumpets, piano, guitar, and a male voice singing about a magical mystery tour. You and you are taken into this magical world of psychadelia and traveling to an unknown destination. You ask your dad who and what this is, he simply replies, “Magical Mystery Tour” by The Beatles.

Now for those of you who do not know much about this album, here is some background information. The album was originally a soundtrack for the movie “Magical Mystery Tour”. Although the series did not do well, the album became the number one US release in January of 1968. The album includes eleven songs, “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The Fool on the Hill”, “Flying”, “Blue Jay Way”, “Your Mother Should Know”, “I Am the Walrus”, “Hello Goodbye”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “Penny Lane”, “Baby You’re A Rich Man”, and “All You Need is Love”.

In addition to its interesting songs, what made this album stand out during the time were the “Paul is dead” rumors surrounding the album. The rumors going around at the time were that Paul McCartney had died and The Beatles had replaced him with a look alike. Music theorists and fans found many “clues” throughout the album including a line in the song being “the magical mystery tour is dying to take you away”, pictures in the album of The Beatles dressed up as wizards with Paul being the only one with black flowers on his hat, and picture of Paul dressed as a general with a name plate in front of him saying “I was” and two British flags behind him being crossed, which is a symbol used when mourning a death in the military.

I have been a fan for as long as I can remember. I have seen all their movies, listened to almost all of their songs, and when they’re game “Beatles Rock Band” came out, my brother and I completed it in one day. I believe this album is one that many people can enjoy, it has interesting songs with various ideas. The song “Magical Mystery Tour” has a homage to Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and their LCD fueled bus, but it was also inspired by a bus route that was popular in England, a bus with an unknown destination, “The Fool On the Hill” has a thought provoking message, “A man who was thought of as a fool by others because of his foolish demeanor, but is actually full of wisdom.”, Flying” is the first entirely instrumental piece The Beatles ever wrote, “Blue Jay Way” is a song where the lyrics are exactly what it is about, “Your Mother Should Know” is another song with a message, Paul McCartney even stated “I was basically trying to say your mother might know more than you think she does. Give her credit.”, “I Am the Walrus” is an interesting song that actually has no real meaning, “Hello Goodbye” has an important life lesson, saying that life with white, must also have black, “Strawberry Fields Forever” was written by a nostalgia piece by John Lennon, “Penny Lane” was a nostalgic piece written by Paul McCartney, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” had help from Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, and “All You Need is Love” was written as a propaganda piece and those words were written on the anti-war memorial.

Now no good thin comes without a dark side, there is a negative side to this album. While many people think of this album as full of songs that are different and fun, it is also erratic and somewhat album. The song “I Am The Walrus” has literally no meaning, and many of the pictures inside also seem to be random: a picture of them all as wizards, them at a dance party in white suits with carnations, it all seems…pointless in a way.

These songs were a completely different style from what they usually do, borrowing techniques from other songs and bands. Even after a disappointing TV series, the soundtrack itself was astonishing and awe-inspiring. One cannot say the true meaning behind this album and the songs it contains, but like any art it can be interpreted in many different ways by different people, it’s just how you look at it…or in this case, listen to it.