Fake News: Beatles sold out long ago

LONDON, England (Sept. 9) — Beatles purists who were disappointed to see the release of the group’s catalog on the video game Rock Band were further shocked when news came yesterday that the music legends were paid to produce a commercial jingle in 1967.

The enigmatic “I Am the Walrus,” previously thought to be the psychedelic account of John Lennon’s LSD experiences, was actually commissioned by England’s South Umberton Regional (SUR) poultry cooperative as part of a campaign to discourage the import of overseas fowl and boost domestic consumption of poultry. Lennon received a $1,500 payment for the song, which was never actually used in TV commercials because the anti-import Asian Tariff Act was so quickly passed by Parliament.

The former director of marketing for the SUR confirmed the surprising arrangement in her upcoming memoir Chickens: My Life Among the Birds. Cryptic lyrics that have confounded fans for over four decades were intended as a subliminal call for the Beatles faithful to consume more turkey, chicken and egg products.

“We asked Mr. Lennon to keep the whole arrangement quiet, and he was more than happy to oblige,” said SUR executive Semolina Pilchard, now retired. “We were simply interested in helping the farmers of the northern Midlands market their livestock.”

Pilchard’s claims could lift much of the mystery that surrounds one of the Beatles’ most analyzed works. Released as the avant-garde B-side for “Hello Goodbye,” the song was believed by experts to be primarily nonsense verse, but now reveals several hidden meanings.

“He wrote ‘I am the eggman, they are the eggmen’ to make the argument that, in a sense, we were all eggmen,” Pilchard said. “All of us had a vested interest in the success of these small farmers.”

Other lyrics such as “see how they run like pigs from a gun” and “sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come” were veiled swipes at competing breakfast foods. Pork products such as bacon and cured ham were making inroads into the egg market at the time, as were packaged cereals.

The line “man, you should’ve seen them kicking Edgar Allen Poe” was an apparent response to negative publicity surrounding the poultry co-op’s aborted efforts to introduce crow, raven and jackdaw as bird-derived meats. Poe wrote the supernatural narrative poem “The Raven” in 1845.

Lennon even included a message to the farmers themselves, a prescient warning about the dangers of avian flu that the industry wouldn’t encounter until over twenty years later. The repeated chorus of “cuckoo kachoo” hinted at the public relations nightmare that sneezing birds would ultimately cause.

Pilchard said working with Lennon was difficult because his anti-establishment nature would often flare. When he became disillusioned with the project shortly before the partnership was dissolved, he added the lines “yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye” to show his distaste for eggs served sunny-side up, over easy.

As for the song’s signature line and title, Pilchard said it was a sign of Lennon’s fondness for wordplay that led him to chant “I am the walrus” repeatedly throughout the record.

“If you spell it backwards, you’ll note that ‘walrus’ becomes ‘surlaw,'” Pilchard said. “The Asian Tariff Act was referred to in the press as the ‘SUR Law’ because of its sponsorship by South Umbertron Regional. That John was quite the jester.”

“Even now, so long after he left us, I think it’s safe to say ‘the joker laughs at you,'” Pilcher concluded. “Ho ho ho, hee hee hee, ha ha ha.”

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One Response to “Fake News: Beatles sold out long ago”

  1. Phillip Donnelly Says:

    As an enraged vegitarian, I am going to burn my entire Beatles collection; or I would do, if they existed in physical form. Deleting files doesn’t have the same emotional impact. I mean, can you imagine fanatics dancing around a Thinkpad chanting ‘Delete!’, ‘Delete!’, ‘Delete!’.
    Perhaps I’ll listen to ‘Revolver’ one more time first, just to check for previously unseen poultry references.

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