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I Am The Walrus - The Music

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The opening two-note ostinado — which persists into the opening melody — was inspired by the monotonous two-note beat of a police siren.

The song's opening line, "I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together" is based on the song "Marching To Pretoria" which begins with the lyric, "I'm with you and you're with me and we are all together."

When Lennon decided to write confusing lyrics, he asked his friend Pete Shotton for a nursery rhyme they used to sing. Shotton gave them this rhyme, which Lennon incorporated into the song:

"Yellow matter custard, green slop pie,
all mixed together with a dead dog's eye.
Slap it on a butty, ten foot thick,
then wash it all down with a cup of cold sick."

The choir at the end sings "Oompah, oompah, stick it in your jumper" and "Everybody's got one, everybody's got one."

The snippets of Shakespeare's King Lear (Act IV Scene VI), come in near the end:

Slave, thou hast slain me: villain, take my purse:
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
And give the letters which thou find'st about me
To Edmund earl of Gloucester; seek him out
Upon the British party: O, untimely death!
I know thee well: a serviceable villain;
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
As badness would desire.
What, is he dead?
Sit you down, father; rest you
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