Why 'I Am the Walrus' Was 1 of John Lennon's Favorite Beatles Songs

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney and John Lennon both had a soft spot for The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus.”
  • John explained why he enjoyed the song so much.
  • John compared “I Am the Walrus” to the work of a 1970s band.

Paul McCartney felt The Beatles’ “I Am the Walrus” was partly inspired by a famous children’s book. Interestingly, John Lennon revealed why “I Am the Walrus” was one of his favorite Beatles songs. Subsequently, he compared it to the work of a famous 1970s band.

Paul McCartney said a poem from a children’s book influenced John Lennon

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul said John was a huge fan of Lewis Carroll. Carroll is most remembered for writing the classic novelettes Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Paul said a poem from Through the Looking Glass called “Jabberwocky” inspired John’s songwriting.  

‘Strawberry Fields [Forever]’ and ‘I Am the Walrus,’ both come from ‘Jabberwocky,’” Paul opined. “‘I am he as you are he …’ It’s thanks to ‘Jabberwocky’ that he could do that.”

John Lennon revealed why he liked The Beatles’ ‘I Am the Walrus’ so much

According to the book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon, John discussed his favorite Beatles songs during a 1973 interview. “Of mine, I like ‘Strawberry Fields [Forever]’ and ‘[I Am the] Walrus,’” he said. “Of Paul’s, I like ‘Here, There and Everywhere.’ Of Ringo’s, I like ‘Honey Don’t.’ And of George’s, I like ‘Within You Without You.’ Of course, I still like ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ and another I liked was ‘For No One.’”

During a radio show from 1974, John played a famous Beatles song. “And now we’re gonna play a track from Magical Mystery Tour, which is one of my favorite albums because it was so weird, and it’s ‘I Am the Walrus,’” John said. “It’s also one of my favorite tracks because I did it, of course! But also because it’s one of those that has enough little bitties going to keep you interested even a hundred years later.” John said the song should please fans of the Electric Light Orchestra.

How ‘I Am the Walrus’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“I Am the Walrus” became a minor hit in the United States. The song peaked at No. 56 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for four weeks. “I Am the Walrus” initially appeared on the soundtrack to Magical Mystery Tour. The album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for eight weeks, staying on the chart for 93 weeks in total.

According to The Official Charts Company, “I Am the Walrus” did not chart in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Magical Mystery Tour became a modest hit. It peaked at No. 31 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 10 weeks.

“I Am the Walrus” wasn’t one of the Fab Four’s biggest songs but it had a special place in John’s heart.

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