Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey - The Beatles

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"Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey" - The Beatles (1968)

Lennon said of “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey”:

“It was about me and Yoko. Everybody seemed to be paranoid except for us two.”

The song offers a manic interpretation of love’s capacity for effecting disruption and disease beyond the relative safety afforded by the lovers’ romantic cocoon.

The lyrics are a rather extreme example of John’s talent for milking poetic ambiguity from small bites of clichéd small talk such as Come on / take it easy.”

Though nothing is explicit and the words are mild and friendly- nearly gibberish, the seditious intent is clear and a double entendre on “come” more than likely. Most of the melodic material is from the realm of rapping chant.

The only instruments used on the song are drums, two different lead guitars, a vigorously shaken hand-bell and a chocalho- a traditional Portuguese jingle stick used to play samba music.

Author Jonathan Gould wrote that the backing of the song is a primer of guitar-group rock, in which “downbeats from Ringo and wrenching off-beats from John are overlaid by the sixteenth-note clatter of Paul’s overdubbed cowbell and the angry droning jabber of George’s lead guitar.”

The painfully slow harmonic rhythm combined with the virtually unnoticeable borderline between the verse and refrain sections creates the impression of an improvisatory rave-up that could go on seemingly forever. A moment of pure excitement and adrenaline, the guitar riff at the conclusion evokes the inexplicable exuberance of love with the bruising panache of rock and roll.

David Quantick, who wrote the only book on The White Album, believes:

“The verses are very ‘1967 hippie heaven’ with their deliberate lyrical twists and turns and almost meaningless declarations about one’s inside being out and one’s outside being in. If the song has any meaning, it’s about letting it all hang out- almost literally, the importance of honesty. The song also has a strong sexual dimension.”


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