"Yellow Submarine" with its seven-word, ten-syllable chorus is actually a great pub-song or football terrace chant. Being a naval type I often wondered over the line ... so we sailed up to the sun till we found the sea of green"
. As I've mentioned elsewhere in these webpages the cold war was still in full swing, even if there was a little light at the end of the tunnel to be discerned in the ever more vociferous peace movement, when this song was penned in 1966. Ever since my last service days on the aircraft carrier H.M.S. Victorious, the words "sun" and "buckets-of-sun" (naval euphemism for hydrogen bombs) are closely associated in my tiny mind. My interpretation of this song was, and still is, that it is an allegoric comment on a coming nuclear Armagedon and the paradise thereafter for the few lucky survivors.
The version that I play these days can be found in Lieder, Songs und Gospels 1
and it is interesting to compare it with the version found in Beatles Songs for the Recorder
. Whilst both versions are in G, the selected guitar chords are quite different and not unsurprisingly sound quite different. Yet another version, also in G, can be found in Busking for Special Occaisions
which all goes to show the universal popularity of this song.