I Am the Walrus
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
"I Am the Walrus" is a 1967 song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song was featured in the Beatles' 1967 television film, as a track on the associated double EP Magical Mystery Tour and its American counterpart LP, and was the b-side to the number 1 hit single "Hello, Goodbye." Since the single and the double EP held at one time in December 1967 the top two slots on the British singles chart, the song had the distinction of being at number 1 and number 2 simultaneously.
The walrus is a reference to the walrus in Lewis Carroll's poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" (from the book Through the Looking-Glass). Lennon expressed dismay upon belatedly realising that the walrus was a villain in the poem. The genesis of the lyrics is found in three song ideas that Lennon was working on, the first of which was inspired by hearing a police siren at his home in Weybridge; Lennon wrote the lines "Mis-ter cit-y police-man" to the rhythm and melody of the siren. The second idea was a short rhyme about Lennon sitting in his garden, while the third was a nonsense lyric about sitting on a corn flake. Unable to finish the ideas as three different songs, he combined them into one.