Sub-Rosa Subway

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"Sub-Rosa Subway"
Single by Klaatu
from the album 3:47 EST
Released 1976
Recorded January 26, 1973
Genre Power pop, psychedelic pop, progressive rock, baroque pop[1]
Length 4:37
Label Daffodil, Capitol
Writer(s) John Woloschuk, Dino Tome
Producer(s) Terry Brown

"Sub-Rosa Subway" is a song written by the Canadian rock band Klaatu, from their album 3:47 EST, describing the efforts of Alfred Ely Beach to create the original New York Subway. His work is described as secretive (hence sub rosa). The song made it to #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1976 as the B-side to "Calling Occupants".

The song is best known for sparking the rumour that the band was The Beatles in disguise. The vocals and instrumentals are in a Beatlesque style with chord progressions similar to the Beatles' "Blackbird" and "It's All Too Much", as an homage to the band.

Two minutes and fifty seconds into the song, a long message in Morse code plays in the background. John Woloschuk, in an article in the fan magazine The Morning Sun, finally provided a translation of the code:

"From Alfred, heed thy sharpened ear — A message we do bring — Starship appears upon our sphere — Through London's sky come spring."


  1. ^ Gary Graff (1996). MusicHound rock: The Essential Album Guide. p. 392. 

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