Glass Onion

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Glass Onion"
Song by the Beatles
from the album The Beatles
Published Northern Songs
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 11 September 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock[1]
Length 2:17
Label Apple
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

"Glass Onion" is a song by the Beatles from their 1968 double-album The Beatles (also known as the "White Album") primarily written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. This is the first track on the album to feature Ringo Starr on drums. Starr briefly left the group during recording sessions for the album and was replaced on drums by Paul McCartney on both "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Dear Prudence".


The song refers to several earlier Beatles songs, including "There's a Place", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "I Am the Walrus", "Lady Madonna", "The Fool on the Hill", and "Fixing a Hole". The song also refers to the "Cast Iron Shore", a coastal area of south Liverpool known to local people as "The Cazzy".[2]

The song's "the Walrus was Paul" lyric is both a reference to "I Am the Walrus" and Lennon saying "something nice to Paul" in response to changes in their relationship at that time.[3] Later, the line was interpreted as a "clue" in the "Paul is dead" urban legend that alleged McCartney died in 1966 during the recording of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and was replaced by a look-alike and sound-alike. The line is preceded with "Well, here's another clue for you all".

Lennon himself dismissed any deep meaning to the mysterious lyrics:

I threw the line in—"the Walrus was Paul"—just to confuse everybody a bit more. It could have been "The fox terrier is Paul." I mean, it's just a bit of poetry. I was having a laugh because there'd been so much gobbledygook about Pepper—play it backwards and you stand on your head and all that.[4]

Cover versions[edit]

When Mojo released The White Album Recovered in 2008, part of a continuing series of CDs of Beatles albums covered track-by-track by modern artists, "Glass Onion" was covered by Big Linda.[5]


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[6]



  1. ^ Jim DeRogatis, Greg Kot. The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Sound Opinions on the Great Rock 'n' Roll Rivalry. p. 79. 
  2. ^ allertonOak 2009.
  3. ^ Wenner 2000, p. 87.
  4. ^ The Beatles 2000, p. 306.
  5. ^ "The White Album Recovered 1 – Track Listing – Mojo Cover CDs – The Definitive List". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. 
  6. ^ MacDonald 2005, pp. 311–14.


External links[edit]