Sunday, February 26, 2012

What George Said: His 1968 song, Badge

In George Harrison's 1980 autobiography, I, Me, Mine, he described writing the song that was later named Badge.  Some of the lyrics are:
     I told you not the wander 'round in the dark
     I told you 'bout the swans
    That they live in the park.
As I mentioned in earlier posts, swans figure into the rumor that Paul was involved in an accident near Milton Keynes because Buckinghamshire--the county Milton Keynes is located in--has a swan in its badge and the Buckinghamshire Constabulary had a swan on its badge.
As George's story goes, Ringo Starr contributed the lines about the swans in the park and Eric Clapton contributed the title to the song because he mistook the word "BRIDGE" in the song and thought it was BADGE.  I talked about how The Beatles were fond of puns and I think the bridge and badge references were sly puns:  " . . . follow her down to a bridge by a fountain" from Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. (See my February 13th. post.)  Confirmation of the hidden references in the song came from Jack Bruce of Cream who told a reporter from the English pop music paper, New Musical Express:  "The lyrics are very interesting if you can fathom them out.  They are very dark and devious with hidden meanings but you'd have to ask Eric about that." (quoted in Rolling Stone magazine of April 5, 1969.)

George is talking to someone in the song and he could have been talking to our Paul.  He was telling him to "pick himself up from the ground before they bring the curtain down."  That would suggest that our Paul was alive in 1968.  But George talks about telling this person in the song:
     Then I told you 'bout our kid
     Now he's married to Mabel
     [and in the handwritten copy of the lyrics, this line is added]:
     (In a bottle and  labled [sic] dis-abled.)
As I wrote in a Paul-Was-Replaced forum, the Mabel George is referring to is a fictional spokesperson for a beer that was popular in England (and Canada and America) at the time called Carling Black Label beer.  So since our Paul wasn't George's Paul, George is pointing to an earlier Paul in the group and saying that he had survived into 1968, too.

And George makes a reference to multiple Pauls when he put these lyrics in the song:
     Talkin' 'bout a girl that looks quite like you,
     She didn't have the time to wait in the queue.

Another interesting note is that the flipside of the single Badge had a song called, What A Bringdown.  It is filled with hidden references in the lyrics and one line of it says:
     Water in a fountain doesn't get me very high
Again, you can link that back to the Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds line.

So, it's looking more and more that the Paul car accident rumor I found has validity to it.

No comments: