Friday, September 1, 2017

Other Voices, Part 22: George, Again

Because I think our Paul might have been replaced in early, July, 1966 while The Beatles had a 70-minute stop-over in Hong Kong en route to Manila, I started looking for solo Beatle songs about Hong Kong.  I found one.

George worked on a solo album from March, 1980-February, 1981 called Somewhere In England.  On it, he did a cover of songwriter Hoagy Carmichael's 1944 song, "Hong Kong Blues."

The lyrics of the song talk about a man who was arrested in Hong Kong and spent 20 years in jail for drug use.

There are several things going on in George's singing that song.

One thing is the line in the song that says, "I need someone to love me, need somebody to carry me home to San Francisco and bury my body there."

I read the lyrics to the song and listened carefully to George's subtle changes of them.

I suspected there was a reason for George changing the lyrics, so I listened to the song backwards.  At 1:42-1:44 in the reversed song, George says:  "PAUL, TAKE ME BACK."

If you have knowledge of some of the Paul-Is-Dead clues that The Beatles worked into four years' worth of songs from 1966-1970, you know of the so-called White Album that had a curious snippit of a song called "Can You Take Me Back" that cross-faded into the major Paul-Is-Dead song, "Revolution 9."  Major because--played backwards--it hinted STRONGLY that our Paul died.  George--according to a Wikipedia  article--contributed spoken vocals, tape loops, sound effects and electric guitar work on "Revolution 9."

The lyrics of "Can You Take Me Back"--Faul's intro to "Revolution 9"-- are:
     Can you take me back where I came from?
     Can you take me back?
     Can you take me back where I came from?
     Brother, can you take me back?
     Can you take me back?
     Can you take me back where I came from?
     Can you take me back?

George could have been mocking Faul and Faul's drug arrest in Japan in January, 1980.  In other words, Faul mocked Paul's removal from the group and this was George's come-uppance to Faul.

But it could also have been George's sorrowful remembrance of the "brother" he lost in 1966.

Note:  I originally found the Youtube video for "Hong Kong Blues" at  This video is no longer available, but I found another Youtube video of the song at: .

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