Paul McCartney Said 1 Song From The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ Is a Western Parody

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney said a song from The Beatles’ White Album is supposed to be like a short play.
  • Paul is especially fond of one of the jokes in the song.
  • The White Album became a massive hit in the United States and the United Kingdom. 
The Beatles' Paul McCartney wearing a cowboy hat
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney | Mirrorpix / Contributor

The Beatles’ Paul McCartney said one of the “quirky” songs from The White Album reflects his personality. He said the main character of the song was supposed to be a parody of Westerns. In addition, he compared the main character of the song to a famous American historical figure.

Paul McCartney said 1 of the songs from The Beatles’ ‘White Album’ has ‘amusing lines’

The White Album is an eclectic album. It contains a lot of humor. The record includes everything from a Beach Boys parody (“Back in the U.S.S.R.“) to a satire of class relations (“Piggies”).

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the origin of one of The Beatles’ humorous songs. “‘Rocky Raccoon’ is quirky, very me,” he opined. “I like talking blues so I started off like that, then I did my tongue-in-cheek parody of a Western and threw in some amusing lines. I just tried to keep it amusing, really; it’s me writing a play, a little one-act play giving them most of the dialogue.”

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Paul McCartney said the title character of The Beatles’ ‘Rocky Raccoon’ dressed like a historical figure

Paul explained his use of character names in “Rocky Raccoon.” “Rocky Raccoon is the main character, then there’s the girl whose real name was Magill, who called herself Lil, but she was known as Nancy,” he said. “There are some names I use to amuse, Vera, Chuck and Dave or Nancy and Lil, and there are some I mean to be serious, like Eleanor Rigby, which are a little harder because they have to not be joke names. In this case Rocky Raccoon is some bloke in a raccoon hat, like Davy Crockett.”

“Rocky Raccoon” mentions a Gideons Bible. Such Bibles are often placed in hotel rooms by members of The Gideons International, an evangelical Christian organization. “The bit I liked about it was him finding Gideons Bible and thinking, ‘Some guy called Gideon must have left it for the next guy,'” Paul said. 

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How ‘The White Album’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

The Beatles didn’t release “Rocky Raccoon” as a single, so it didn’t hit the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s parent album, The White Album, became a massive hit. The album was No. 1 for nine of its 215 weeks on the Billboard 200.

The Official Charts Company reports “Rocky Raccoon” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. Meanwhile, The White Album was No. 1 for eight of its 37 weeks on the chart. 

“Rocky Raccoon” wasn’t a hit for The Beatles; however, Paul found its lyrics amusing.