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John Lennon

Subject: Music

B. John Winston Lennon, 9 October 1940, Liverpool, Lancashire, England, d. 8 December 1980, New York City, New York, USA. John Winston Ono Lennon has been exhumed in print more ...

Vocative

Vocative   Quick reference

The Oxford Companion to the English Language (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...any morphological inflection . The vocative is typically used at the beginning of a clause, e.g. John, the phone is for you , where ‘John’ is a vocative. However vocatives can occur in clause final position, e.g. The phone is for you John , or clause medially, e.g. The answer, John, is obvious . In some registers , the vocative is preceded by ‘O’ or ‘Oh’, e.g. Oh my love for the first time in my life my eyes are wide open (‘Oh My Love’, John Lennon and Oko Ono , 1971 ). See information structure ; nominative ; theme . ...

Beatles, the

Beatles, the   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2006

...the a pop and rock group from Liverpool consisting of George Harrison , John Lennon , Paul McCartney , and Ringo Starr...

Semolina Pilchard

Semolina Pilchard   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of London Phrase & Fable

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...coined by John Lennon for Detective Sergeant Norman ‘Nobby’ Pilcher ( b.1936 ), of Scotland Yard 's drugs squad. The words ‘semolina pilchard’ appear in the Beatles' song ‘I Am the Walrus’ ( 1967 ). Pilcher is also said to have been caricatured as ‘Spiny Norman’ in Monty Python's ‘Piranha Brothers’ sketch ( 1970 ). The detective made a name for himself by pursuing high-profile rock stars on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs, including Donovan and members of the Beatles and Rolling Stones . Some of those he arrested, notably Lennon, claimed that...

Maharishi

Maharishi   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...(Sanskrit, ‘great sage and poet’) A Hindu spiritual teacher. The best-known outside India is the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi ( c.1917–2007 ), who founded transcendental meditation and introduced it to the West. In 1967–8 he was a guru to The beatles until a disillusioned John Lennon satirized him in the song ‘Sexy Sadie’ ( 1968...

Spanner

Spanner   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...who ‘throws a spanner in the works’ deliberately sabotages a plan or enterprise or spoils a scheme by creating difficulties or obstructions designed to promote failure, as some machinery can be wrecked by literally throwing a spanner or piece of metal into the moving parts. John Lennon ’s punningly titled A Spaniard in the Works ( 1965 ) was a bestselling collection of stories and drawings. Box spanner See under box...

Beatles, The

Beatles, The   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...The Probably the world’s most famous pop group, originating in 1959 , and in its definitive line-up comprising four young Liverpool musicians: John Lennon ( 1940–80 , murdered), Paul McCartney ( b.1942 ), George Harrison ( 1943–2001 ) and Ringo Starr ( b.1940 , real name Richard Starkey ). They broke up in 1970 , but the demand for their music has continued unabated. In their day they were worshipped by the young, respected by the not so young and even compared by one music critic ( William Mann , of The Times ) to Schubert. Fifth Beatle See...

Caulfield, Holden

Caulfield, Holden   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

...part-innocent style and expresses his dismay at the ‘phoniness’ of everything he sees around him. Many troubled adolescents have identified strongly with this character. Mark David Chapman famously carried a copy of The Catcher in the Rye with him when he shot John Lennon in 1980 , and continued reading the book at the scene of the crime until he was...

Quarry Men

Quarry Men   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...Men . The Skiffle group founded by John Lennon that was eventually to metamorphose into The Beatles...

‘Nowhere Man’

‘Nowhere Man’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...Man’ . An introspective and mildly nihilistic song by The Beatles , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (but mainly by Lennon) and released in Britain in December 1965 . It appears on Rubber Soul . The title and lyrics (‘He's a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody’) reflect John Lennon 's sense of aimlessness and inadequacy during a time of personal...

‘Hey Jude’

‘Hey Jude’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...Jude’ . A song by The Beatles with weighty orchestral backing, one of their longest (7 minutes and 15 seconds in length). Credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (but mostly by McCartney ), it was released in Britain in November 1968 . The title was originally intended to be ‘Hey Jules’ (after Lennon's son Julian) but later became ‘Hey...

‘Strawberry Fields Forever’

‘Strawberry Fields Forever’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

... Psychedelic song by The Beatles , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released in February 1967 as the B-side of ‘Penny Lane’ . The lyrics evoke a lost world of childhood in a quasi-pastoral manner that was to become popular with a number of English pop groups of the late 1960s. Strawberry Fields is the name of an actual girls' reform school in Woolton, Liverpool. There is a Strawberry Fields memorial garden to John Lennon in New York's Central Park, near the spot where Lennon was fatally shot on 8 December 1980...

Granny glasses

Granny glasses   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...glasses . Spectacles with small circular lenses, which were in fashion in the 1960s during the heyday of The Beatles and the Flower children . Their popularity was largely due to John Lennon , who wore glasses of this...

‘I am the Walrus’

‘I am the Walrus’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...am the Walrus’ . A bizarre, anarchically anti-establishment song by The Beatles , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (though mostly by Lennon) and released in Britain in November 1967 . The song and its title reflect Lennon's love of schoolboy nonsense lyrics (witness ‘yellow matter custard dripping from a dead dog's eye’), but also includes grotesque and scurrilous invective targeted against conventional institutions and morality. Edgar Allan Poe ( 1809–49 ), the enigmatic US poet, short-story writer, parttime alcoholic and hero of the 1960s...

‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’

‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...Lonely Hearts Club Band and is credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (though mostly by Lennon). The title comes from a drawing by Lennon's four-year-old son Julian. Despite the patently psychedelic nature of the lyric and its musical ambience, and the coincidence of the song's initials with those of the hallucinogenic drug lsd , it seems that no allusion to LSD was intended by The Beatles. This notwithstanding, the song was banned by the BBC for the alleged reference. The song also reflects Lennon's obsession with the hallucinatory world of ...

‘Lovely Rita’

‘Lovely Rita’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...Rita’ . A jolly song that appears on The Beatles album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney . The Rita ( Meter maid ) of the title is based on a real-life encounter McCartney had with a traffic warden called Meta Davis in St John's Wood,...

Member of the Order of the British Empire

Member of the Order of the British Empire   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...for service in a wide range of fields. The Beatles were invested with the MBE on 26 October 1965 , but on 26 November 1969 John Lennon notoriously returned his award to the Queen with the following note: Your Majesty, I am returning this in protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With love. John Lennon of...

‘Yesterday’

‘Yesterday’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

.... A song by The Beatles in which the singer ( Paul McCartney ) reflects on a lost love. Credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney (though written by the latter), it was released in the UK in August 1965 . McCartney's voice is accompanied on the song by a guitar and a string quartet. The song had the very unromantic working title of ‘Scrambled Eggs’. John Lennon makes a bitter reference to the song in a track on his 1971 album Imagine , where the lyrics of ‘How Do You Sleep’ include the line ‘The only thing you done was Yesterday’, a...

‘In My Life’

‘In My Life’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...My Life’ . A reflective and affectionate song by The Beatles , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released in Britain in December 1965 on the album Rubber Soul . The ‘Life’ in question is John Lennon 's, the roots of the song lying in a previously attempted lyric in which Lennon proposed to describe the sights and sounds he saw during the course of a bus journey from his home into Liverpool city centre. ‘In My Life’ represents a leaner and less ambitious version of this original idea. A curious feature of the song is the appearance...

‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’

‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...is a Warm Gun’ . A darkly ironic and ambiguous song by The Beatles , credited to John Lennon and Paul McCartney . It appears on the so-called White Album , released in November 1968 . The title originally derives from a slogan used by the US National Rifle Association (‘Happiness is a warm gun in your hand’), which greatly shocked Lennon. Given that ‘gun’ is an established slang term for both the male member and a hypodermic syringe, the song's title (and its lyrics) are clearly open to a variety of interpretations. See also Happiness is a...

Spanner in the works

Spanner in the works   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

...in the works . Something that prevents the successful implementation of a task; a ‘spoke in one's wheel’. The suggestion is of a person who deliberately throws a spanner into smooth-running machinery in order to stall it. John Lennon 's A Spaniard in the Works ( 1965 ) was a bestselling collection of stories and...

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