Beatles: Back In The U.S.S.R. Meaning
Song Released: 1968
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Back In The U.S.S.R. Lyrics
Didn't get to bed last night
All the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man, I had a dreadful flight
I'm back in the USSR
You don't know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the USSR, yeah
Been away so long I hardly...
anonymous Oct 11th, 2008 10:07pm report
In an interview years later, McCartney simply said that when he listened to the beach boys, he thought they "sounded like California." Back in the USSR, he said, was an attempt to parallel the Beach Boy's sound, but with the twist of making the song "sound like Russia." Obviously the decision to choose the USSR was grounded in the era's world politics. I think the Beatles, in attempting a song like this, were paying tribute to the Beach Boys, who were a profound influence on them.
CaptainVegetable Feb 3rd, 2009 2:07am report
One of my colleagues, now in his fifties, emigrated to Canada from the former USSR. His story is that the Beatles were supposed to be allowed into Moscow to perform, but that the reaction of the screaming fans to the arrival or their plane was seen as very non-communist and Brezhnev decided not to let them disembark. "Back in the USSR" was supposedly written about this incident.
I would like to underline that Georgia was one of the soviet republics and not a province of Russia. And "Georgia on my mind" in the text of the song concerning the USSR may mean republic of Georgia which from the very beginning (70 years of being as a soviet republic) had been fighting for independence and freedom.
anonymous Jul 26th, 2011 7:56am report
First of all, Republic of Georgia was former USSR country and NOT Russian province (Thanks to God). Georgia was occupied in the beginning of 20th century by Russia revolutionaries and country was forced to join USSR. Georgia has nothing to do with Russia.
The original lyrics are about US state but The Beathles used to refer to Republic of Georgia.
Littletree Jul 4th, 2011 7:14am report
I think its a Pastiche of the Beach-Boys but trying to send the opposite message(The Beach-Boys as "All American"etc).I heard paul plays all instruments including drums on this one(he and Ringo had a ding-dong and Ringo stormed out),with the others singing harmony.Also on close listen to it i`m sure he`s alternating the line "Im back in the USSR" with "Im Backing the USSR".I think it was altered to hide its Political content(Such a statement may have not gone down too well in the US).Both he and Lennon were supporters of Chairman Mao at one time or another.I don`t know if these sentiments of Paul`s are genuine or they are supposed to be ironic.I think its a Pro-Communist Anthem and regardless of if you are a Communist or not,its a Masterpeice.
mensoelrey Oct 2nd, 2008 10:54am report
It's just making fun of the USSR by borrowing from Chuck Berry's "Back in the USA" title and style. "Georgia's always on my mind" is a hilarious allusion to the old song "Georgia on My Mind": Georgia was a state of the USSR and the original song was of course about the US state of Georgia. So they go from making fun of the USSR to talking about hot Ukraine and Moscow girls and then say "come and keep your comrade warm". Quite a funny song.
anonymous Sep 20th, 2008 9:12pm report
"Since the Beach Boys were (successfully) sued by the publishers of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" for plagiarizing that song with 'Surfing USA'"
Were they? Chuck Berry AND Brian Wilson wrote this song.
anonymous Sep 17th, 2008 9:15pm report
'Georgia on my mind' is a funny play on words (concepts). Georgia is both a US state and a Russian province (it was a Russian province back then.)
anonymous Aug 16th, 2008 8:41pm report
Everybody's been so busy with the Beach Boys imitation mocking thing that nobody paid attention to the line that says "That Georgia's always on my mind" Ray Charles wrote a song called "Georgia On My Mind" and one day my dad pointed out that they used that. Just a little fun fact there if you see the relation.
anonymous Sep 27th, 2007 9:43pm report
In 1968, the Beach Boys became the first rock group to play
behind the Iron Curtain when they performed in Prague, Czechoslovakia. This event inspired the Beach Boys pastiche
"Back in the USSR". Since the Beach Boys were (successfully) sued by the publishers of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" for plagiarizing that song with "Surfing USA", the Beatles based their pastiche on Chuck's "Back in the USA" as a further joke. "California Girls" is also (obviously) a lyrical influence. The result is a masterpiece, which stands up to the Beach Boys classics, while thoroughly in their style.
anonymous Jun 9th, 2007 6:10am report
To the person who said the Beach Boys were seen as inferior by the Beatles I would suggest reading the anthology book in which McCartney states that he thinks Pet Sounds is a record which any music lover must listen. Furthermore he regularly mentions in interviews how Pet Sounds influenced the Beatles to do Sgt Peppers. Clearly he has/had a lot of respect for the Beach Boys.
anonymous Feb 1st, 2007 2:40am report
"The song was written for a concert in the U.S.S.R. when the Iron Curtain was about to fall. It was their last tribute, so to speak for the U.S.S.R. now becoming the country known as Russia."
Now this is stupid. This was written twenty years before the end of the Iron Curtain and in the middle of the Cold War. read a history.
You're all a little right. I'll just add something...It was the HEAT of the COLD War and the US and GB were against the USSR so the Beatles thought it would be funny to tease the gov'ts and right a song Pro-Russia. And of course it struck a HUGE contraversy. It was written in the same vein as California Girls by the Beach Boys following even closely the lyrics just flipping them to fit the USSR provinances. And by the way Brian Wilson is VERY tallented and I don't consider him inferrior just a lot different from say John or Paul. Not trying to argue, just trying to stick up for him!
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