Beatles: Hey Bulldog Meaning
Song Released: 1968
Hey Bulldog Lyrics
bullfrog … doin’ it again
some kind of happiness is measured out in miles
what makes you think you’re something special when you smile?
child-like … no one understands
jack knife … in your sweaty hands
anonymous Jan 23rd, 2012 1:21pm report
I got the impression that this song is about someone telling a friend that they (the friend) think too much of themselves, and that they have actually deteriorated into something of a loser, and that's why they're lonely. But, that someone says that they still have great respect for their friend and that they'll talk to the friend if they feel lonely.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
This song is the first of Lennon's compositions that may be characterized as "lyrical impressionism," the most glaring / salient example of which is "I Am the Walrus."
From WikiPedia: the "musical impressionism (of the 19th century) focused on suggestion and atmosphere rather than strong emotion or the depiction of a story."
It’s not clear that Lennon consciously set out to create a new "artistic movement" in popular/rock music – in other words, that one day he said to himself, “I think I’ll write some songs that superficially appear to be nonsensical and meaningless – which, in fact, HAVE NO concrete meaning - but which, nonetheless, strongly suggest some kind of meaning … conveying an interpretation and / or feeling subliminally.”
But, as if to acknowledge that he was “up to something,” "I Am the Walrus" itself refers to another example: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds;" and the last example by Lennon, "Come Together," contains the phrase, "he has walrus gumboot."
Precisely why Lennon wrote such songs is open to speculation. Probably he wrote them because he could (and not many good songwriters can), but Lennon also seemed to enjoy being a bit inscrutable at times, as if his ability to mystify the masses were evidence of his intellectual superiority (which perhaps it was).
Much of the mood of the song is created by the refrain, "you can talk to me - if you’re lonely, you can talk to me!" though like other examples of impressionistic lyrics, the song stirs one's feeling with aphorisms (little gems of truth) such as "some kind of innocence is measured out in years."
The song is also an example of the wonderful interplay between Lennon and McCartney, two very different (to a certain degree, diametrically opposed) personalities, salient examples of which are "A Day in the Life" and "I've Got a Feeling."
In this song, specifically, McCartney "corrupts" the ambiance of Lennon's avant-garde lyrics with his clowning at the end (which Lennon replies to, with his own clowning), turning it into a fun, rollicking, quintessentially rock-n-roll song - superbly illustrated in cartoon version in "Yellow Submarine."
From WikiPedia: "Geoff Emerick, the Beatles' engineer, would subsequently claim this was the last song the band recorded that featured a team dynamic, with enthusiasm from every member."
Sheryl Crow's "If It Makes You Happy" is yet another example of "lyrical impressionism."
anonymous Apr 13th, 2008 4:39pm report
This song sounds like a song about a young people who do criminal acts.
anonymous Mar 30th, 2008 3:04pm report
A wigwam is the same thing as a teepee.
beatles921 Jan 12th, 2008 1:12am report
I heard that the original title of this song was "Hey Bullfrog" however Paul was supposedly tripping on lsd and began barking like crazy while John was fininshing writing it and John was so amused by this that he changed the title of the song and recorded Paul's rediculous barking and that is whats heard at the end of the song
anonymous Dec 29th, 2006 12:18pm report
It's a great song it probably doesn't have a meaning. I saw an interview with Larry Kane and John Lennon. He asked if the songs have meanings he said" no they don't so everyone can just settle down. Actually I find it quite funny though to watch everyone freaking out trying to discover what they mean".
capitalist Oct 11th, 2006 10:18pm report
I have a spark but not a fire on this one. I will research two items and get back to y'all but here is what I think:
The bulldog is england, and the "some kind of innocence" that is "measured out in years" concerns: (a) empire; and (b) a long history, both of which lennon is saying are nice laurels but you (england) have sat on them for so damn long you are regressing into a socialist mire of self-loathing, sweaty hands and general loser-ship. So england can talk to John (the beatles), if england is lonely she can commisserate w/the beatles, but at the end of the day I (john) am fighting against legal deportation back there and living here in the dakota, new york, new york, neeeeewwwww yorrrrrrk.
Paraphrasing here: "even if it kills me."
further research needed: what is a wigwam?
Regards. A cap.
More Beatles song meanings »
Submit Your Interpretation
Related Blog Posts
|One Last Time||anonymous|
|Fuck Up Some Commas||anonymous|
|White Winter Hymnal||anonymous|
|Jar of Hearts||anonymous|
|Ball and Biscuit||anonymous|
|Long Way Home||anonymous|
|Catherine (unknown song)||IloveLily|
|Hear Me Now||anonymous|
|If It Means a Lot to You||anonymous|