Beatles: Rocky Raccoon Meaning
Song Released: 1968
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Rocky Raccoon Lyrics
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon
And one day his woman ran off with another guy
Hit young Rocky in the eye Rocky didn't like that
He said I'm gonna get that boy
So one day he...
anonymous Nov 13th, 2012 11:07pm report
First, this song is a simple ballad about a love triangle in which Rocky loses out, both by losing his girl and losing the showdown as well, and finally losing his life into the bargain. The Beatles put in Gideon's Bible twice as both a warning and a help; despite the story about the Gideons and the Beatles, they say nothing negative about either Gideon or his Bible here, which was meant to help with Rocky's revival, a word obviously connected with Christian revivalist preaching and with resurrection on the Day of Judgement. In the first instance, Rocky ignores the Bible because he is bent on revenge against Dan. In the second instance, it is too late, because he has been shot, has no real medical treatment available, and is dying and no longer in a condition where he can pay attention. The Beatles leave open the question of whether the Bible is of any actual use or not; it is only that Gideon's intention in leaving the Bible for Rocky or whoever was good, not that it would really be of any use. Indeed, it could be read that, after meeting with the drunken doctor, Rocky found only that book, which was of no use to him. That Rocky died is shown by the uselessness of the drunken doctor, who is nevertheless able to declare that Rocky is a goner and there is nothing he can do for him. So, poor Rocky! It is just like everyday tales of our inner cities and elsewhere, where young men are killed every day for such trivial causes. It is also an open question whether there is an allusion to Bob Dylan here; the song seems too much a "western," more than Dylan would be, but the meaning that people ought to be serious would fit nicely with the Dylan line from the Watchtower song, "Businessmen they drink my wine; plowmen dig my earth. But none of them along the line know what any of it is worth."
anonymous Aug 26th, 2012 8:10pm report
Rocky Raccoon is a fun song. IF the lyrics of many Beatles songs are considered as poetry then this one would be best classified as a western children's story.
Old west movies and tv shows were a popular genre in the 40's 50's and 60's. Cowboy shows such as Bonanza & Gunsmoke often contained messages of morality. The British Empire's closest association to the old west would have been Saskatchewan having cattle ranches and even a gold rush in 1913.
Paul set out to write a 'western' folk ballad. His misconceptions can be forgiven, afterall many Americans not only don't know the difference between Iowa and Ohio, they don't care. I digress, but several years ago a semi-famous "college educated" football player when informed he had been drafted into the NFL by Minnesota replied he looked forward to seeing Ohio, thinking Minnesota was the capital of Ohio.
Paul's misconceptions also inadvertantly add an American comic edge to the song.
In his mind an old west character would be an old timey tobbaccy chewing gold prospector, maybe played by Dub Taylor, [as a side note Dub's son Buck played Newly on Gunsmoke] Westerns depicted cowboys as settling a discrepancy with a showdown gun fight.
He chose to name his song's hero Rocky Sassoon, from a small town in Minnesota. Later realizing Sassoon being an English surname was too cosmopolitian, he decided it needed to be changed, he wanted something more western. Raccoon has the same syllables melodically and to a city boy Englishman's ear Rocky Raccoon from a small town in Minnesota has a rugged western sound. Afterall raccoons are native to North America not Europe and every English schoolboy knows the wild west was full of fearsome beasts never seen in England. But to Americans Rocky Raccoon conjures up an image of a playful character who might visit his cousin Rocky the Flying Squirrel living with his pal Bullwinkle in nearby Frost Bite Falls, Minnesota.
To an Englishman a hill is a mountain.
Black Hills gold comes from Black Hills, South Dakota, so the black hills become Mountains, because western tv shows gold in dem dar veins or panning in mountain streams. Back in the day the Dakota territory consisted of western Minesota, North Dakota [which borders Saskatchewan] and South Dakota, so he changed Minnesota to Dakota for a more western flavor.
Gideons International is a Christian organization found in 1899 and since 1908 dedicated to distributing FREE bibles, most famously placing them in hotel rooms in 194 countries around the world. Gideons have distributed more than one Billion free bibles since 1908.
Paul stated that in every hotel room he and the Beatles stayed, there was always a Gideons Bible and even though he had no idea who Gideon was, he said that was the reason when Rocky Raccoon checks into his room Rocky finds a Gideons Bible.
I agree with the view of the song as being a drawn out double entendre on the word revival.
I think it is a very under rated Beatles song and find it much more fun than Paul intended. I do enjoy the lines, she called herself Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy and the doctor came in stinking of gin and the image of the doctor laying down on the table rather than being of aid.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Oct 3rd, 2011 10:37am report
I've always viewed the song as a drawn-out double entendre on the word revival, which could either mean resuscitation or a religious awakening. The Bible was placed with the intent of the latter, but ends up being more applicable to the former.
anonymous Aug 23rd, 2011 8:43pm report
Omg!! I used to love this song as a teen. I was depressed and sooo loved this song. Never thought about it. But just now my life is crashing down and Im for some strange reason I downloaded it. And my my husband found that I downloaded it and played it. Weird! I actually sat down to listen to the lyrics and wow. My husband and I are having marriage problems the first on in ten years. and wow lonnie my name is Connie and why now is it that I had interest in this song!? It's pretty scary and makes reality feel a little wierd. Please what I'm I suppose to do as rocky raccoons girl before I lose him!!
anonymous Jul 27th, 2011 7:26pm report
this song is pretty straight forward. it means dont dwell on the things that hurt you, because if you do...you will only be hurt again. you already have the answer to your end your suffering, but it is not always so easy to see. (the bible only being an example, not necessarily the answer you need)
anonymous Jul 12th, 2011 7:34am report
Yeah I don't think it's about Lennon vs gideon bible, it's a story of a boy whose girlfriend leaves him for another man and rocky gets angry since he is a Hotheaded young man tries to kill the guy but when he fails and is injured he goes back to his room to rest and finds Gideon bible and it "help[s] with good rocky's revival" it wasnt about how rocky was against Gideon it's about how Gideon helped him, I could be wrong but the only real answer should only be said by a member of the beatles
anonymous Feb 19th, 2010 2:16pm report
A anonymous writer wrote:"You guys are nuts! It's just some kids song!
Although rocky does die in the end....hmmm...."which is not true it says in the end of the lyrics"The doctor came in stinking of gin
And proceeded to lie on the table
He said Rocky you met your match
And Rocky said, Doc it's only a scratch
And I'll be better I'll be better doc as soon as I am able.
Now Rocky Raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find Gideon's bible
A Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rocky's revival."So it means that he was shot but not killed
anonymous Feb 18th, 2010 2:08pm report
A anonymous writer wrote at the end of his meaning"So rocky goes back to his room, only to find Gideon's bible. and in the end the bible doesn't save him, you can hear the lyrics say 'I'm sorry rocky but..'"Which is not true actully he says"The story of rocky" and then there is a guitar strum and it sounds like someone says something but no one does say anything.
anonymous Feb 15th, 2010 2:13pm report
Personally I think it means what it says, what you're doing is like trying to find hidden meaning in "a boy called Sue" by Johnny Cash.
anonymous Mar 31st, 2009 3:22pm report
honestly it sounds like a story from a western the person with the detailed info is probably right though.
but what do I know! until now I thought gidien was a person!!!
(good tune though!)
anonymous Oct 3rd, 2008 10:09am report
I had my brother ring me up one night asking what the f**k was the meaning to this song and what was the connection between rocky and Gideons bible. It had been on his mind for years.Sometimes our curiosity to things can have greater consequences than our small minds can take. Timing is sometimes the pivotal mark. I was in great distress when he rang (first time to ring me in very many years)and I told him that I was standing on the promises in that Book (the bible) for my life. Rocky found that same Book in his room too but didn't realise it was what he needed. If only he had opened it up his life would have not ended so soon. We all have a choice to make.From that phone call, my brother decided to pray for me. It's called Providence.
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