Can anyone explain UNCLE ALBERT/ADMIRAL HALSEY to me?

OK, I like the song, mostly nostalgia I guess, but I like it.

However, I listened closely to the lyrics today and I have no idea what is going on.

Is it just a bunch of nonsense lyrics or is there a deeper meaning?

It celebrates the hippie lifestyle: rejection of traditional family systems (“We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert”), embracing laziness (“we haven’t done a bloody thing all day”), spiritual togetherness with other cultures (“Hands across the water”), aimless vagabondery (“live a little, be a gypsy, get around”) and free love (“the butter wouldn’t melt so they put it in the pie”).


It means Paul McCartney didn’t have John Lennon around to inject some real world cynicism to offset his peppy, bubbly and sometimes surreal or non-sequitur lyrics to go along with the catchy melodies.

It’s typical of what he wrote in that part of his career. Some would say “in his entire solo career.” He’d write three or four unrelated riffs, and he’d duct-tape them together. Who cares if it makes no sense? People will buy what he cranks out.

I personally think he’s doing more coherent work these days than Uncle/Halsey.

Intentionally nonsensical I think. McCartney loved taking random stuff and putting it to music- most famously was Scrambled Eggs which he later changed for Yesterday. My guess (this is speculation, not anything I’ve read) is that he probably heard something about Bull Halsey or Prince Albert’s uncle or whatever and it stuck in his head for a moment and he inserted it into a song because it was the right meter; a moment later it might have been “so sorry Aunt Miranda” or “Señor Picasso notified me”).

John Lennon was hardly a stranger to lyrical surrealism and non-sequitur, or to fragmented musical constructions. See “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” (yes, it’s nominally a Lennon-McCartney composition, but like most of the White Album material, it’s obviously all one man’s idea).

True, but there is a definite dark streak underlying “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” and “I Am The Walrus” (“bang bang shoot shoot”, or “experts, experts, choking smokers, don’t you see the joker laughs at you”), versus Paul’s more lighthearted “hands across the water”.

I actually do like his solo and Wings stuff, particularly Baby I’m Amazed and Band On The Run, but am rather disappointed that his “surreal non-sequitur constructions” are based on mundane things without any satirical or sarcastic undertone. That’s not necessarily a knock, it’s just not his bag, you dig? Where someone like Dylan is singing about how “I ain’t goin’ to work on Maggie’s Farm no more”, or someone like Hendrix how “if 6 turned out to be 9, I don’t mind”, Sir Paul is going on about how “the kettle’s on the boil, and we’re so easily called away”. It’s a catchy earwig of a tune, but at the end of the day, one that feels kind of empty.

(Hey, this is my 1000th post. Happy 1K to me, happy 1K to me, I won’t pay a royalty, or any kind of fee.)

Maybe you’re just not smoking the right stuff. :cool:

If John gets credit for a dark streak for “bang bang shoot shoot,” does Paul get credit for a dark streak for “bang bang Maxwell’s silver hammer”?
For what it’s worth, UA/AH has always been one of my favorite McCartney songs. I’m not sure I can explain why, except that I do love a good “suite”-type song, and I’ll take goofy, surreal, non-sequitur lyrics over banal, cliched, boring lyrics any day.

I heard “Dance Tonight” and immediately thought: “Someone’s knocking at the door…”

In an interview, McCartney stated ‘Uncle Albert’ refers to a real life uncle who “used to quote the Bible to everyone when he got drunk”. Don’t really know if that helps explain the song, though.

I came in here to say "It was Paul trying to write I Am The Walrus without John… but **robardin **said it better than that.

I agree - but isn’t it Maybe I’m Amazed?

Pardon me? This sounds like an entry on one of those “make up a fib” threads. :slight_smile: Upon searching, apparently this is common knowledge. Oops.

Martha, my dear, you are correct.

No, it’s true. However my understanding that McCartney was using “Scrambled Eggs” as dummy lyrics to fit the tune around until he thought of something better.

It’s a common practice. Songwriters frequently use nonsensical lyrics as placeholders until they find the right phrase to put in.

That’s how I heard the story.

‘Scrambled eggs…
Oh baby how I love your legs…’

And there was a bit in the second verse about “Have an omlette with some Muenster cheese/Leave your dishes in the washbin please…”

Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.

Hey since when has one become a peg?
My life’s a yolk. Sweet scrambled eggs!"

What are they sorry for, exactly? A flaming bag of doo on the porch? Stealing his pension?

Oh come on. They’re sorry for not having done a thing all day, which apparently caused Uncle Albert pain. That much is pretty clear. Sounds like they were neglecting the poor old geezer. “We’re so easily called away…”