St John Karp

Ramblings of an Ornamental Hermit

J’Accuse, Mr McCartney

As a Beatles lover, I hate to have to point the finger at Mr McCartney. And yet here I find myself, finger quivering with moral indignation at the poster of Mr McCartney on my wall. Oh Paul, I thought we were friends. How could you? How can we ever trust you again? Believe me I didn’t want it to end this way, and yet it must be done — for music, for history and, yes, for truth. Paul McCartney did not write the Beatles’ smash-hit song “Yellow Submarine”; it wasn’t even written by Ringo Starr. It was written by the pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Before I allow myself to be swept away on a tide of corrections, allow me to clarify. “Yellow Submarine” was probably not written by Tutankhamun himself. The royal palace had fleets of servants to handle the actual writing of decrees and inscriptions, so in all likelihood it was written by a scribe in the palace and carved on the wall of his tomb by an artisan. Whoever the anonymous author was, he demonstrated quite extraordinary foresight, well beyond even Leonardo da Vinci pre-empting the invention of the helicopter or Keanu Reeves’ naughty suggestion that he may, one day, make a watchable film.

Let me tell you how this realization, almost too terrible for mortal comprehension, was visited upon me. It was on a dank and dreary day in Berkeley that I happened upon a three-volume set in a curiosity shop. To my great surprise, it was The Tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amen, Discovered by the Late Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter. Like Howard Carter plunging head-first into the chambers of Tutankhamun’s tomb, so I had plunged into the disarray of Bing Crosby records and Atkins diet guides to discover pure gold. Carter’s three-volume set was published in the 1920s and describes the discovery and excavation of King Tut’s tomb. Today a first edition volume will fetch catastrophic prices, and you would be hard-pressed to find one going for under $500. And somehow, I had discovered the entire set for a mere $2.50[^1] each!

It was clear, however, that Tutankhamun’s curse had reached its sepulchral hand through the millennia and ensnared my destiny. As I flipped though the pages I turned cold and felt the blood rush away from my head. When I came to I found myself in a hospital, surrounded by scantily-clad nurses and suspiciously good-looking doctors. I shoved them aside. One nurse went sprawling into a coma patient. A doctor fell badly and burst a hobo’s colostomy bag.

Where are my books?” I shouted. “Thieves! Blackguards! I must have my books!”

After they sedated me and put me in the rubber room, they allowed me to have one of the volumes I had bought, provided they stuck cotton balls on the corners so I couldn’t injure myself. It was then that I confirmed my worst fears. There, inscribed on the wall of Tutankhamun’s tomb, were the 3,000-year-old lyrics to “Yellow Submarine”. It is with a heavy heart that I whisk the veil off this sorry charade and post the lyrics here.

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Yellow Submarine in Egyptian Hieroglyphic

One who sailed to sea
Was in the town in which I was born,
And he spoke to us concerning his life
In the land of submarines.

Lo, we sailed unto the sun disk
Until the finding of the sea,
And we lived beneath the waves
In our yellow submarine.

We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.
We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.

Lo, all our friends are aboard,
A million live at our sides.
Behold, the musicians are playing!

We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.
We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.

That we live is that we take our ease,
We all are together with that which we need,
Blue is the sky and green is the sea,
We being in our yellow submarine.

We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.
We all live in a yellow submarine,
A yellow submarine, a yellow submarine.

Certainly never send me any email here: gerald@fuzzjunket.com.