Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour

This is the title song to the soundtrack album of the movie Magical Mystery Tour. In reality it was more of a very expensive home movie but I do like it. Like Paul McCartney said…where else would you see a video of the Beatles doing I Am The Walrus?

They began on the song two weeks after Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was released.

In the 60s a “Mystery Tour” was a bus trip to an unknown destination. They were popular in England at that time…many times they ended up to see the Blackpool lights.

The song peaked at #2 in the UK. It was not released as a single in the US. The song was written by Lennon and McCartney. Paul’s concept and Lennon helped with the lyrics.

“Magical Mystery Tour” was released as the title track to a six-song double EP in the United Kingdom on 8 December 1967. It was the first example of a double EP in Britain. In the United States, the double EP was stretched to an LP by adding five songs previously released as singles.

Paul McCartney: “’Magical Mystery Tour’ was co-written by John and I, very much in our fairground period. One of our great inspirations was always the Barker. ‘Roll up!  Roll up!’

Paul McCartney: “It used to just be called a mystery tour, up north,” “When we were kids, you’d get on a bus, and you didn’t know where you were going, but nearly always it was Blackpool. From Liverpool, it was inevitably Blackpool and everyone would go, ‘Oooo, it was Blackpool after all!’ Everyone would spend time guessing where they were going, and this was part of the thrill. And we remembered those. So much of The Beatles’ stuff was a slight switch on a memory; in ‘Penny Lane,’ the nurse and the barber and the fireman were just people we saw on a bus route, but this time they’d be with us. So we’d always just heighten the reality to make a little bit of surreality. That we were interested in.”

From Songfacts

Five months after recording this, The Beatles started making a TV special with this as the title track. The special aired in the UK in 1967, but didn’t appear in the US until 1976 when it was released in theaters, becoming the fourth Beatles movie. The film, which was an early precursor of today’s reality TV shows, didn’t go over well with critics or fans.

When they started recording this, they only had the title, a little bit of music, and the first line. Paul McCartney wrote the verses, John Lennon the refrain. 

The carnival barker at the beginning is Paul McCartney.

In the 1978 movie The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash directed by former Monty Python member Eric Idle, this song is parodied by the title “Tragical History Tour.”

Charles Manson used to refer to life as “A Magical Mystery Tour” after hearing this song. He later warped other Beatles songs (“Helter Skelter,” “Piggies,” “Blackbird”) to explain a race war named Helter Skelter. He used to say that the Beatles were telling it like it is.

Magical Mystery Tour

Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is waiting to take you away
Waiting to take you away

Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
They’ve got everything you need
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
Satisfaction guaranteed
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour is hoping to take you away
Hoping to take you away

The Mystery Tour

Ah

The Magical Mystery Tour
Roll up
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

Roll up
That’s an invitation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour
Roll up
To make a reservation
Roll up for the Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is coming to take you away
Coming to take you away

The Magical Mystery Tour
Is dying to take you away
Dying to take you away
Take you today

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

33 thoughts on “Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour”

    1. That does sound fun…I wonder if they still have them? From what I read…they would all drink and be singing by their arrival at their mystery place.

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  1. A great song, and I think, a great album, although I did see the film and well, didn’t think it was ‘great.” Interesting back story though, I had no idea there was a real bus tour like that. I also had to look up Blackpool lights, they look like they would be worth a bus trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No it wasn’t great…it was an expensive home movie but…I’m glad we have them on film during that period…I would have loved to have the Abbey Road period on film…when looking back I’m grateful.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, it is a piece of history… isn’t there supposed to be an extensive film on the Abbey Rd era coming soon?
        PS- did you just hear Eddie Van Halen passed away today?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes Let It Be supposedly showing the good side of Let It Be…they had 56 hours and they got a long fine for most of…it was coming in August but they delayed it a year.

        Yea that was sad…I thought he was getting better.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Nash now??? Jeez that is a lot of people lately. Helen Ready, Mac Davis, EVH, Nash, and sports related Bob Gibson the other day.

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    1. Lennon never took much credit…only helping…McCartney is the one that said they were partners on the song… my guess it was somewhat both…McCartney had the music I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a good idea…and aren’t you glad (as all Beatle fans) that we had some film document of this time. It’s wasn’t a great movie by any means but it’s all we got.

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  2. I think the bus tours were mostly at the seaside, for tourists. (Daytrippers!!) Not sure I ever did one. That aside, I love Magical Mystery Tour. It has always set a particular vibe into my head, not just the song itself, but things that were bright and fresh then.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was going to ask you if they still do the tours. I wouldn’t think so now.
      I like the song as well…it’s bright and cheerful and I love the horns in it.

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      1. Well not right now during the pandemic, but I’d think in some parts of the UK (most likely England) there might be some. Not in the style they used to, then, though. Not sure I ever heard them called Mystery tours, as such. Just bus tours. Maybe in the north of England they were called that, Merseyside being rather different from the part of England I came from.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well…if you do watch it with a history mindset…it’s a big expensive home movie but it’s cool seeing them mime to I Am The Walrus and Fool On The Hill

      Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL…yep really loose….Magical Mystery Tour…yea probably the most expensive home movie ever made….it’s not a good movie BUT…it’s a good view of them…where else could you see them have a video on I Am The Walrus…I love it…it makes no sense but has some great scenes…and of course the music is great

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  3. This always felt like a bit of a throwaway track to me…like a quick idea they fleshed out and put down to tape. But then they were so great back then that you end up with another classic tune!

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