Yellow Submarine (film)

1968-14 It’s All too Much

To Your Mother!!

The colours were pastel, flickering, flashing, far more intense graphically than the jump-cut black and white of Hard Days Night which had leapt forward from the Angry Young Men and left the kitchen sink behind as they physically traveled east to Hamburg and mentally traveled West to the Teenage Mood Dream that lined Route 66. All roads lead to California back then. Now everything had gone underwater.

It’s All too much

The cartoons were retro, nineteenth century Edwardiana spiced with Pepper, full of imagined characters from the Music Hall of the Lonely Hearts The boys psychedelic message was full on. The Beatles weirdest hit single made pastel, where Ringo leads the boys infinitely on, across the many oceans of our ever expanding universe, with only the Brownian motion that is scouse deadpan to power their Yellow Submarine.

Its All too much

A life-affirming wit that keeps us all sane as we cope with the many futures we had to face in the sixties. The Music Hall on Acid magnum opus Yellow Submarine (Full speed ahead it is Sergeant said that tit John Lennon as though they were all onboard an Alma Cogan tea party) had spawned their psychedelic masterpiece It’s All Too Much, and we would still be home for Tea; made by Mum of course.

And everywhere its what you make

For us to take its all too much

Floating down the stream of time

In Germany last year we had sung Ein gelbe untersee bot as part of our generic taunting after the World Cup. To be precise;

We won the World Cup

We won world war one

We won world war two

and we all live in eine gelbe untersee bot

Translate hearing that into being a German and think about it. Surprising that there were only two knife stabbings by German lads that summer of 66 and they were only because English Girls are Easy.

When I look in to your eyes

You’re always there for me

Wow what do you think Dave?

I think that’s the best thing The Beatles ever did.

Better than Hard Days Night?

Much better! It’s in colour, lots of colours, the Beatles Bus finally turned into colour.

What about that last song; “with their long blond hair and your eyes of blue” that  could be about you, or my girlfriend in Spain or even John Lennon’s

Well that was the best one wasn’t it? George and lots of guitars, lots and lots of guitars. And it went on and on and now there are no more Blue Meanies to worry about.

And the cartoons were amazing weren’t they?

And the more I go inside

the more there is to see

We had both stood up at the end to watch It’s All Too Much as it felt like a coda to the film; a summa cum laudum of the themes of the film, brilliant graphics and brilliant music. And the Blue Meanies had been defeated and good music was going to cheer the world up; exactly as it was doing week in, week out in the real world.

It’s all to much for me to take

the love that’s shining all around you

Yellow Submarine had arrived in the middle of the summer holidays like a memo reminding us not to forget about psychedelia. And, after the poorly received Magical Mystery Tour, it rescued the Beatles reputation as wizards; true stars whose touch was infallible. You really needed to be an acid Musical Hall casualty to appreciate Magical Mystery Tour, even though it contained Lennon’s greatest song. I hadn’t seen it anyway as I was getting drunk in Germany at the time, a country that wasn’t even showing it!  And we had missed Our World; globe-trotting had its drawbacks

Everywhere, it’s what you make
For us to take, it’s all too much

Somehow this glorious cartoon managed to appeal to everyone who saw it. Young kids loved its very cartoonish quality, parents found it’s camp quality rendered it as kitsch memorabilia. Older kids loved the underlying messages teased from mid-period Beatles (The Word is Love) and the rampant psychedelia of the cartoons. As it empathised with our own struggle against our very own Blue Meanies, the British Establishment, who had been trying to shut down our music ever since the war, we thrilled at the ingenious open-hearted way that the Beatles solved problems. Lucky for us the Beatles had unbottled musical talent right across Britain and now, right now in 1968, it was gushing forth whilst the Beatles got it together in India and covered Humph’s Bad Penny Blues as Lady Madonna. Now, in the middle of 1968, hundreds of bands were rushing to the barricades to take up and expand the liberated multi-coloured banners of British beat music and turn it into the shared experience of live concerts; Submarine ends with a live concert at a bandstand but its arch elegiac Edwardiana turns into a flowing multi-media performance which told us we were;

Floating down the stream of time, of life to life with me
Makes no difference where you are or where you’d like to be

Indeed it really was “All Too Much” and the Beatles had added four glorious new songs into the mix at last, not just Georges psychedelic tribute to Edward Lear, English nonsense, and the sorrowful Merseys. Hey Bulldog, snapping at the Blue Meanie’s enforcers with the comeback “childlike, no-one understands”; dog off.

They were only Northern Songs, but looking up at the screen at the Odeon in Harrogate it really was all too much for us provincial universals and our cups did runneth over.

When were lonely we could talk to the Beatles and they would talk to us. We didn’t have to listen to our fears; Help? They’ll help somebody to love.

It’s all too much for me to take
The love that’s shining all around here

The only question was, what did it all mean? I felt like a nowhere man at School, if it wasn’t for the football, the girls and the music, all of which took place on Saturday, I’d have no plans and no friends and no toast.

All the world is birthday cake,
So take a piece, but not too much

Now they were not releasing records every couple of months I’d have to begin to think for myself, with a little help from my friends, Bunch and Baggy. We were a real band of lonely hearts all right, not much cartoonish fun to be found in a single-sex Yorkshire boarding school. Not sure about Ian, even though we were a great partnership on the football field, last season he’d scored 35 goals and I had helped make many of them whilst scoring 23, but he always had a new girlfriend, or was stealing yours; Ex-rated was our Ian. But then he lived in London and wore metallic coloured big girls blouses, which he invited them to put their hands in.

Sail me on a silver sun, for I know that I’m free
Show me that I’m everywhere, and get me home for tea

What did you think of the story Dave?

It was very strange, but funny.

I think the way they told it was great.

Especially when the submarine set off from Liverpool. You never knew where it would turn up!

Underground, overground, corridors, minds, gardens…

It’s all too much for me to see
A love that’s shining all around here

Do you think we should try something like that in the drama competition?

Don’t know how you could do it. But it sounds like it might be fun!

The more I am, the less I know
And what I do is all too much

That’s what was missing last year wasn’t it?


Fun! Did you have fun doing the play last year?

No, it was a boring play and we didn’t know what it meant. It was just hard work. It wasn’t fun at all.

It’s all too much for me to take
The love that’s shining all around you

Sorry Dave, I found it really boring too, but I had no choice, I was given the play and I was a new boy.

Yeah; me too. Well I don’t have to do it this year I’m too old now!

I’m not. I bet Frith asks me again. Well if he does I’ll do something that is fun for the kids acting in it. Well we’d better get back home for tea, what do you fancy?

Peanut butter sandwiches and cream cake.

Everywhere, it’s what you make
For us to take, it’s all too much

Yeah! What a good idea!

And coffee!

And coffee!

It’s too much…..It’s too much



  1. September 5, 2009 at 8:56 am

    […] Pink Floyd’s Piper at the Gates of Dawn. I remember being much impressed by Hey Bulldog when I saw the film in the summer holidays of 1968. Now I am impressed that it was the last track they produced collectively taking only 10 hours as […]

  2. April 24, 2011 at 11:17 am

    […] with four new Beatles tracks. At the time it was George’s track which impressed me the most, here is my story about seeing the film and hearing the song which my brother also loved and sent us out of the cinema with as big a buzz […]

  3. April 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    […] six and a half-minutes of acid-rock joy” about “where you’d like to be”. I heard it first at the cinema in Yellow Submarine, but we can both get home in time for tea, else It’s All […]

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