ROCKY RACCOON DECODED

by Lonnie R Dawson
February 2008

The decode begins in the summer of 1984. While sitting around one afternoon, guitar in hand, and strumming through a tattered old Beatlesís songbook, a strange thought began to intrude. Reading the lyrics to "Rocky Raccoon" it struck me as odd that McCartney had used the term "Gideonís Bible" in this song, and used it twice. Unlike Lennon, McCartney rarely touched on issues as controversial as religion. That was when other thoughts started surfacing, and they were these hazy old memories of television news reports from 1966 concerning John Lennonís statement that "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus Christ". Beatles historians will recall that it was only weeks before protests were raging in all corners of the globe. Out of this came a memory of a t.v. news cast in the S.F. Bay Area talking about two attempts by the Gideon Bible organization to add their bit to all the protest hoopla swirling around the Beatles at this time. The first supposed protest attempt by the Gideons was to put dozens of their Bibles in Beatleís hotel rooms along the U.S. leg of their world concert tour. The second attempt was to put a Bible in every seat of an airliner the Beatles were to travel on. The question that arose from this memory was, "could there be an intentional correlation between two mentions of the Gideons in the 1966 news casts, and two mentions of the Gideons in "Rocky Raccoon"? I began work on deciphering all the terms, names, phrases, and sentences in the song, and it's from those memories from 1966 that the lyrics began to unfold with the following results. Rocky Raccoon.... A Lyrical Decode;


1. Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
    Now somewhere in that region of America known as The Bible Belt.
2. There lived a young boy named Rocky Racoon
    There lived a lot of adult Christian parents.
3. And one day his woman
    And one day the teenage children of these adult Christian parents.
4. Ran off with..... another guy
    Became............ Beatle......... fans.
5. Hit.................................... young Rocky in the eye
    Insulted and angered ......Christian parents because of Lennonís statement
6. Rocky didnít like that, said Iím gonna get that boy
    Christians were angered, vowed to bring the Beatles down.
7. Then one day he walked into town
    Christian protestors came to town.
8. And booked himself a room in the local saloon
    Protesting Christians appearing at every concert site (saloon).
9. Rocky Raccoon checked into his room only to find Gideonís Bible
    Television newscasts at the time said that the Gideonís Bible group may have added to the
    protests by placing numerous additional Bibles in the Beatleís hotel rooms.
10. Rocky had come equipped with a gun
     Protestors had come equipped with protest signs.
11. To shoot off the legs of his rival
     To bring down the Beatles. (rival)
12. His rival it seems had broken his dreams
     The Beatles it seems had broken the dreams of adult Christian parents.
13. By stealing the girl of his fancy
     By making fans of the Christian teenagers.
14. Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil, but everyone knew her as Nancy
     Teenage Christian fans were called by many terms used to describe music/Beatle
     fans.
15. Now she and her man who called himself Dan
     Now Christian teenagers and their idols who called themselves Beatles.
16. Were in the next room at the hoedown
     Were together at various Beatle concert sites.
17. Rocky came in and grinning a grin
     Christian protestors came in threatening and protesting.
18. He said Danny boy this is a showdown
     Protestors said Beatles we donít like what you said.
19. But Daniel was hot
     But Beatles were at the top of their popularity.
20. He drew first and shot
     Beatles continued concert tour and held interviews downplaying significance of Lennonís
     quote.
21. And Rocky collapsed in the corner
     And Christian protests began to fade away in time.
22. The doctor came in stinking of gin
     Beatles manager, Brian Epstein, came on scene, secretly suffering from a severe drug habit
23. Proceeded to lie on the table
     Began issuing press statements to soften the public relations damage.
24. He said Rocky you met your match
     Private opinion of the time indicated the Christian protests couldnít compete with the
     Beatleís popularity.
25. And Rocky said doc itís only a scratch, Iíll be better, Iíll be better doc as soon as I am able
     More sober minded Christians of the time felt that the impact of Lennonís statement, and the
     Beatleís current influence, would eventually fade away while Christianity would remain.
26. Rocky Raccoon fell back in his room only to find Gideonís Bible
     The Gideons make their 2nd, and last, protest attempt by trying to put Bibles in every seat of
     an airliner the Beatles were to travel home on.
27. Gideon checked out, and he left it no doubt to help with good Rockiesí revival.
     With the failure of their attempts to swamp the Beatles with Bibles it would seem that the
     Gideons will have returned (he left it) to their original mission(revival) of getting their Bibles
     into motels and hotels.
At one point or another all the Beatles would issue press statements downplaying the significance of Johnís statement.
While many had the impression that this was Johnís band, it was usually Paul who tended to act as the point man in Beatle activities. It was also Paul who seemed to be the most concerned with the Beatleís public image. In this light it seems natural that Paul would harbor serious concerns over Johnís quote, and the impact it would have on then current, and future, Beatle popularity.
It appears that hidden in "Rocky Raccoon" was a statement by Paul to the effect of, "hey everyone, John didnít mean what you all think he meant, and if weíll all just relax a bit, all of this will blow over in time with no harm done". Paul doesnít seem to have mentioned any of this in any interviews, so it seems logical that he might simply want all the memories of public outrage, protest, and personal stress relegated to the steamy mists of time.

©Written by: Lonnie R. Dawson.

Lonnie seeks any confirmation that the placing of the bibles, and other related event at the time actually happened. mailto:dawsonfab5@ftcnet.net.

Rocky Raccoon Lyrics
Now somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota
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 didnít like that
He said Im gonna get that boy
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon
Rocky raccoon checked into his room
Only to find gideons bible
Rocky had come equipped with a gun
To shoot off the legs of his rival
His rival it seems had broken his dreams
By stealing the girl of his fancy
Her name was magil and she called herself lil
But everyone knew her as Nancy
Now she and her man who called himself dan
Were in the next room at the hoe down
Rocky burst in and grinning a grin
He said Danny boy this is a showdown
But Daniel was hot - he drew first and shot
And rocky collapsed in the corner
Now 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 its only a scratch
And Ill be better, Ill be better doc as soon as I am able
Now rocky raccoon he fell back in his room
Only to find gideons bible
Gideon checked out and he left it no doubt
To help with good Rockys revival