If you liked hearing The Beatles reference past songs in their work, 1968 was a very good year. The releases kicked off in March with Paul McCartney’s “Lady Madonna,” in which listeners got the chorus, “See how they run.”
That repeated a line from “I Am the Walrus,” the John Lennon masterpiece from a year earlier. But many more references would follow on the White Album (released later in ’68). On “Savoy Truffle,” George Harrison called out “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” from earlier in the recording sessions.
But John would outdo everyone with his laundry list of references on “Glass Onion.” Keeping the chain alive, he referenced both “Lady Madonna” and “I Am the Walrus” in the track while adding nods to songs from Sgt. Pepper’s and Magical Mystery Tour.
The intent was to address the Beatles fans who were going overboard with interpretations of every word and sound on Fab Four recordings. And, even by John’s standards, “Glass Onion” was a mischievous bit of work.