Talk:Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

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CLOSED: Many Lennon & McCartney song entries in Wiki - Writing credits attributed incorrectly - REVISED: 2/3/2020[edit]

Closing with no action per the request of the discussion initiator at WP:ANRFC. Cunard (talk) 23:21, 22 February 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There is an endemic problem RE: almost all Lennon & McCartney compositions in Wiki.

Almost every Lennon & McCartney Wiki entry states: “[title] is a song written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney” or vice versa.

I’m aware that Wiki requires reputable third party sources and often multiple attestation as part of its fact-checking process.

Keeping that in mind, it should be noted that the copyright of “Lennon & McCartney” is the highest legally recognized source and supersedes all other sources including claims by the press, book authors and other third parties.

Therefore, except for the songs which both Lennon and McCartney have repeatedly cited, unequivocally, in every source, as composed solely by one or the other - the “Lennon and McCartney” copyright must be recognized as the source that supersedes all others.

While it’s true that many songs, especially in the latter years of the Beatles, were entirely or almost entirely composed by either Lennon or McCartney, the attribution of only the lead singer as the sole writer of a given song is being applied too broadly, to too many Wiki entries of their songs.

It’s well documented and attested to by Paul McCartney himself as well as Lennon in past interviews, that even if a song was primarily written by one, they would almost always run it past the other, and the other would often offer suggestions on what to change or what not to change. “Hey Jude” is a perfect example of this. Lennon encouraged McCartney to keep a line that he was considering changing.

When the legal copyright is “Lennon & McCartney”, then even such seemingly minor suggestions do indeed count as “collaboration” because they affect the ultimate finished outcome of the song.

I’m well aware that there are numerous stories, including quotes or excerpts from interviews of Lennon or McCartney, and even the authorized McCartney biography that contain statements such as “that was Paul’s song” or vice versa - but even statements made by either writer were made long after the fact. They’ve both admitted, many times, that they don’t recall the exact details of many compositions. Also, in many cases, even their own accounts differ.

Furthermore, observers who were present have repeatedly discussed how other members, including Harrison, Ringo and even 3rd party hangers on, like Donovan, would occasionally suggest a line or a word for a song.

Even in songs that one or the other reportedly disliked, there was still often contribution from the other. A perfect example is "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". Lennon has said he hated that song. Still, he wrote and played the piano intro in a moment of frustration.

By the way, the separate subject of Lennon “hating” songs like “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and dismissing them as “granny” music should be taken with a grain of salt, not as gospel truth.

People make way too much of random statements that Lennon made. Yes, Lennon said some of those things, but Lennon said a lot of things - often contradictory, especially in the 70’s.

Lennon may have labeled some of McCartney’s Beatle contributions “granny music” - but at the same time he was proud of the Beatles success. Lennon knew that McCartney’s contributions added a wide stylistic diversity to their output, which elevated the Beatles above the level of being “just a rock & roll band”, and give them broader universal appeal and even greater success.

Also, if he truly disliked those songs he wouldn’t have played on them, or would have vetoed their release as Beatles tracks. All Beatles releases required unanimous agreement.

Back to the topic at hand, except in the rare cases for which there is absolute certainty, this overly broad attribution of songwriting credit to either Lennon or McCartney in Wiki entries needs to be corrected.

Simply add the word “primarily” and it will solve the problem.

E.g. ”primarily written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney” or vice versa.

Even songs such as “Hey Jude” should be credited with the word “primarily”. As stated above, Without Lennon’s input, the line, “the movement you need is on your shoulder” would likely have been changed to something else.

We all know that they wrote a lot of songs mostly on their own, still, they were a songwriting team.

None of us were present to observe precisely who wrote what, to the letter, so unless there is absolute undisputed proof (as defined above) “primarily” should be added.

The Lennon & McCartney songwriting partnership ended, then one was shot and killed. For God’s sake, let’s stop separating them further.

Thank you kindly. WB (talk) 08:43, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

Please read WP:REDACT, which is part of the talk page behavioural guideline. Particularly the points: ... if anyone has already replied to or quoted your original comment, changing your comment may deprive any replies of their original context, and this should be avoided. Once others have replied, or even if no one's replied but it's been more than a short while, if you wish to change or delete your comment, it is commonly best practice to indicate your changes. I say this because I've just linked to the thread here per its 11 November title, which was "ALL Lennon & McCartney SONGS in WIKI - Writing Credits!", and more importantly a discussion relevant to this issue took place on my talk page from 16 November (titled "Please read - IMPORTANT / Lennon & McCartney Wiki entries"). So the wording of your original remarks is important because things rolled on as a result of the emotiveness you brought to the subject.
As I said with my recent edit to this article – repeating a suggestion from my talk page in mid November – perhaps the best place for this discussion is at the Beatles project talk page, WT:BEATLES. It's clearly not about this one Lennon–McCartney song. JG66 (talk) 12:14, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

Dear User:JG66 and anyone else, I‘ve removed the “yelling” in my original post on the Talk page of “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” on my issue with Wiki Lennon & McCartney song entries. I’ve also removed it’s initial sardonic tone. Likewise I’ll cease all caps going forward.

Being new to the world of Wiki “Talk”, I was angered by continual reversions of my edits without seeing explanations, and/or not knowing where/how to respond when I did see them. So I apologize.

I would like to be civil and am extending an olive branch. I have no wish to continually make edits that will be reverted, nor to be a gadfly with no productive purpose.

Although I’m a novice in the world of Wiki “Talk”, I’m not a novice in intelligent discourse and debate, nor in the fields of songwriting, copyrights, collaborative processes, Lennon & McCartney, the backgrounds of Beatles compositions, nor a wide variety of related and widely unrelated topics.

The bottom line is that I would like to propose an alternate and more accurate way of attributing songwriting credit in the majority of Lennon & McCartney Wiki song entries - abiding by Wiki policy. They are not “fairytale” versions.

Finally, either you, or someone else typed that I am in the “minority”.

That’s fine, I have no problem being in the minority.

Ultimately logic and facts should prevail if Wiki is an egalitarian, self-correcting and accurate source of info, correct?

And I have to believe that it is, as opposed to a site governed by an elite majority.

JG66, could you kindly confirm that you read this so I know I am responding via the proper Wiki mechanism?

Thank you kindly WB WB (talk) 21:21, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

WBoutros, would you stop with the "senior editor ... official Lennon & McCartney / Beatles expert and Wiki gatekeeper, with supreme editorial authority" crap ... As Ritchie333 told you, "there is no such thing as a 'senior editor'" here. And per my reply above, you should redact but not replace your first post on this page, because the original tone and wording, and your preference for shouty caps, all had some bearing on the reverts and comments that followed. Right? Instructions for how to do this appear in that link I provided to WP:REDACT.
And I'm not insulting you because you're someone who disagrees with me. I'm responding to the way you've been presenting your argument – which is that everything on this Lennon–McCartney issue in Wikipedia's song articles is wrong, and every Wikipedia editor must stop what they're doing now and address this behaviour because they're all wrong.
You're making this issue all about you and me, when I've told you several times that I'm following an approach that was in place years before I ever contributed to a Lennon–McCartney song article. Once again – because I'm not interested in having another long discussion on my talk page either – the best place to raise this is probably at the talk page for the Beatles project, WT:BEATLES. JG66 (talk) 01:32, 4 February 2020 (UTC)


JG66, I’ve removed the senior editor, Beatles expert etc. comments. I’m making every effort to eliminate any lingering animosity. I hope you’ll reciprocate, so this entire episode can end on a mutually cordial tone.

Thank you for directing me to the proper page for this discussion. I wasn’t intentionally making it about “you and me”. I’d much rather discuss this in a larger and more appropriate forum.

The only reason I posted on your Talk page is because I didn’t know how (until now) to respond to anyone who addressed me on a talk page like this “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” one. There’s no “Reply” option. Also, you were the one who reverted my edits (which is what sparked my “shouty” responses. But I’m way past that and now solving problems not creating ones).

Anyway, I realized that the only way to respond to a member directly from a Talk page like this is to manually edit the raw HTML, which is what I’m doing. That seems odd on Wiki’s part, but so be it.

As stated above, I’ve removed what you requested and also references to insults, “blathering” etc. - at least on this page. But in order to remove them here, there and everywhere, I’ll read that redacting info. I’ll also remove any other negative, sardonic or angry remarks that were posted.

Would you kindly reciprocate and remove your reply which referred to “blathering” and ”fairytale” worlds etc.?

As far as redacting, I’m clearly missing something because yesterday I did rewrite almost all of my original post. However I’ll read the link you provided so that I’m ensured it’s done properly.

And btw, I said you were a senior editor and Beatles expert etc. because your user page states that you’re a “senior editor”. Am I incorrect in presuming that’s an official Wiki designation?

As for the rest, you were the only one reverting my edits, often accompanied with detailed “story behind the song” passages, which I presume you garnered from books (unless you have first hand knowledge which is entirely possible, I don’t know). I too have read many of those books.

Anyway I really thought you were a senior editor and had some authority over Lennon & McCartney content.

Contrary to your belief, it’s not my intent to accuse every Wiki editor of being wrong or to act like a dictator demanding change.

However, I do believe this is a major issue (proper credits in regards to the greatest songwriting team of the pop/rock era is no small thing) that requires discussion at a high level, and for which there should be some consensus on how to properly handle.

I naively tried to edit some entries myself, they were reverted, then this overblown debacle ensued.

Finally, I have no wish to take any more of your time, but I would appreciate it if you acknowledged my efforts to end all animosity. It clearly still lingers on your end. I’m not asking to be friends, but simply to forget all this nonsense and “redact” any negative comments which may still exist online.

Could you kindly confirm that you received, or read this. I’m still unclear as to how member to member replies are supposed to work on Wiki. I hope the way I did it here, editing HTML code will work. Let me know.


WBoutros (talk) 08:24, 4 February 2020‎(UTC)

WBoutros, replying here rather than at my talk page. To follow up on that and on your last message here, you once again have not followed WP:REDACT – you've simply rewritten what it was that you originally posted and to which I then responded (either in my replies here or in my comments with changes to the article, or in the [now archived] discussion that took place on my talk page last November or whenever). The instructions at WP:REDACT are very clear, eg Any deleted text should be marked with <del>...</del>, which renders in most browsers as struck-through text, e.g., deleted.
You ask me to redact my comment that you were "blathering" etc – I can't do that, as far as I know. We can't edit comments made with edits in article mainspace; I have seen admins remove such comments with a rationale like "grossly offensive", but mere mortals don't have the tools to carry that out, and I've no idea how to even begin going about it. (I'm not trying to inflame the situation further, but it might interest you to know I received a "thanked" notification from a couple of editors for that revert with the "blath–" comment. I don't believe for a minute they were being malicious; rather, they most likely understood where I was coming from, given the emotion you'd expressed in your posts here.)
Can I suggest you just reinstate everything you originally wrote here. When I said, above, "would you stop with the 'senior editor ... official Lennon & McCartney / Beatles expert and Wiki gatekeeper' bit", I wasn't asking you to take back the statement or remove it. I've no wish to see the record doctored in my (supposed) favour; what was said was said, and that's life. This talk page should provide an accurate record of the discussion, but twice now, you've ended up removing the context that informed comments I made with edits to the article, my replies here, and the November discussion on my talk page, and also the comments made by other editors, on your talk page and mine.
But failing that, can I suggest anyway – for what must be the third or fourth time – that you just take this whole Lennon–McCartney issue to the Beatles project talk page. This is achieving absolutely nothing here, except wasting time and energy. Thanks, JG66 (talk) 02:18, 7 February 2020 (UTC)
I can't remember if I was one of the editors who thanked JG66 for this edit, but if I didn't I am doing so now, and precisely for the reason that JG66 identified above. More importantly, I agree that if this matter is continued, it should be taken up at WT:WikiProject The Beatles so the entire community of editors interested in this topic can read it and, if so moved, respond. Sundayclose (talk) 03:04, 7 February 2020 (UTC)


JG66 and Sundayclose I have read all of the above and the article on redacting.

It seems that once people have replied, as is the case, the original post can’t be redacted.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the best I can do is to “Close” this entire discussion using the appropriate tags, then post a new discussion on the appropriate page.

So that’s what I will do.

Btw, I still have no clue how to respond to a users’s messages here, other than editing raw HTML.

When replying this way, I never know if my reply has even been read.

Anyway, if you feel like it, respond. If you don’t, don’t.

Either way I will “Close” this entire discussion on 2/13/2020.

The fact that you’re telling me people “thanked” you for the “blathering” & “fairy tale world” response, presumably to further demonstrate I was wrong and you were right (though I already conceded error), doesn’t seem to serve any purpose except to continue to make me feel bad about something I’m trying to correct.

As I’ve repeatedly stated, I did not see why my edits were being reverted until later.

My comments were the result of angry bewilderment, not malicious intent.

I don’t suppose your supporters also saw my efforts to correct this? Or that you told them I‘m trying to do the right thing here?

So be it.

I hope all negative comments including “blathering” and “shouting” and anything else will be buried deep enough to not matter.

This all will be “closed” on Wednesday.

Thank you.


Wow - now this “Reply” text-box has appeared, enabling me to reply to my own post - whereas there was no “Reply” text-box when I wanted to reply to other user’s posts.

That makes zero sense to me. Why would anyone want to reply to their own posts (and be prompted to do so with a text-box) yet be unable to reply to other user’s posts (except via HTML editing)?

That’s precisely why I responded on user’s pages - because it was not easy to do so here..

Anyway, as stated, I’ll “close” this discussion shortly. WB (talk) 08:17, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Lennon's dislike for the song.[edit]

It's not my piece (so not my place) to add or subtract, but Lennon is on record as hating this song, and being embarrassed by every facet of it, which he regarded as a classic example of McCartney's vapid pop-ism. Those involved might want to check this out. Nor was the song a joint venture, in any sense. I understand from various online sources that McCartney bulldozed it through against Lennon's wishes. Hanoi Road (talk) 20:12, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

The article currently states that Lennon disliked it. If you want it stated more strongly please provide reliable sources. [I reformatted your comment to remove so much white space. Please read WP:THREAD to avoid this problem]. Sundayclose (talk) 21:10, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
Well, it is your place (it's everyone's place) to edit the article, as long as any additions are supported by reliable sources. But to echo Sundayclose's point, Lennon's dislike is covered in the article. Not just the bald statement in the lead section, but with the recollections and description that appear under Recording. I think the bulldozing idea comes through also, especially through mentions of McCartney forcing the others to remake the track, twice. JG66 (talk) 03:20, 26 July 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, my bad. Hanoi Road (talk) 12:45, 26 July 2020 (UTC)