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Old May 23, 2006, 04:00 AM   #1
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Default "What's The New Mary Jane"

What is the meaning of this song.
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Old May 23, 2006, 04:35 AM   #2
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"Mary Jane" as George Carlin put it once, is supposedly slang for marijuana; it always appears in those slang lists you see in public service leaflets and such about drugs; but nobody ever said it.

So is the song about John looking for a new drug? Or is it about trying to be even more annoying and self-indulgent than Revolution No 9? Only you can decide.

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Old May 23, 2006, 04:35 AM   #3
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I think its johns attemt to write a syd barrett style song
and I think John was very
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Old May 23, 2006, 04:37 AM   #4
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I have about 7 different versions of it
and I may add there is no meaning to the song at all and that is the point its making
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Old May 23, 2006, 07:20 AM   #5
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It is VERY Syd Barrett, and I bet if you check out the hit parade at the time it was recorded, you'd find some comparable Floyd songs. The Beatles were very aware of the British and American pop scenes and constantly responding to it, at least from the White Album through the end of their career. "Helter Skelter," for instance, was inspired by a remark Pete Townshend had made about a recent live Who recording that had been slated for release, but wasn't. "Yer Blues" was response to the booming British Blues scene of that period. "Sun King" was attempt to get the same feel as the Fleetwood Mac instrumental "Albatross."

I don't actually hate the song, by the way, but I do think it is self-indulgent: not so much in the sung part (at the beginning) as in the long noisy part at the end, which strikes me as being Rev. no 9-ish, but without having so many layers of sound to keep you interested.

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Old May 23, 2006, 08:26 AM   #6
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I think we as fans are interested to hear every little scrap they recorded. The reason these tidbits never made it onto albums was because the Beatles didn't WANT them to be released.

But John did a lot of nose-thumbing as well, and he was just being his playful, mildly anarchic self. And who knows, perhaps he pushed to have it included on an LP, and was voted down.
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Old May 23, 2006, 09:25 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone now I understand the meaning.
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Old May 23, 2006, 10:26 AM   #8
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I'm not too crazy about this song. I think it ranks up there with Revolution 9.
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Old May 23, 2006, 11:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beatle Corinne
The reason these tidbits never made it onto albums was because the Beatles didn't WANT them to be released.
John pushed quite hard to have this song put out as a Beatles single but the other guys shouted him down. There were plans to have it released as a Plastic Ono Band single - "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)' / 'What's The New (Mary Jane)' on Apple with the catalogue numbers APPLES 1002 but this was scrapped. A few acetates were pressed though and these are worth over 2,000!!
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Old May 29, 2006, 05:20 PM   #10
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It's hard work, if it was tidied up a little it could have been a decent track. The Syd Barrett songs from that era, while similar in that there was a pretty loose style of playing (full of mistakes) were not quite so longwinded. But the nonsensical almost improvised rhyming is a trademark of Barretts. These tracks of Barretts tended to end up on his solo albums (with the exception of 'Bike') but none of it charted. The Floyd's hits of that era were Arnold Layne and See Emily Play - both stong cohesive songs and a cut above the Mary Jane ramblings.

I guess The Beatles didnt think much of the track either!
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Old May 30, 2006, 08:23 AM   #11
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I dont really like this song very much but i didnt think it had a meaning...
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Old May 30, 2006, 07:29 PM   #12
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there's a reason that some of the songs were not officially released, like this one.
they really aren't Beatle quality.
simple.
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Old May 31, 2006, 01:22 AM   #13
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I take your point jtal909 but I think many would argue that 'Not Guilty' from the same period and not recorded by The Beatles is a better track than a few which made the cut for the white album.
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Old Jun 01, 2006, 03:11 AM   #14
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The song isn't about marijuana. A lot of people thought it was because of the title and also because it wasn't released for almost thirty years. According to my sources, the song is a private joke about someone they all knew in the Beatles/Apple circle. It was really just them messing about and having a laugh.
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Old Jun 01, 2006, 08:12 AM   #15
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I've often wondered if the new mary jane influenced tom petty's last dance with mary jane (not sure if that's the correct title, or even the title, or it's just a line from the song).
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Old Jun 03, 2006, 12:09 AM   #16
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Which album session was this track started?
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Old Jun 03, 2006, 12:28 PM   #17
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I never cared very much for this one; it is very interesting to read others' take on it.
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Old Jun 03, 2006, 12:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lt. Pepper
Which album session was this track started?
Recording began August 14, 1968, during recording of The White Album.

Call me weird, but "What's The New Mary Jane" is one of my favorite Beatle recordings. "Revolution No. 9", though, is my least favorite recording. "Mary Jane" is melodic, in my opinion, whereas "No. 9" is just scarey to me.
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Old May 21, 2007, 01:29 AM   #19
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The piano part is funny, and there are a lot of fun sounds around but it then it goes totally loony in the chorus. If the lyrics make any sense it has so far eluded me completely. It is not necessarily about drugs but I don't think the drugs are too far from this track.
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Old May 21, 2007, 01:44 AM   #20
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It's an interesting song but obviously not a single.
And I don't see any connection at all with Syd Barrett or Pink Floyd.
The rhyming is intentionally clumsy but the most amazing thing is how John tries to ignore grammar rules.And it does seem to be a putdown of somebody.
Syd's songs are very articulate and often use strorytelling techniques without actually telling a story.
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