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Old Dec 17, 2009, 08:13 AM   #1
cuttingedgedjs
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Question Ju Ju Eyeball

An employee of mine was on his way home from college listening to 'Come Together' and when the song came to the line 'ju ju eyeball' his girlfriend asked him what it meant. He phoned me - thinking me the 'expert' on all things Beatles (which I am far from, merely a student), and I am not sure if my answer was worthy at the time he called. I will share that answer, but would first like to ask the real experts (yeah, all of you), is there a meaning to ju ju eyeball?
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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Well... like you, I'm a student compared to some of the real Beatle experts out there. However, I don't think there's any meaning to that phrase... I always thought of it like "stink eye" (as in "he's giving her the stink eye") because ju ju is like some sort of African magic, so ju ju eyeball would mean something like "casting a spell on someone by looking at them."

But your guess is as good as mine.

So... do one of you PhD Beatlologists know an actual answer to this?
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Old Dec 17, 2009, 08:14 PM   #3
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"Juju" is a Nigerian term. Some forms of Nigerian pop music are called "Juju Music". I don't know if that has anything at all to do with what John was up to in "Come Together".

Sometimes, there's just no explanation for John's lyrical excursions. He loved wordplay, and employed it in so many of his later Beatles lyrics.
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 05:28 AM   #4
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From Wikipedia:

Juju or Ju-Ju is a word of West African origin, derived from the French joujou (toy) [1], that refers to the supernatural power ascribed to an object; or fetish. It can also refer to the use of such objects, making it a form of witchcraft.[2]

"An object of any kind superstitiously venerated by West African native tribes, and used as a charm, amulet, or means of protection; a fetish. Also the supernatural or magical power attributed to such objects, or the system of observances connected therewith; also a ban or interdiction effected by means of such an object (corresponding to the Polynesian taboo)." [3]

The term juju, and the practices associated with it, travelled to the Americas from West Africa with the influx of slaves and still survives in some areas, particularly among the various groups of Maroons, who have tended to preserve their African traditions.


One way of looking at it is that it's another way of saying "evil eye" since ju-ju is associated w/ witchcraft, or evil.
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 09:17 AM   #5
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Johnny, you're probably as close to the truth as we're gonna get.
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 12:00 PM   #6
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...ahem... I said the same thing!
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 02:24 PM   #7
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Has anyone mentioned that "Juju" is an African sort of witchcraft thing? Maybe he meant "evil eye." Or perhaps even "stink eye."
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 03:20 PM   #8
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I always thought it had possibly an African origin for 'evil stink' or something but who knows?
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 03:43 PM   #9
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Well... if you must know the truth, originally John had written "juju eyebeads" but he changed it because of potential copyright infringement with the candy...

So... anyway, cuttingedge... what was your reply to your employee???

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Old Dec 18, 2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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Sorry Maia 66, I just didn't get that "stink eye" and "evil eye" were one & the same. I've never even heard the term "stink eye" before today put 2 & 2 together. I'm usually pretty quick about these things but that was definitely a daft moment for me. To quote the great modern thinker Homer Simpson... "Doh!"
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 06:03 PM   #11
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No worries, Jonny!
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Old Dec 18, 2009, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
...ahem... I said the same thing!
Woops! Sorry! So, Maia 66 you are about as close to the truth as we're gonna get...
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Old Dec 19, 2009, 10:36 PM   #13
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I've read a couple of places that each stanza of the song referred to an individual Beatle, and, if I'm not mistaken, that stanza is related to George. If so, I wonder why John used the 'juju eyeball' phrase in reference to George.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 05:27 AM   #14
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I think you're looking at this the wrong way round, jes.
Lennon never ever said that this song was about the other Beatles. For me it's obvious that it's about him and Yoko.
But what I'm saying basically is that those who propose this theory need to prove to the rest of us what juju eyeball refers to. It's certainly not our job to do the work for them!
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 09:34 AM   #15
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In jes's defense, I know I've read that before, too... I just can't find a source! It was one of those typical Lennon cases where he said, "Yeah, I was writing about someone else, but it ended up being about me."

The George reference would have been "he one holy roller," while Paul had a "monkey finger" supposedly because of the way he played bass... Anyway, as we all know, it's just typical Lennon silliness with some private (and sexual) jokes thrown in.
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 02:20 PM   #16
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Never seen it nowhere, maia.
Not by Lennon.
For me it's an internet myth.

As for the song, yes it's silliness plus sex plus drugs plus play on words plus a universal call for an end to discord through a new messiah ( the way things are going...) .
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Old Dec 27, 2009, 06:20 AM   #17
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Huh. And I never really even tried to find a meaning to the phrases in that song. I've heard about meanings of course, including that "each verse is about a Beatle" thing, but to me it's just some words strung together that sounded good. I didnt know there was supposed to be a meaning to it
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Old Dec 27, 2009, 02:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
In jes's defense, I know I've read that before, too... I just can't find a source! It was one of those typical Lennon cases where he said, "Yeah, I was writing about someone else, but it ended up being about me."

The George reference would have been "he one holy roller," while Paul had a "monkey finger" supposedly because of the way he played bass... Anyway, as we all know, it's just typical Lennon silliness with some private (and sexual) jokes thrown in.
well that makes perfect sense,
Quote:
Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
explains that line perfectly.
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Old Dec 27, 2009, 04:43 PM   #19
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So far as the first verse fits anyone from that period, it would most likely be the Maharishi.

"Here come old flattop he come grooving up slowly
He got ju-ju eyeball he one holy roller
He got hair down to his knee
Got to be a joker he just do what he please "

Yep, that's the pretentious old fake, all right.
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Old Jun 06, 2012, 03:24 PM   #20
cuttingedgedjs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maia 66 View Post
Well... if you must know the truth, originally John had written "juju eyebeads" but he changed it because of potential copyright infringement with the candy...

So... anyway, cuttingedge... what was your reply to your employee???
I replied that although I honestly did not have an answer, that I believed it was simply John being John, and if anything, left so when people like he stumbled upon it they would think it had some inherent deeper meaning when in reality it had none.

John eternally messing with our heads.
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