Paul McCartney revealed that one of the apparent nonsense lyrics in the Beatles song “Sun King” actually meant more than it seemed - certainly in his native Liverpool.

While writing the Abbey Road song, McCartney and his bandmates fell back on some meaningless phrases that sounded Spanish, including the words “chicka ferdy.” In 1969, John Lennon said it was a kind of childish teasing between young people on the street – but McCartney recently suggested there was more to it.

“There was a thing in Liverpool that us kids used to do, which was instead of saying ‘fuck off,’ we would say ‘chicka ferdy,’" he explained (via the Mirror). “It actually exists in the lyrics of the Beatles song ‘Sun King.’ In that song, we just kind of made up things, and we were all in on the joke. We were thinking that nobody would know what it meant, and most people would think, ‘Oh, it must be Spanish,’ or something. But, we got a little seditious word in there!”

Listen to the Beatles' ‘Sun King’

McCartney added that a fun part of childhood was to make up phrases that carried meaning only among friends. “We had a few words and phrases that, if one of us said it, would amuse the others because it was like a secret code," he noted of the Beatles. "We just used to say absolutely silly little things.”

Soon after Abbey Road’s release, Lennon discussed the nonsense lyrics in “Sun King." “We just started joking, you know, singing ‘quando para mucho.’ ... We just strung any Spanish words that sounded vaguely like something. And of course we got ‘chicka ferdy’ in. That’s a Liverpool expression. Just like sort of ... it doesn't mean anything to me but ‘na-na, na-na-na!’”

In a partly finished memoir written before his death, the Who bassist John Entwistle recalled overhearing the Beatles including strong language during a concert. They realized they couldn’t be heard over the noise of the audience, so they decided to have some fun with the situation.

“Soon, the four of us were crying with laughter at the words they were singing and which only we were able to pick up on,” Entwistle wrote. “’It’s been a hard day’s cock … I wanna hold your cunt.'"

 

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