All Together Now – 3 of Cups
Yellow Submarine, 1969
The Beatles’ animated movie classic Yellow Submarine comes to a cheerful conclusion when the real-life Fab Four make an appearance to perform “All Together Now”. Composed mainly by Paul, it’s a jubilant singalong that’s likely to be stuck in your head for days afterward. Like the film’s title track, “All Together Now” shows the Beatles at their most whimsical, childlike, and silly. Fittingly the song has been performed by the Muppets, appeared in a funny sketch on the children’s show Sesame Street, and has been featured in numerous television commercials.
Paul named two primary influences for “All Together Now”. One was the music hall tradition, a once-popular form of live entertainment characterized by musical performers encouraging the audience to join in. Paul also set out to compose a song specifically for children, emulating a nursery rhyme with simple chords and easy instructions to follow. John got into the spirit, contributing the bridge sections directing the listener to “sail the ship”, “chop the tree”, and so on. The final result was a song that almost begged for audience participation and that perfectly captured the mirthful spirit of the Yellow Submarine film.
The Beatles recorded “All Together Now” in one wildly festive session during May of 1967. Producer George Martin, who generally served as taskmaster and responsible adult in the room, was away on vacation. His absence brought a much looser atmosphere to the studio, and the band used the opportunity to host a party for recording this song. Friends were brought in to create an atmosphere of merriment and to clap, cheer, and sing along.
The 3 of Cups corresponds nicely to “All Together Now”. Many versions of this card show three figures raising glasses in a spirit of joyful togetherness. The suit of Cups symbolizes emotions, and the number 3 signifies expansion. So when we draw this card in a reading we’re encouraged to get together with friends and have a good time. Like this song, the 3 of Cups encourages an inclusive spirit of fun. As we celebrate, dance, and sing together, our hearts are filled as they can be only when we share joy with others.
When “All Together Now” is played at the end of Yellow Submarine, the song’s title appears in eleven different languages. The title cycles between languages with increasing speed as the song crescendos to its climax. As it does, the song’s simple message of inclusivity comes dizzyingly to life. We can’t help but join in its spirit of lighthearted joy and fun.
“One, two, three, four
Can I have a little more?
Five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten
I love you.”
This is song #97 of the Beatles Song Tarot Project. Click here to learn more about this magical, mystical trip through the Beatles catalogue.