Watching the Wheels…

People say I’m crazy doing what I’m doing,
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin,
When I say that I’m o.k. they look at me kind of strange,
Surely you’re not happy now you no longer play the game,

People say I’m lazy dreaming my life away,
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me,
When I tell that I’m doing Fine watching shadows on the wall,
Don’t you miss the big time boy you’re no longer on the ball?Earthball

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,Ezekiel_wheelNo longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go,polaris_star_trails

People asking questions lost in confusion,
Well I tell them there’s no problem,
Only solutions,
Well they shake their heads and they look at me as if I’ve lost my mind,
I tell them there’s no hurry…
I’m just sitting here doing time,Timekeeping_Antique

I’m just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round,
I really love to watch them roll,

No longer riding on the merry-go-round,
I just had to let it go.merry-go-round

Was Lennon revealing that he knew the secrets that are withheld from the common, lower-level, “useless eaters”?  Maybe. Maybe not. He definitely was talking about his “sabbatical” from the music profession when he stayed home with his son. One can only wonder if he inserted flat earth / round earth metaphors and “double entendres” after viewing the starry heavens in open sea on his adventurous trip to Bermuda in 1980.

Indeed, in the summer of 1980, Lennon made a sailing trip through treacherous waters from Newport, Rhode Island, to Bermuda. During the journey, Lennon’s yacht encountered a prolonged severe storm, most of the crew eventually succumbed to profound fatigue and seasickness. Lennon (free of seasickness) was eventually forced to take the yacht’s wheel alone for many hours. Lennon found this terrifying but invigorating. It had the effect of both renewing his confidence and making him contemplate the fragility of life.Horizon_8_Beatles

“Once I accepted the reality of the situation”, John told Fred Seaman, “I lost my fear and began to enjoy the experience, singing and shouting old sea chanties in the face of the storm”, even screaming, “Take me away, God! I don’t give a shit!” (Germeaux 2010)John_Lennon_Bermuda_Tapes_2Lennon later described the voyage as “the most fantastic experience I ever had”. Sailing through the storm had been an extraordinary and empowering adventure (McCarthy 2013). As a result, he began to write new songs and reworked earlier demos. He commented later, ‘I was so centered after the experience at sea that I was tuned in to the cosmos – and all these songs came!John_Lennon_Bermuda_TapesJohn Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980, three weeks after the release of his and Ono’s Double Fantasy album which contained this song, Watching the Wheels.[1]

Beatles in front of Van Gogh's Starry Night painting...
Beatles in front of Van Gogh’s Starry Night painting…

[1] Lennon’s murder was not a chance event by a  crazy Mark Chapman. Chapman worked for World Vision. The head of World Vision was John Hinkley, Sr., the father of another assassin… who gained national notoriety in 1981 when he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan outside of a Washington, D.C. hotel. I guess we know the vision of World Vision is not simply to feed the hungry.


McCarthy, John. How John Lennon Rediscovered His Music in Bermuda, Article here.

Germeaux, Shelley. John Lennon fulfilled destiny during Bermuda storm 30 years ago, Article here.