Now somewhere in the Black Mountain Hills of Dakota
There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon,
And one day his woman ran off with another guy,
Hit young Rocky in the eye.
Rocky didn't like that
He said, "I'm gonna get that boy".
So one day he walked into town
Booked himself a room in the local saloon.

Rocky Raccoon checked into his room,
Only to find Gideon's Bible.
Rocky had come, equipped with a gun,
To shoot off the legs of his rival.
His rival it seems, had broken his dreams,
By stealing the girl of his fancy.
Her name was Magill, and she called herself Lil,
But everyone knew her as Nancy.
Now she and her man, who called himself Dan,
Were in the next room at the hoe down.
Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin,
He said, "Danny boy, this is a showdown".
But Daniel was hot, he drew first and shot,
And Rocky collapsed in the corner.

Now the doctor came in, stinking of gin,
And proceeded to lie on the table.
He said, "Rocky, you met your match".
And Rocky said, "Doc, it's only a scratch.
And I'll be better, I'll be better, Doc, as soon as I am able".

Now Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room,
Only to find Gideon's Bible.
Gideon checked out, and he left it, no doubt,
To help with good Rocky's revival.



Lyrics submitted by Ice

"Rocky Raccoon" as written by John Lennon, Paul Mccartney

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Rocky Raccoon song meanings
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  • +3
    General Comment:In my opinion, this song is really much more straightforward and about an experience almost all of us have been through first hand.

    In the first half, Rocky has his woman stolen. He runs off to try winning her back, or at least chase the other guy off.

    He fails miserably.

    The rest of the song is about moving on with life. "It's only a scratch, and I'll be better doc - as soon as I'm able". It doesn't have to be about religious conversion. At the end, the exact thing Paul interjects is "Sorry, Rocky - better luck next time". There is a next time. It's a message of hope.

    It's about that supremely painful feeling - being abandoned by someone you love. Responding irrationaly, with anger. You come out of this looking like a fool, and take an even deeper wound in the process. You eventually come full circle to acceptance, and you can move on.
    aaronv15on November 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:Rocky Raccoon

    Paul had the idea of a cowboy in mind when he wrote the lyrics for the song. He originally chose the name “Rocky Sassoon” for the main character, but changed it to “Rocky Raccoon” because it sounded more like the sort of name that a cowboy would have.

    Lennon/McCartney

    Paul was sitting on a roof in India playing his guitar, and although he was just playing for fun, Paul began to put together chords into a song. He started making up words for the song on a whim, and started to write them down. The words came to him very quickly.

    Paul described the lyric-writing process as being very spontaneous and casual - "These kind of things - they just come into your head, you know. It just flowed into my head, and I wrote it down, you know. And that's what happened with this. So, there you are." From the casual way the song was written, it seems that Paul did not write the lyrics of the song to have a secret message or hidden meaning. His goal seems to have been to simply write a short, playful song.

    Now, somewhere in the black mountain hills of Dakota,

    The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is somewhat of a geological anomaly - accurately described as an "island of trees in a sea of grass." The Black Hills are home to the tallest peaks of continental North America east of the Rockies.

    There lived a young boy named Rocky Raccoon.
    And, one day, his woman ran off with another guy
    Hit young Rocky in the eye

    It is not made clear exactly who hit Rocky in the eye. “His woman hit young Rocky in the eye” is the sentence we get if we remove the part about the other guy. There is nothing to insinuate that the other guy hit Rocky. Or, perhaps merely the shock of his woman running off with another guy hurt Rocky as if he had been punched in the eye.

    Rocky didn’t like that.
    He said, “I’m gonna get that boy.”
    So, one day, he walked into town,
    Booked himself a room in the local saloon.
    Rocky Raccoon checked into his room,
    Only to find Gideon’s Bible.

    Gideons International is an evangelical Christian organization dedicated to distributing copies of the Bible to those who might not otherwise encounter it, most famously in hotel rooms. Rocky Raccoon checks into a hotel room “only to find Gideon’s Bible”. The phrase “only to find” implies that Rocky expected to find something else, or that finding Gideon’s Bible disapoints him. This is the first of the song’s subtle jabs at religion.

    Rocky had come equipped with a gun
    To shoot off the legs of his rival.

    Interesting coincidence: Rocky wants to blow off the legs of his rival, Dan. In the movie Forrest Gump, the character Lieutenant Dan has both of his legs blown off.

    His rival, it seems, had broken his dreams,
    By stealing the girl of his fancy.
    Her name was “Magill”, and she called herself “Lil”,
    But everyone knew her as “Nancy”.

    This is most likely the most confusing and nonsensical line of the entire song. This woman possesses three names – what could this mean? There are an infinite number of possibilities, but the answer is never given in the song itself.

    “Her name was Magill” is a statement made by the narrator, so it can be assumed that this is a true fact. “She called herself Lil” can have different meanings. There are few plausible reasons why one would refer to oneself with a name other than one’s birthname that other people will not use. The most probable explanation is that “Lil” means “Little”, because she thought of herself as being little, whether in height or some other manner. There are many possible reasons why everyone else besides her would know her by a different name rather than her birthname and self-given nickname. The most plausible reason is that she was using another name to keep her real identity a secret. Likewise, there are many reasons why she would wish to do this. This line is, without a doubt, the most ambiguous line of the song.

    Now, she and her man, who called himself “Dan”,
    Were in the next room at the hoedown.
    Rocky burst in, and grinning a grin,
    He said, “Danny boy, this is a showdown.”
    But, Daniel was hot – he drew first and shot,
    And Rocky collapsed in the corner.
    Now, the doctor came in, stinking of gin,
    And proceeded to lie on the table.
    He said, “Rocky, you met your match.”
    And, Rocky said, “Doc, it’s only a scratch,
    And I’ll be better – I’ll be better, doc, as soon as I am able.”
    Now, Rocky Raccoon, he fell back in his room,
    Only to find Gideon’s Bible.

    The recurrence of Gideon’s Bible makes it a significant element in the song. It obviously has a purpose and meaning, and must stand for something. Although Paul claims that there is no hidden meaning in the song, this is the only point in the song that comes close to having a secret message.

    Rocky encountered Gideon’s Bible both before and after he was shot – when things were bad, and when things were worse. At both of these points, he had an opportunity to read the Bible. This could be a message meant to say that “You are always able to find the Bible”, or, in other words, “It is never too late to find religious salvation”.

    Alternatively, Paul may instead be making a comment about the failures of organized spirituality by showing that its presence in the hotel has done nothing to temper any of the sins being committed there: drinking, violence, cheating. Irony is found in that Gideon's Bible, free in every room, is found in a sleazy, rough hotel where people are cheating, drinking, and getting shot.

    Gideon checked out, and he left it no doubt,
    To help with good Rocky’s revival.

    The narrator clearly states that Gideon left the Bible for the purpose of helping Rocky’s recovery. In this last line of the song, it is made obvious that the purpose of the Bible is to help Rocky. Whether or not Rocky converts or even recovers is never made clear; the song could be about having a revelation and accepting religion, or it could be pointing out how ridiculous and out-of-place religion is in such situations.

    Paul’s comment was this: "I like the idea of Gideon being a character. You get the meaning, and at the same time get in a poke at it. All in good fun." Paul obviously had a ‘meaning’ to Gideon’s Bible in the song, and even openly admits to poking fun, although he is somewhat vague as to exactly what he was ‘poking fun’ at.
    EvaXephonon September 07, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:I think you can read too much into the Nancy/Lil Magill lines. Basically, her real name is plain old Nancy Magill, but she prefers to be called Lil, as in Lily or Lilian, not as in 'little'. Nancy is quite a plain name and Lil sounds like the name a Wild West showgirl might have. Haven't you ever met anyone who hated their name and tried to get you to call them by some obscure nickname or their middle name, and then it turns out that all their family and old friends call them the old name? Lil is just plain old Nancy Magill putting on airs, and that's all there is to it. She traded in her name for something fancier, and then she traded in her man for the more dashind Dan. I really think this is just a playful song with no hidden message or deep themes :-)
    luciemabelleon June 25, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:The only thing I don't understand, is that it sounds like the doctor is the one lying on the table.
    radmarcon December 09, 2009   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation:For me, this song has personal meaning. Jealousy is serious problem for me. I keep it hidden, but whenever I begin to act on it, absolutely nothing good comes of it. Rocky, jealous of the man that took his girl from him, acts on his jealousy, instead of coming to terms with the fact that she had found someone else, and it ultimately leads to his downfall. Just how I interpret the lyrics.
    Assessedfallon January 15, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Who has the most elaborated Explaination for this song???
    JayZ03on April 30, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:if you can find the version of this song where they're just fucking around, you should listen to it. it's pretty funny.
    mccartney:"...doctor came in, shminking of gin"
    ringo: "shminking?"
    lennon: "it's actually shminking OF gin."
    twentytwoon May 15, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This is a catchy Western story written by Paul. Apparently the character of the doctor is based on an experience of Paul's. He fell off his moped and the doctor that treated him was stinking of gin and made a bad job of his stitches that he needed on his lip.
    kaylalaon June 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:F-ing beautiful. It occupies some perfect space between Cartoon, Western, and Horribly Realistic Tragedy. And it places religion in the most absudist spot - implying the ridiculousness of the entire comcept of religious salvation.
    defgripon June 10, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:best on the album
    Philadelphia Eagleson June 13, 2004   Link

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