"Happy Family" as written by Peter John Sinfield and Robert Fripp....
Happy family, one hand clap, four went by and none come back.
Brother Judas, ash and sack, swallowed aphrodisiac.
Rufus, Silas, Jonah too sang, "We'll blow our own canoes,"
Poked a finger in the zoo, punctured all the ballyhoo

Whipped the world and beat the clock, wound up with their share of stock.
Silver Rolls from golden rock, shaken by a knock, knock, knock.
Happy family, wave that grin, what goes round must surely spin;
Cheesecake, mousetrap, Grip-Pipe-Thynne cried out, "We're not Rin Tin Tin."

Uncle Rufus grew his nose, threw away his circus clothes
Cousin Silas grew a beard, drew another flask of weird
Nasty Jonah grew a wife, Judas drew his pruning knife.
Happy family one hand clap, four went on but none came back

Happy family, pale applause, each to his revolving doors.
Silas searching, Rufus neat, Jonah caustic, Jude so sweet.
Let their sergeant mirror spin if we lose the barbers win;
Happy family one hand clap, four went on but none came back

Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Happy Family" as written by Robert Fripp Peter John Sinfield

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Happy Family song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI haven't really put my mind to it yet, but my friend told me that this song represents the life of the Beatles.
    Unsoundon April 14, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThat is correct, the song is about the Beatles.

    Judas- Paul McCartney
    Jonah- John Lennon
    Silas- George Harrison
    Rufus- Ringo Starr

    Beyond that, the metaphors are unclear to me except for the obvious ones. "Nasty Jonah grew a wife" refers to when Lennon married Yoko Ono, a move McCartney didn't like ("Judas drew his pruning knife").
    Imperfect_Strangeron July 08, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst verse is about drug use, obviously the aphrodisiac is acid and the canoes are slang for joints, the final line referring to Johns comment about being better known than Christ. Second verse is about Apple Corp. the Beatles becoming a viable money making entity. Knock knock knock I am assuming is the taxman. I believe that Imperfect Stranger is correct about the character pairings and the third verse as a whole. The final verse of course is their demise... George went on a religious search, Not too sure about the Ringo reference here but John was just plain fed up and Paul tried to put a happy face on it all.
    CJPMUGSR999on February 21, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General Commentand of course, we all know what 'one hand clap' is... it's a slap in the face which is the way a lot of people felt about the Beatles breakup.
    CJPMUGSR999on February 21, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is delicious nonsense intended to create paintings in your head. Also there are a lot of references to masturbation. Can I say that? It's true.
    nebulonon March 15, 2009   Link

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