Posted by: Author | October 1, 2010

Friday Facts-October 1, 2010-Barrow

As you learned one day last week, I love to dissect songs. Today I decided to discuss one of my favorite songs and what something means in it. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da is a cool Beatles song.  The first line is Desmond has a barrow in the marketplace. Today, class, your lesson is on the barrow. What the heck is a barrow, you may ask. Historically, in Britain, the markets set up on certain days of the week. The sellers of goods kept them in barrows or push carts. Some sold flowers, some sold meats and vegetables and some sold clothing among other things.

There are still markets scattered all about London and outer lying areas. They sell wonderful things. Sunglasses, batik dyed dresses, jewelry, head bands, old records, and just about anything you can imagine. Such fun to go and browse all the merchandise on display. A cool way to spend a weekend  in the fall. Oh, to be in England in the fall.

Anyway,  back to Demond and  his barrow. I want to know what he sold from his barrow in the marketplace ’cause the song goes on to say that he took a trolley to the jeweler’s store and bought a twenty-carat golden ring. What could he be selling to make that kind of money? Anyone want to ask Macca? He wrote the song. John hated it. And, kids, if you don’t know who Macca is, it’s Sir Paul McCartney to you! 

I have a picture of a barrow here. A wine barrow. Fun!

Anyone remember the television show that used this song as the theme song?  I do. Used to love to watch it. Cute family show.

Other barrow definitions:

1. a large mound of dirt placed over a burial site

2. The Northernmost part of Alaska

3. A pig that has been castrated before sexual maturity.  I have to say that I’m not sure why you’d do that to a pig. As I recall the castrati of the Baroque period, the boys were castrated at an early age to keep their voices from changing. Why do we care if a pig’s voice changes? That’s the rhetorical question of the week, kiddos.


  1. I didn’t watch the show, but it was um…Life Goes On? Or something like that? I remember that whiney girl was in it and I remember Corky.

    This is one of my favorite songs just because it’s so…I don’t know, upbeat. I knew what a barrow was simply from the many historical romances I’ve read over the years.

    Great Friday Fact!

    P.S. The real question is, if a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled? I mean, really!

    • I knew you’d know what it was. And yea, you got the show right. LOVE your comment about the pig! Perfect!

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