Nigerian inspiration behind Ob-La-Di
Although credited to Lennon– McCartney, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da was written solely by Paul McCartney.
“Ob la di, ob la da” was a phrase McCartney heard from a friend called Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor, a Nigerian conga player known as Jimmy Scott.
Some have suggested the “Desmond” mentioned in the song is Jamaican ska singer, Desmond Dekker, best known for his 1968 hit Israelites.
But Macca claimed: “It’s a fantasy about a couple of people who don’t really exist, Desmond and Molly. I’m keen on names too. Desmond is a very Caribbean name.”
The Beatles spent around 42 hours completing Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. Recording began on Wednesday, July 3, 1968.
By July 8, John Lennon was totally fed up.
Sound engineer Richard Lush said: “John Lennon came to the session really stoned, totally out of it on something or other, and he said, ‘All right, we’re gonna do Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.
“He went straight to the piano and smashed the keys with an almighty amount of volume, twice the speed of how they’d done it before, and said, ‘This is it. Come on.’
“He was really aggravated. That was the version they ended up using.”
FAB FOUR The Beatles