Snoupi's Saloon

Random thoughts and non-thoughts

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Toy Boy by John Lennon - Search Is Over!

My long search for an "official" copy of John Lennon's poem, The Toy Boy, has ended with the felicitous acquisition of a copy of the December 1965 issue of McCall's Magazine, in which it was first published. Many thanks to Sandra and Victoria at the 84 Charing Cross Bookstore.

You can view the pages in their original size by clicking the images.

Click herefor magnified image of poem.

Below in text format is the poem in its entirety. Enjoy!

“I don't believe a word of it,
I think it's too absurd of it,
It's just an Old Wives' Tale, I bet,
The silliest and softest yet.
Imagine, if it walked and that,
Surely it would crush us flat!
It's such a giant thing, you know.
All in all, it goes to show
How stupid can you be?"

This was Ralph the Elephant,
Talking loud and eloquent,
Bossing all the Bears and Cats, .
All the Dogs and Policemen's Hats,
Shouting down the Wise Old Shoe,
Who said that what he said was true.
"I don't care what you say to me.
I've been on his foot, you see?"
And he had.

"I've beard it squeaking," said the horse.
"Though I can't be sure! of course—
I could have sworn it climbed on me
When I was asleep, you see!"
"What nonsense!" Ralph replied at length.
"Do you think it has the strength?
I call this meeting to a close.
All in favor—raise their nose.
We'll take a vote!"

"Unfair, unfair!" the Toys all said.
"Shoes and Hats have got no head!"
"How can they vote, I ask you now?”
Said the 'Brown but friendly Cow.
"We'll wait until the break of day,
To prove the truth of what we say."
"Agreed, agreed!" said Sydney Shoe,
Who felt he was the one who knew.
He probably was.

The Clock struck eight, as clocks will do,
At eight o'clock—that's nothing new
Except that this clock never could,
Unless you asked it if it would.
The clock obligingly conferred,
"I will not chime unless I'm heard!"
He was an artiste, so you see—
He didn't like to chime for free!
You know how it is.

As it struck, the room went dead.
A little voice came from the bed.
"Is anybody there?" it spoke.
"Or is this someone's kind of joke?
I could have sworn I heard a voice-
Perhaps me grannie made the noise,
Her early-warning coughing fit
As she gets her ciggie lit—
But I doubt it.

"Im sure it came from over there,
From my toys, beneath the chair.
I can't believe it—but it's true
Somebody has moved my shoe!
The one I got from Uncle Tom,
Who said he only needed one.
And Elephant and Carol Cow,
They must have moved—I wonder how?
It's most peculiar!

“I think I ought to tell my dad.
I have no secrets," said the lad.
"And Mother, she's a right to see
All this nonconformity."
So he went and told them all,
And suddenly he felt so small,
Because they took him in the car
To see that awful Doctor Parr,
Who certified him.
There you are.



  • At January 16, 2006 11:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I've looked for this for years (sice Ginger Restemeyer showed me it on the schoolbus in 65)and now, here it is! Jeff Lyon Cinti. Oh

  • At November 18, 2006 11:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    my sister and I ran across the poem while sitting in the doctor's office. We memorized on the spot by repeating it over and over. I remember it to this day, but I needed to know if I remembered it correctly, and I did. Thanks for the confirmation.

  • At April 04, 2008 1:56 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you!!! I've been searching the web for years! I had saved this from the magazine but lost it after a few years. Like the others, I had the first two verses memorized, but that was LONG ago!

  • At May 27, 2008 11:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Very cool. I had only heard of a bootleg LP called "The Toy Boy," but not the poem. Thanks for posting it.

  • At July 29, 2008 1:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    OMG! I too have searched for this poem for years. My grandmother gave me the magazine with this poem in it and I saved it for years and memorized it. I thought it was a Life Magazine and have spend years going through old copies found in yard sales.
    Thank you!

  • At January 24, 2009 8:58 PM , Blogger jenthegypsy said...

    I had this magazine when I was in Jr. High, and had the poem for years and years. When I went to college, I left it home with all my books - which disappeared as things sometimes will when mothers clean out rooms of unimportant stuff.

    Believe this or not, just today I said aloud the lines
    "Unfair, unfair, the toys all said, Shoes and Hats have got no head, How can they vote, I ask you now, said the brown but friendly cow." I've used that quote throughout my life - thank you so much for returning the rest of the stanzas to me!

  • At January 24, 2009 9:03 PM , Blogger Snoupi said...

    That's funny, Jen, that's the very same line that stuck with me, and compelled me to search for this poem!

  • At June 29, 2010 5:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I was around 9 years old when this poem was in McCalls Magazine and I cut it out and put it in the windowsill and read it aloud when doing the dishes! I couldn't believe it when my husband found it on your site...he knew how much I loved it and wished I could read it again...thank you!

  • At August 21, 2010 1:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've also searched for this poem for many years. My mother had clipped it out and saved it before I took it to a my school's poetry recital back around 1979. Naturally, the clipping got lost over time, and I've asked many Beatle experts and fans over the years where I might be able to find it again. Nobody had ever heard of it!

  • At September 17, 2010 7:07 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

    I was exactly 9 years old at the time this poem was published and I, too, memorized it, being a HUGE Beatle fan. I also cut it out and added it to my scrap book and probably still have it somewhere in my basement in a box but doubt that it is in any condition for saving. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for the memory and the actual page. What a great photo of Johnny boy, huh?


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