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Yellow Submarine

661 of 1160 nominations


Yellow Submarine

Is this an icon?


Yellow Submarine

Standing outside the terminal building at Liverpool's John Lennon airport is a 51-foot long metal sculpture of a yellow submarine. It was built by apprentices from the Cammell Laird shipyard for the 1984 Liverpool Garden Festival, and moved to the airport in 2005, when it was ''launched'' with a smashed champagne bottle.

The sculpture celebrates a simple children's song, written 40 years ago by Paul McCartney for the Beatles' "Revolver" album. Lead vocals were taken by the band's novelty song specialist, Ringo Starr, with the whole group singing the catchy chorus: "We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine..." In August 1966, the song was released as a single which spent 13 weeks in the charts, four of them at number one.

Submarines are usually grey, so a yellow submarine was a perfect symbol of the psychedelic mid-60s, with its explosion of vibrant colours.  To read about swinging London in the 1960s, click here.  In 1968, McCartney's song found new life as the title of the Beatles' feature-length animation. Here John, Paul, George and Ringo voyage in the yellow submarine to Pepperland to defeat the music-hating Blue Meanies, who have drained the land of its colours. The band save Pepperland simply by playing their songs.

Photo: Mike Caine


Your comments

The Beatles themselves were icons but an image that springs to my mind when i think about them is the Yellow Submarine. This has also been iconised in the City of Liverpool itself and because the Beatle's were internationally well known, it's not only the English that recognise this as a symbol of England, the whole world will. It is also an image that goes hand in hand with the popular English music culture.

Rachel Hogan

I have nominated the Yellow submarine as an icon as this fantastic sculpture has played a very important part in the lives of my family. My family were very lucky to see this submarine go from a drawing to the sculpture you see today as my dad Jim Gregory was one of the training instructors involved in this project. Not only did he pass on his skills and knowledge to the YTS trainees working on the sub, he also completed work on it himself. We were all really proud to see the final piece completed and sailing its way across the Mersey to the Garden Festival site. We even kept all the newspaper clippings showings the sub and of course our dad. Although I understand that John Lennon airport want to have the submarine on their site to fit in with their theme, I do think the submarine should be placed back in the centre of Liverpool as not everyone visits the airport and will therefore miss out on seeing this iconic piece of Liverpool history.
Carolyn Gregory

i am a beatles fan, and would like a yellow submarine icon

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I believe rice, peas and jerk chicken is an Icon of England.

Ade Adeluwoye