Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by white wolf, Oct 28, 2009.
If anyone knows... What is the real meaning of "Ah! bowakawa pousse' pousse'", from #9 Dream?
I have no idea as to the reliability of the site, but here is one explanation:
From that site:
What does "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé" mean?
John sings the foreign-sounding phrase "Ah! böwakawa poussé, poussé" in his song "#9 Dream." According to John, it doesn't mean anything...it is just a phrase that came to him in a dream and he decided to base a song around it. Artists are funny that way.
In a weird synchronicity...there are two threads here tonight one on songs with "Sha La La" in them & one on the meaning of John Lennon's #9 Dream chorus- "Ah! bowakawa pousse' pousse'"
Well, here we go...when I was living in NYC ('94-'00) I deeply immersed myself in your basic do it yourself basement Shamanism...the mantra I made up was to evoke Love & Magic & it was "Sha La La, Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee; Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee Sha La La", or if you prefer "Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee, Sha La La; Sha La La, Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee".
The Sha La La was meant to evoke Love, as it's been used in so many songs as something so jubilant & joyful, and the Lennon phrase because it came to him in a dream, but I had heard, though he didn't know this, that it was an incantation & I used that to invoke Magic.
Well I became friends with a non-native New Yorker, from which country in Africa I sadly can't recall the detail of, & when we were talking about mysticism one day I happened to tell him about the incantation/mantra I'd made up. His eyes got huge & he exclaimed, "How in the world do you know about 'Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee'?!?!". I explained it was from a John Lennon song, & while he didn't elaborate a whole lot (he was fairly busy that day with customers) he confirmed that it was most certainly a phrase used in some non-Western, non-White (meaning race, not White vs. Black Magic) form of Mysticism/Shamanism. He used to call me by that name, as in "Hey 'Ah Bowakawa Pousee Pousee'!!", and get this huge grin on his face when he did so. He was very surprised & amused that any White New Yorker would have had any contact with this.
It came to Lennon in a dream, but it was a very Mystical dream, & I wish I could recall all the details (maybe I'll look it up again someday), but he said he thought it was just a nice sounding phrase. I think it was a Magical phrase that was delivered to him. "#9 Dream" cracked the top ten (made it to #9 actually) & put a Magical incantation out across the airwaves (which I believe is VERY powerful medicine for the world), just as he might have done in the 60's had "Across The Universe" ever become the hit single it should have been with "Jai Guru Deva Om".
"Artists are funny that way" I love that, especially John.
It was just John being John.
Granted, I'm NOT a reliable source!
Actually, the version I heard (supposedly from Lennon) was that he was just trying to sneak another "dirty" word (poussé) on to the radio, by disguising it as gibberish...
...which doesn't exactly strain the bounds of credulity.
That's what I always suspected...
BTW, has anyone ever heard a better-sounding version of that song than those which appear on the U.K. EMI 1999 “Millennium” or German #1C 064-05 733 LPs of "Walls and Bridges" (the two best-sounding versions of that album, IMO)?
one of my favorite Lennon tunes... probably one of his most beatlish tunes... I think he asked his lead guitarist to make the opening licks sound like George... this tune always reminded me of circa 67 Beatles. I've always read that "Ah! bowakawa pousse' pousse'", was just gibberish that John came up with...much like some of the lines in "Sun King"...they sound like a foreign language...but the language is actually "lennonese"
It's 2 different languages with an intentional letter misspelled. Change the ö to an ä (which is how it sounds)
The first word böwakawa SHOULD be spelled: bäwakawa this means, in Swahili "beetles"
The first word isn't a challenge. It's french. It means (when a noun is in front of it as in this case) pushed
(Google translate will back all this up).
So. It means: beetles pushed.
Always took it as an homage to George/My Sweet Lord. Sounds like it, anyway....
If you play it backwards it says "I married Paul"
Or an homage to John and Nilsson's astonishing version of Many Rivers To Cross ......
I thought the rough translation was "my mind is in love / my Mumbo will break ya"!
Supposedly it was just gibberish he imagined in his dream and so he put it in the song. Classic John
Also listen for May Pang lustily whispering "John!" throughout the song.
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