Nigerian: Ob-la-di Ob-la-da


Senior Member
Britain - English
Ob-la-di Ob-la-da
Does anyone know whether this bit of the Beatles song is an actual language and if so, which language it is and what it means?
It sounds a little bit like Polish or Russian to me (not that I'm much of an expert, you understand!!)
Philippa :)
  • Irell

    Senior Member
    The Netherlands-Dutch

    It doesn't mean anything, just to make it sound nice.
    In Holland we have tra-la-li, tra-la-la...

    Have a nice evening!


    Senior Member
    Ireland, English speaker
    Hi Philippa and Irelle.

    I never thought about it before, except that the line was just a filler-in if you know what I mean.

    I know a few Russian words (very, very, few I hasten to add) and the only similarity that i can see is that 'da' means 'yes' in english.

    badger. :)


    New Member
    A song by Paul, it came from the phrase, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, that means "life goes on," that Paul heard by a man named Jimmy Anonmuogharan Scott Emuakpor, a Nigerian congo player who played in a group known as Bad Manners. Paul met him in the Bag o' Nails club in Solo, London. When Paul wrote the song, Jimmy Scott was annoyed, citing that he should receive some of the financial rewards for it. McCartney responded by telling him that if he had written any part of it, he would be glad to pay him, but he didn't. Scott sued, and meanwhile, was jailed for refusing to pay support to his ex-wife. Jimmy appealed to Paul to pay his rather large past support payment, which Paul did to help him out, but on the condition that Jimmy drop his case against him over the song. Jimmy did and he and Paul came to be and remained close friends over the years until Scott's death in 1986.


    New Member
    English, USA
    Yes, REED is right.
    It's not just a filler.
    Sorry, I'm kind of a Beatlemaniac and get a little bit annoyed when people say their songs don't mean anything when they really do.
    Yeah, that's all I had to say, I registered just to say that.
    < Previous | Next >