What is the meaning behind the Beatles song Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da ?

5 Answers | Add Yours

rshaffer's profile pic

rshaffer | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Although it is true that many songs represent periods in the artist's lives which deal with their emotions and events at the time, I don't believe that there is any deep meaning behind this song. I believe it is a universal message to all that heartache in love does happen, but hey, "Life goes on."  It is saying that things will be alright.   

               Broken hearts find your way
                  Make it through just this day
                  Face the world on your own
                  Life will go on, life will go on

The upbeat rhythm of the song fits wonderfully with the message of the lyrics that lost love isn't the end of the world, "Life goes on."  This song contradicts the emotions that most songs dealing with a broken heart project by looking at it with a more positive view of surviving a lost love.

brooklynlotus's profile pic

brooklynlotus | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

This song was written in a way that seems free from social judgment.It implies that one should enjoy life in a playful manner so the la-la seems child-like. The story of Desmond and Molly is not as important as the attitude of doing what seems ''serious'',''expected'' or ''mature''. It was also imporatant to write lyrics that rhymed ,so we feel that Paul did not care about the song itself being serious.The Beatles were aware that they preferred the life of free spirits,so writing about Desmond doing his pretty face is a disregard for social norms of that society at the time. The lyric ''and if you want some fun,take ob-la di bla-da'' infers more.The word take here implies taking a drug . Paul Mc Cartney was fond as was John of marijuana and this might also explain a desire to live free of concern for being too serious.

loraaa's profile pic

loraaa | Student | (Level 2) Valedictorian

Posted on

I love song >>>thank you very much for this Q.

cool-me's profile pic

cool-me | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted on


Desmond has a barrow in the market place
Molly is a singer in a band
Desmond says to Molly, "Girl, I like your face"
And Molly says this as she takes him by the hand

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la how the life goes on

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewellers�stores
Buys a twenty-carat golden ring.
Takes it back to Molly waiting at the door
And as he gives it to her she begins to sing
In a couple of years they have built
A home sweet home
With a couple of kids running in the yard
Of Desmond and Molly Jones

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la how the life goes on
Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra
La-la how the life goes on

Happy ever after in the market place
Desmond lets the children lend a hand
Molly stays at home and does her pretty face
And in the evening she still sings it with the band

Happy ever after in the market place
Molly lets the children lend a hand
Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face
And in the evening she's singer with the band
And if you want some fun � take ob-la-di, ob-la-da

only1amar's profile pic

only1amar | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Thank you. I suspected and argued that this was simply the case of life and relationship, not the proposed use of drugs as I was told. Obladi Oblada means "Life goes on" and is not another pop culture term for street drugs. However, life itself can be a drug in its own right.

Thank you again, so very much for your prompt responses.

We’ve answered 319,189 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question