Beatles: “Back in the USSR” (1968)


Written and sung by Paul McCartney, Back in the USSR was the first song from The Beatles’ 1968 White Album. According to McCartney it was written as a parody of an earlier Chuck Berry song (Back in the USA) and an attempt to humanise young people living behind the Iron Curtain. Despite its light-hearted tone, Back in the USSR shocked conservatives, many of whom criticised The Beatles for being sympathetic to Soviet communism.

Lyrics

Oh, flew in from Miami Beach BOAC
Didn’t get to bed last night
On the way the paper bag was on my knee
Man I had a dreadful flight
I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the USSR

Been away so long I hardly knew the place
Gee it’s good to be back home
Leave it till tomorrow to unpack my case
Honey disconnect the phone
I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are boy
Back in the US.. Back in the US.. Back in the USSR

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my mind
Yeah I’m back in the USSR
You don’t know how lucky you are boys
Back in the USSR

Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out
They leave the West behind
And Moscow girls make me sing and shout
That Georgia’s always on my mind

Oh, show me around your snow-peaked mountains way down south
Take me to your daddy’s farm
Let me hear your balalaika’s ringing out
Come and keep your comrade warm
I’m back in the USSR
Hey you don’t know how lucky you are boys
Back in the USSR