Happy Thanksgiving! It is surprisingly difficult to find any good music videos about Thanksgiving so I decided to go with a video for a song that has nothing to do with Thanksgiving. It’s called Cold Turkey. Whether it has anything to do with turkey depends on who you ask.
When it comes to Cold Turkey, the official and most-accepted story is that John Lennon wrote it after a brief addiction to heroin and the song was inspired by the pain and difficult of quitting “cold turkey.”
Believe it or not, though, there are Cold Turkey truthers out there. Fred Seaman, who was Lennon’s personal assistant in the late 70s, wrote in his book, The Last Days of John Lennon, that Lennon confessed to him that Cold Turkey was actually written after a bout of food poisoning and that he allowed people to believe that it was inspired by heroin withdrawal because the food poisoning story was too silly. (Lennon claimed the poisoning was the result of eating a “cold turkey” on the day after Christmas.) Personally, I think this sounds more like an example of Lennon’s famously sarcastic sense of humor than anything else.
Regardless of what inspired the song, Cold Turkey was Lennon’s second single away from the Beatles and the first song on which he was credited as being the sole songwriter. (Even Give Peace A Chance was originally credited to Lennon-McCartney.) Lennon originally wrote the song to be included on Abbey Road but, when the rest of the Beatles showed little interest in the song, Lennon instead recorded it with the Plastic Ono Band.
In 1969, when Lennon returned his MBE to the Queen, he wrote, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey‘ slipping down the charts.”