Obviously there is far more to the ditty by any means of investigation, starting with the fact John had just completed the movie "How I Won the War". This was an English satirical movie which I saw just before taking the Blue Bus to Boot Camp in 1967 and the full title as anyone outside of USA will know is: "Those fuckin' Yanks come into the war at the 11th hour and shower their money on our girls, telling them How I Won the War".
Certainly Taymor knew as she constructs that scenario for Jude's dad even though John's dad was far more honorable, even if not a pillar of virtue.
It is almost 50 years ago but I remember laughing with my own Lucy type girlfriend back then about John's punch line in this Pythonic/Goons style movie where he gets zapped and comes up to the camera to say to us "Now we all knew that was going to happen" [or similar words].
So let me slot the song into an appropriate part of the movie, per:
There is a lot going on here but I will leave it at that for now, but as an aside see the clever CROSS Max makes in the water and the Huey shadow then duplicates it to show the "soldiers die for our sins, Sacrificial Lamb" aspect of Nam, and was that the inspiration for Eastwood at the end of Gran Torino in 2008?
However I had already done my own Napalm in the Morning Juke Box some years ago to explore FF Coppola's BILL, who is Bill Kilgore [ie kill with blood and guts - and the smell of Napalm and sounds of Wagner to "scare the shit out of the Slopes"] and you will see Bungalow Bill is #20 Variation, or you can see it below, which should buffer/stream faster:
But even without considering any of the above insinuations regarding American Forces acting as Buffalo Bill but bungling it, what Wiki etc are ignoring is the words IN the song, per "He's the all-American bullet-headed Saxon mother's son" and "So Captain Marvel zapped him right between the eyes" and John asking via the children "The children asked him if to kill was not a sin".
Even for those not having read "In My Own Write" [ie "No one I think is in my tree"] should know of John's quick and vindictive satirical wit, and this is no exception. There ARE no children at the actual tiger event so John simply creates them so as to rub salt into the wound regarding HAL's incineration of millions of kids via Hail Bombs and then blaming it on the soldiers by Napalm Girl fraud, and accentuate his disdain for the whole American love of war and guns, which ironically was to kill him in 1980, almost as "prophesied" in his movie role.
Obviously the name Bungalow Bill [ie mimicking Buffalo Bill] is not as Wiki says, ie just a reference to the fact this mother and son were staying in a bungalow, but rather is to be read as Bungle-O. Like get real folks, this is John Lennon and not Ricky Nelson at his Garden Party.
But in my view Taymor picks up on all those aspects of the song, starting with Lucy's boyfriend as the Saxon style mother's son, doing something "brave" [but the inference is stupid] and getting himself killed. Then we see the induction center Sargents are all made as if Captain Marvel, per:
But where is the tiger? well at Mr K's circus [which is a "tribute" to the bunnies gig in Apocalypse Now and Willard's comment regarding the whole war being a circus by the Grocery Clerks in Washington - aka HAL] there are no tigers on the "menu" but Taymor arranges some "paper tigers, disguised as zebras" to walk in unchallenged, and later we see 2 of them raise their front legs in mock attack.
But even more obscure is where are the elephants? Firstly I think most folk will accept a connection between Huey the Elephant and Huey the Chopper, and I will deal with all that under a separate post, but in this movie [as in Apocalypse Now] we always see "Captain Marvel" arrive in a Huey with what Kurtz explained to HAL as "long, loud, clumsy and costly [especially loss of life wise for Marvel]".
Well now the question raises another issue of why Prudence is portrayed as that horrible Pronk of "gay" along with associated Pronks from HAL via Hollywood of "homophobe, closet and straight". We see in American Beauty that if you are to make it via Hollywood you MUST include all those Pronks in your offering.
So my take is Taymor totally rejects that crap but has taken the time to have a dig at such as Ellen Degenerate [sic] that come out of their closet to increase their ratings. Certainly back in the 1960s as a high class music magazine put it "nobody cares who Bowie fucks, man or woman", so when John wrote Dear Prudence at Yogi Bear gig it was about Prudence Farrow taking her "trancendentals" too seriously and John and company were simply asking her to "de-escalate" to use the then Pronk from HAL.
So we have the amusing bit I will get back to with the gang singing to Prudence in a perfect closet. But it is even better here as we see behind Mr K there are 2 small "closets" [tents] and each one has an elephant that refuses to "come out" but just throws out a phallic trunk and trumpets.
What Taymor had in mind there is anyone's guess but in my view she is trying, AND succeeding in matching John's wit from his book, in fact John actually DID one such "writty". And good luck following if you are American.
ON SAFAIRY WITH WHIDE HUNTER
In the jumble...the mighty jumble... Whide Hunter sleeps
At the foot of the bed, Otumba kept wogs for poisonous
snacks such as the deadly cobbler and apply python.
Little did he nose that the next day in the early owls of
the morecombe, a true story would actually happen.
Otumba awoke him with a cup of teeth, and they lit up to-
ward the jumble.
'Aint dat Elepoon Pill?' said Wipe Hudnose, 'wearing his
'Could be the Flying Docker on a case.'
'No, he's walking,' said Otumbad in Swahily which is not
arf from here as the crow barks. All too soon they reached a
cleaner in the jumble and set up cramp.
Jumble Jim, whom shall remain nameless, was slowly but
slowly asking his way through the underpants, (underware he was
being washed by Whide Hungry.)
'Beat the bus, Otumba,' commanded Wheat Hoover.
'No! but mable next week it will be my turn to beat the
bus now standing at platforbe nine.'
Jumping Gym, who shall remain norman, spotted Whit Monday
and the Barking Doctorine shooting some rhinostrils and
hippoposthumous and Otumbark.
'Stop shouting those animoles.' Bud it hab no inflience
upod them. They carried on shotting alligarters, wild boats,
garriffes, lepers and Uncle Tom Cobra and all... Old Buncle Ron
Gobble and all... Bold Rumple, Bom Dobby and all... Bad
Runcorn, Sad Toddy and all.
Finally explanation of "The continuing Story of ..." is not even attempted by the Politically Correct agencies of HAL, eg Wiki, but I simply see it as a tongue in cheek copy of Dylan's "if God is on our side He'll stop the next war", or as Jude simply says when Lucy wants to lie in front of a tank, "it won't". That is to say John added it to his song to say Ladies and Gentlemen, HAL via Capt Marvel as the Universal Soldier will never stop this genocide [but I will keep trying via Give Peace a Chance, and Jude will continue his "doodling" while the shaggers blow themselves up].
So all in all my thinking is 2007 was still too close to Iraq genocide by HAL so Captain Bill Marvel had to be "hidden" ...... and I am suddenly hit like a Kurtz diamond bullet - yes, there it is, Bill [and Prudence as Napalm Girl] is still HIDING in the closet until "he looks much better and smells much better".
So "How does it smell to YOU soldier?"
Of course Taymor also makes extensive use of masks to "hide secrets", and I will return to that also.