Interpretations:Can You Find It?
This song encourages lateral thinking, such as by finding the L in the H, or seeing that the M is an upside-down W.
Or spatial-relations, since you have to mentally rotate the W 180 to see the M. Seeing L in H is a figure-ground exercise.
Also, the line about the secret "R" asks if the hidden "R" is in the tRain, on the tRacks, is the R inside the tRee? Except for "station house," everywhere John suggests we look for the R contains the letter R in the word itself.
In the same vein, Where is the 'L'? We are asked if it is "under the cHair, growing in the Hair, we have looked everywHere," but "it's part of the H, which isn't fair." Once again, everywhere he directs us to look, he has hidden an H, which, ta da, has an L inbedded in it.
Since I listened well before I saw the video, I saw the letters in the actual words, and I assume this was either for the adults or utter accident on the part of the lyricist. ~Christina Miller, April 2005
And if I may crawl out a little further on this limb. This, I am sure, is an accident: The lyricist's son's name is Henry, who is on the album and credited in the liner notes. A child is half one parent, half the other, so the L(innell) is part of the H(enry). Just a silly thought. ~Christina
Except that, likely, Henry's last name is also Linnell...
Not his name, his person. Henry is physically half Brown, half Linnell, so part of H is L, the other part is B. That's all I meant, nothing big. It's probably an accidental isomorphism, not a meaningful one or anything. :) ~Christina
The video on the DVD makes this joke a little more obvious by placing this particular scene at a subway station, but non-New Yorkers might not know that "Where is the L?" is a question anyone trying to get to or from Williamsburg, Brooklyn has asked at least twice. (And for what it's worth, before the H train arrives, a K train arrives, and the 'L' is also hiding in that letter, turned 45 degrees.) (Which also isn't fair.)