May 30, 2017

The Beatles ~ A Day in the Life lyrics

Fifty years ago this month, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the the Beatles was released in England. My favorite song on the album is A Day in the Life.    

According to John Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses of A Day in the Life was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on the 18th of December, 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, Earl's Court. Browne had been a friend of Lennon and Paul McCartney, and had, earlier in 1966, instigated McCartney's first experience with LSD. Lennon adapted the song's verse lyrics from a news article in the January 17th, 1967, edition of the Daily Mail, which reported the ruling on a custody action over Browne's two young children. 
Lennon wrote the song's final verse inspired by a Far & Near news brief, in the same January 17th edition of the Daily Mail that had inspired the first two verses. Under the headline, "The holes in our roads", the brief stated: "There are 4,000 holes in the road in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, or one twenty-sixth of a hole per person, according to a council survey. If Blackburn is typical, there are two million holes in Britain's roads and 300,000 in London.   

The story had been sold to the Daily Mail in Manchester by Ron Kennedy of the Star News agency in Blackburn. Kennedy had noticed a Lancashire Evening Telegraph story about road excavations and in a telephone call to the Borough Engineer's department had checked the annual number of holes in the road. Lennon had a problem with the words of the final verse, however, not being able to think of how to connect "Now they know how many holes it takes to" and "the Albert Hall". His friend Terry Doran suggested that the holes would "fill" the Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall, a symbol of Victorian-era London and a concert venue is usually associated with classical music performances. 

Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, England

It is the final track of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written mainly by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney contributing the song's middle section. The lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles.

The song includes two orchestral glissandos that were partly improvised in the avant-garde style. As with the sustained piano chord that closes the song, the orchestral passages were added after the Beatles had recorded the main rhythm track. A grand piano in EMI Studio Two, where the closing piano chord was recorded on 22 February 1967:    

On 27 August 1992 Lennon's handwritten lyrics were sold by the estate of Mal Evans in an auction at Sotheby's London for $100,000 (£56,600). The lyrics were put up for sale again in March 2006 by Bonhams in New York. Sealed bids were opened on 7 March 2006 and offers started at about $2 million. The lyric sheet was auctioned again by Sotheby's in June 2010. It was purchased by an anonymous American buyer who paid $1,200,000 (£810,000).      

 The lyrics: 
 "A Day In The Life"

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph

He blew his mind out in a car;
He didn't notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords

I saw a film today, oh boy;
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book

I'd love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late

Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream

Ah I read the news today, oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

I'd love to turn you on

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney  

Net links:     
A Day in The Life on YouTube           

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, May 30, 2017 


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