Meaning of the song A Day in the Life The Beatles

The creative legacy of The Beatles is truly enormous. Dozens of songs that they gave us became hits on a global scale. Therefore, the following question may seem incorrect, but still: which track of the “Liverpool Four” do you consider the best?

We will find out what the readers of Blimey think about this from the poll at the end of the article, and Rolling Stone magazine named A Day in the Life the greatest composition of the Beatles. And the authors of the song admitted that it was a success.

Here is how John Lennon described it:

A Day in the Life was something… It’s a good example of what Paul and I did together. I came up with the “I read the news today” piece and Paul got turned on by it. Every once in a while we really turn each other on with some part of a song and he just said yes – bang bang, something like that. She kind of miraculously just came into the world.

Rolling stone

History of the song A Day in the Life – The Beatles

It all started with several unrelated incidents that John Lennon read about in the newspaper. First of all, we are talking about the death of a friend of the Beatles, Tara Brown. Millionaire, politician and heir to the Guinness company, while driving a Lotus Elan, crashed to death, flying through an intersection at high speed.

John was also impressed by a newspaper article about the terrible state of the roads in Blackburn and his participation in the filming of Richard Lester’s How I Won the War.

But let’s find out what Lennon himself told about the history of the creation of the song A Day in the Life:

Everything is as it says: once I was reading a newspaper [Daily Mail] and drew attention to two stories. One told about the heir to Guinness, who crashed in a car. It was the main editorial. He died in a car accident in London. On the next page, there was a notice that the streets of Blackburn, Lancashire, needed four thousand potholes to be repaired. Paul’s contribution was a lovely little snippet of “I’d love to turn you on” that had been spinning around in his head for a long time. I think it was a damn good job.

All We Are Saying, David Sheff

It should be noted that the authors did not seek to accurately tell about the above events. Lennon recalled:

I didn’t copy that accident. Tara didn’t blow her brains out on purpose. But when I wrote that verse, it was in my head.

The Beatles, Hunter Davis

The meaning of the song A Day in the Life

Paul’s opinion about the origins and the main idea of ​​the composition is somewhat different from John’s. McCartney explained what A Day in the Life is about:

A couplet about a politician blowing brains in a car, we wrote together. It refers to Tara Brown, heir to Guinness, but I don’t think it’s about him. Certainly, when we wrote it, in my head it did not correlate with Tara. Although, perhaps, in John’s head it was exactly that.

I imagined some drugged politician who did not notice that the color of the lights had changed at the traffic light. The phrase “blow one’s mind” referred exclusively to drugs and had nothing to do with a car accident.

Many Years from Now, Barry Miles

The line “woke up, fell out of bed” was composed by McCartney for another composition, which he never finished. But the phrase found a place in one of the verses of A Day in the Life.

Paul’s Word:

It was a completely different song, but it so happened that she [строчка] came over here. In it, I just remember how I had to run on the road to catch the school bus, and then smoke and go to the classroom. It was a memory of school days. I smoked Woodbine, someone started talking, and I fell asleep.

By the way, the mention of cigarettes that make you sleepy, as well as the expression “I’d love to turn you on”, subsequently alerted the BBC management. They saw clear hints of marijuana in them and refused to put the track on the radio. The songwriters initially denied any drug connection to the song, but McCartney later admitted:

It was a time in the spirit of Tim Leary’s slogan “turn on, tune in, drop out” [«заведись, настройся, отпади»]and we wrote: “I’d love to turn you on”. Then John and I looked at each other knowingly: “Wow, this is a song about drugs. Do you understand that?”

Many Years from Now, Barry Miles

Paul told the same story in an interview with Paul Gambuccini:

It was a risky hint. But we understood that only those people who have already tried smoking weed can understand such a hint, it is almost impossible for an ignorant person to guess.

“Paul McCartney in his words”, 1976

A reference to the movie How I Won the War was the phrase “The English Army had just won the war”. The audience did not appreciate the picture, which may be implied in the next line. The author goes on to talk about the book, referring to the novel by Patrick Ryan, which formed the basis of the film.

The mention of the Albert Hall concert hall appeared in the text by accident. Neither John nor Paul could think of a way to end the line about potholes. A similar option was suggested by Terry Doran, a friend of Brian Epstein, who later headed Apple Music. Subsequently, Lennon said that this phrase did not make sense at all.

Recording, release and achievements

The Beatles met several times in the studio to record A Day in the Life. The first session took place on January 19-20, 1967. Then they returned to work on the composition on 3, 10 and 22 February. And the final stage took place only on April 21. On February 10, the Beatles were joined by a London orchestra of forty musicians, conducted by Paul McCartney.

The song became the final track of the legendary album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was released as a single in the US and UK.

A Day in the Life is included in several authoritative ratings of the most significant songs. Rolling Stone magazine recognized it as the best creation of The Beatles and included it in the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

A Day in the Life music video

I propose to watch the music video for the legendary song by The Beatles.

Interesting Facts

  • The musicians who participated in the recording of the song were asked to dress in classical style, but when they appeared in the studio, they were given elements of fancy dress.
  • The final chord was taken on several pianos at once, and after its completion, an ultrasound is heard for several seconds, which is not perceived by the human ear.
  • This is one of the few songs by The Beatles that does not contain their names in the lyrics.
  • After the release of the song, there were rumors that it refers to the death of Paul McCartney.
  • In 1992, a draft text of A Day in the Life was sold at Sotheby’s for one hundred thousand dollars. In 2006, it was auctioned at Bonhams. The auction was closed, so the amount of the purchase remained unknown. In 2010, the rarity again became a lot at Sotheby’s and was sold for $1,200,000.

A Day in the Life Lyrics

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,
Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.

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.

A Day in the Life Lyrics

My God, I read the news today
About the lucky man who has achieved everything in life
And although the news was very sad,
Well I couldn’t help but laugh
I saw a photo:
He blew his brains out in a car
He did not notice that the lights had changed
The crowd stood and stared
They haven’t seen him before
Nobody was completely sure
Does he belong to the House of Lords
Oh God, I saw a movie yesterday
The british army just won the war
The crowd turned away
But I just had to watch
After reading the book
I would like to turn you on

Woke up, got out of bed
I ran a comb through my hair,
Went downstairs, drank a cup
And, looking up, I noticed that I was late
Found a coat, grabbed a hat,
And after a few seconds jumped on the bus
Got up and smoked
Someone spoke and I fell asleep

Oh God, today I read the news
About four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And although the pits were quite small,
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall
I would like to turn you on

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