The Beatles — A Day In The Life

"A Day in the Life" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and recorded by The Beatles for their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Background

John Lennon wrote the melody and most of the lyrics to the verses of "A Day in the Life" in mid-January 1967. Soon afterwards, he presented the song to Paul McCartney, who contributed a middle-eight section. According to Lennon, McCartney also contributed the pivotal line "I'd love to turn you on." In a 1970 interview, Lennon discussed their collaboration on the song:

Paul and I were definitely working together, especially on "A Day in the Life" ... The way we wrote a lot of the time: you'd write the good bit, the part that was easy, like "I read the news today" or whatever it was, then when you got stuck or whenever it got hard, instead of carrying on, you just drop it; then we would meet each other, and I would sing half, and he would be inspired to write the next bit and vice versa. He was a bit shy about it because I think he thought it's already a good song ... So we were doing it in his room with the piano. He said "Should we do this?" "Yeah, let's do that."

The song is an example of the mutual inspiration that often occurred within the Lennon-McCartney partnership. As stated by Lennon in 1968, "It was a good piece of work between Paul and me. I had the 'I read the news today' bit, and it turned Paul on, because now and then we really turn each other on with a bit of song, and he just said 'yeah' – bang bang, like that."

Lyrics
Tara Browne
According to Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his car on 18 December 1966. Browne was a friend of Lennon and McCartney, and had instigated McCartney's first experience with LSD. Lennon adapted the song's verse lyrics from a story in the 17 January 1967 edition of the Daily Mail, which reported the ruling on a custody action over Browne's two young children.

"4,000 holes"
Lennon wrote the song's final verse inspired by a Far & Near news brief, in the same 17 January 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, 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." 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, and the lyric was eventually used.

Drug Culture
McCartney said about the line "I'd love to turn you on", which concludes both verse sections: "This was the time of Tim Leary's 'Turn on, tune in, drop out' and we wrote, 'I'd love to turn you on.' John and I gave each other a knowing look: 'Uh-huh, it's a drug song. You know that, don't you?'" George Martin, the Beatles' producer, commented that he had always suspected that the line "found my way upstairs and had a smoke" was a drug reference, recalling how the Beatles would "disappear and have a little puff", presumably of marijuana, but not in front of him. "When was doing his TV programme on Pepper", McCartney recalled later, "he asked me, 'Do you know what caused Pepper?' I said, 'In one word, George, drugs. Pot.' And George said, 'No, no. But you weren't on it all the time.' 'Yes, we were.' Sgt. Pepper was a drug album."

BBC radio ban

The song became controversial for its supposed references to drugs. On 20 May 1967, during the BBC Light Programme's preview of the Sgt. Pepper album, disc jockey Kenny Everett was prevented from playing "A Day in the Life". The BBC announced that it would not broadcast the song due to the line "I'd love to turn you on", which, according to the corporation, advocated drug use. Other lyrics allegedly referring to drugs include "found my way upstairs and had a smoke / somebody spoke and I went into a dream". A spokesman for the BBC stated: "We have listened to this song over and over again. And we have decided that it appears to go just a little too far, and could encourage a permissive attitude to drug-taking."

At the time, Lennon and McCartney denied that there were drug references in "A Day in the Life" and publicly complained about the ban at a dinner party at the home of their manager, Brian Epstein, celebrating their album's release. Lennon said that the song was simply about "a crash and its victim", and called the line in question "the most innocent of phrases". McCartney later said: "This was the only one in the album written as a deliberate provocation. A stick-that-in-your-pipe ... But what we want is to turn you on to the truth rather than pot." The Beatles nevertheless aligned themselves with the drug culture in Britain by paying for (at McCartney's instigation) a full-page advertisement in The Times, in which, along with 60 other signatories, they and Epstein denounced the law against marijuana as "immoral in principle and unworkable in practice". In addition, on 19 June, McCartney confirmed to an ITN reporter, further to his statement in a recent Life magazine interview, that he had taken LSD. Described by MacDonald as a "careless admission", it led to condemnation of McCartney in the British press, recalling the outcry caused by the publication of Lennon's "More popular than Jesus" remark in the US in 1966. The BBC ban on the song was eventually lifted on 13 March 1972.

The The Beatles — A Day In The Life clip can be downloaded for free and without registration.

Size156.78 Mb
Resolution1920x1080
Duration5:13 min
Formatavi
Artist The Beatles
Year1967
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