♫ A World Without Love ♫ (Redux)

A few nights ago, I played a song by Chad & Jeremy, “Yesterday’s Gone”.  A couple of comments mentioned another duo, famous around the same time, Peter & Gordon.  Which made me think of their #1 hit song in both the U.S. and UK, “A World Without Love”.  But alas, I played this one in 2019 and had forgotten!  Well, tonight I’m playing it again … it’s the eve of New Year’s Eve, I must get up early to finish my grocery shopping, and I have much to do tomorrow, so I’m taking the easy way out, and hoping you’ll enjoy it anyway!


I’m taking you way back tonight … 1964.  I was thirteen years old and had just gotten my first full-time job … making $100 per week!  I thought I was rolling in dough!  That was also the year I became a serious smoker, learned to drive a stick shift, and learned to kiss with my eyes closed!  It was, obviously, a memorable year.  Among the memories from that year is this song by British duo Peter and Gordon.

I did not know that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this song. It is the biggest hit they wrote that was not released by The Beatles. It became the first and biggest hit for Peter & Gordon.  The song was originally meant to be recorded by The Beatles, but that plan was vetoed by John Lennon. Peter Asher explained: “John thought the first line ‘Please lock me away’ was laughable.”

Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, then (1965) and 40 years later (2005)

Peter & Gordon were Peter Asher and Gordon Waller. Paul McCartney went out with Asher’s sister, the actress Jane Asher, which is how he met Peter. This song found its way to Peter Asher when Paul McCartney was living in the Asher household at 57 Wimpole Street in London during his time dating Jane Asher. He played the song for Peter while in his bedroom.  According to Asher …

“Paul had played Gordon and me that song at some point, just in passing. It was really just half a song. It didn’t yet have a bridge. Gordon and I were working at clubs in London at that time, and we got offered a record deal by EMI, who saw us as an English version of The Kingston Trio, or a Peter, Paul and Mary type of thing. We did the American folk song ‘500 Miles,’ and that was the song they were thinking would be our first single. Anyway, we signed the record deal with EMI, and set the date for our first recording session. At that point I went to Paul and asked him if that orphaned song was still up for grabs, since we needed three or four songs to record on that first day in the studio. Paul said we could have it, so I asked him to finish the bridge. And he did. As I recall, the bridge came in the nick of time for us to record; World Without Love’ at that first session.”

An interesting side note:  Peter Asher would go on to become the manager of James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt.  Asher is still alive and active in the music business today, but Gordon Waller died in 2009.

A World Without Love
Peter and Gordon

Please lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

Birds sing out of tune
And rain clouds hide the moon
I’m OK, here I’ll stay
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

So I wait and in a while
I will see my true love’s smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does I lose
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

So I wait and in a while
I will see my true love’s smile
She may come, I know not when
When she does I lose
So baby until then

Lock me away
And don’t allow the day
Here inside where I hide
With my loneliness

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

I don’t care what they say I won’t stay
In a world without love

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
A World Without Love lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Happy Xmas (War Is Over) ♫

Most Christmas songs are cheery, evoking visions of sleigh bells, mistletoe, presents, and the like.  This one, however, is a bit different and given the chaos and angst around the world today, I think is more appropriate than the other sort to play on Christmas Eve.  This song asks us to think about those who live in fear, and collectively bring about the end of war. The call to action is the refrain “war is over, if you want it.”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono wrote this in their New York City hotel room and recorded it during the evening of October 28 and into the morning of the 29th, 1971, at the Record Plant in New York. It was released in the US for Christmas, but didn’t chart. The next year, it was released in the UK, where it did much better, charting at #4. Eventually, the song became a Christmas classic in America, but it took a while, and it only reached #42 at best.

John and Yoko spent a lot of time in the late ’60s and early ’70s working to promote peace. In 1969, they put up billboards in major cities around the world that said, “War is over! (If you want it).” Two years later this slogan became the basis for this song when Lennon decided to make a Christmas record with an anti-war message. John also claimed another inspiration for writing the song: he said he was “sick of ‘White Christmas.'”

The children’s voices are the Harlem Community Choir, featuring thirty children, most of them four to twelve years of age, who were brought in to sing on this track. They are credited on the single along with Yoko and The Plastic Ono Band.

Lennon and Ono produced this with the help of Phil Spector. Spector had worked on some of the later Beatles songs and also produced Lennon’s Instant Karma. It was not Spector’s first foray into Christmas music: he and his famous session stars (including a 17-year-old Cher) spent six weeks in the summer of 1963 putting together A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, featuring artists like The Ronettes and Darlene Love. Unfortunately, the album was released on November 22, 1963, which was the same day US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The album sold poorly as America was focused on news of the killing.

At the beginning of the song, two whispers can be heard (not by me, of course, but perhaps you will hear them). Yoko whispers: “Happy Christmas, Kyoko” (Kyoko Chan Cox is Yoko’s daughter with Anthony Cox) and John whispers: “Happy Christmas, Julian” (John’s son with Cynthia).

John Lennon was shot and killed less than three weeks before Christmas in 1980. The song was re-released in the UK on December 20 of that year, reaching #2.

Why not “Merry Christmas” or “Merry Xmas”? In England, “Happy Christmas” is a more common seasonal greeting and helped differentiate it from the holiday standard Merry Christmas Baby. More confusing to Americans is “Father Christmas,” which is the English version of Santa Claus.

I was reminded of this song by our friend David when he sent it to me earlier this evening.  There are several versions, and I am playing two of them tonight.  The first is family-friendly and depicts normal Christmas scenes, while the second is far more graphic, depicting actual scenes of death and the results of war — so graphic, in fact, that YouTube has a disclaimer which you must click on in order to see the video, but … while it isn’t cheerful, I think it’s important … it reminds us that we in the West, despite our troubles, have been living a rather homogenized life, that we have never actually known what it’s like to be treated as ‘the enemy’, to carry our dead child wrapped in a dirty blanket.  Watch one or both … your choice.  

Happy or Merry Christmas, dear friends!

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
John Lennon and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band with the Harlem Community Choir

[Intro]
(Happy Christmas, Kyoko
Happy Christmas, Julian)

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you had fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (War is over)
For weak and for strong (If you want it)
For rich and the poor ones (War is over)
The road is so long (Now)
And so happy Christmas (War is over)
For black and for white (If you want it)
For yellow and red ones (War is over)
Let’s stop all the fight (Now)

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas (War is over)
And what have we done? (If you want it)
Another year over (War is over)
And a new one just begun (Now)
And so happy Christmas (War is over)
We hope you had fun (If you want it)
The near and the dear ones (War is over)
The old and the young (Now)

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

War is over, if you want it
War is over, now
Happy Christmas
Happy Christmas, Christmas
Happy Christmas, Christmas

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Winston Lennon / Yoko Ono
Happy Xmas (War Is Over) lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

♪ Yesterday ♪

I played this one in October 2018 … I don’t remember why I played it then, but I know why I am playing it tonight.  Our world has done a 180° in the past year, and nothing is as it was a year ago.  It’s Christmas time, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it for most of us.  The world we thought we knew a year ago … well, perhaps we didn’t know it so well after all, but I think that all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay … for a while, anyway. 


According to Songfacts

This is the most covered pop song of all time, with over 3,000 versions Say WHAT??? recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of “Yesterday” is probably being broadcast somewhere.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others.

McCartney claimed that while The Beatles were touring in Paris, he tumbled out of bed and this tune was in his head. He thought he had heard it somewhere before, and played the melody to different people in the music industry to make sure he wasn’t stealing it. The working title was “Scrambled Eggs” until Paul could figure out lyrics.  Scrambled Eggs???  smh.

This song caused a rift between McCartney and Yoko Ono. When The Beatles Anthology album was released, McCartney asked that the writing credit on this read “McCartney/Lennon,” since he wrote it. Yoko refused, and it was listed as “Lennon/McCartney,” which is how they usually credited songs written by either Beatle.

Some of the artists who have covered this song include Boyz II Men, Ray Charles, En Vogue, Marianne Faithfull, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, Nana Mouskouri, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, The Toys, Andy Williams, and Tammy Wynette.  Tammy Wynette???  You’ve got to be kidding me!  

Okay … my curiosity piqued, I had to go listen to Tammy Wynette’s version.  For those who may not know of Wynette, she is heavy, heavy country … twang and all!  I survived a full 17 seconds before I felt ill and exited.  So now, here’s Paul …

Yesterday
The Beatles

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

Songwriters: Michel Jean Pierre Colombier / John Winston Lennon / Paul James Mccartney
Yesterday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Imagine ♫

Yes, I know I have played this one several times already, but please bear with me.  I tend to play this song when … well, when I need to … imagine.  When I need to imagine that there is hope for this world, when I need to believe that humans will eventually find their better side, will begin to care someday, care about others, care about the land, about all living creatures.  Today is the 19th anniversary of the horror that would become known as 9/11.  2,977 people died on that day, more than 400 of them police and firefighters.  Since then, hundreds more rescue workers have lost their lives as a result of the toxicity at Ground Zero. But, we lost more than human lives that day.  We lost … I think that was the day we all came to realize, though even today we would deny it, that “Peace on earth” is a myth that will never be realized.  We came to realize, I think, that … nothing would ever be quite the same again, and that no, it won’t all be okay.  But we want to still believe … I think we must still believe, else … what is the point in it all?  And so, my friends, I give you John Lennon and his view of … a better world.

Imagine
John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky

Imagine all the people
Living for today (ah ah ah)

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

Songwriters: John Winston Lennon
Imagine lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Downtown Music Publishing, BMG Rights Management

♫ A Day In The Life ♫

Often when I decide on a song to feature here, I struggle to find any pertinent trivia, but the opposite is true of tonight’s song!  In fact, my screen was overflowing with trivia about this song, its origins, its recording, reception and more.  I would need at least four posts to cover it all, so I shan’t even try, but will cover only a couple of the more interesting bits.  I do, however, encourage you to check out some of the trivia on either SongFacts or Rolling Stone … or both!

Released as the final track of the Beatles 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, this was credited to Lennon–McCartney, but the verses were mainly written by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney primarily contributing the song’s middle section. It is widely regarded as one of the finest and most important works in popular music history.

Interestingly, this song did not chart in either the UK or the U.S.

A 41-piece orchestra played on this song. The musicians were told to attend the session dressed formally. When they got there, they were presented with party novelties such as false noses, party hats, and gorilla-paw gloves to wear, which made it clear this was not going to be a typical session! The orchestra was conducted by Paul McCartney, who told them to start with the lowest note of their instruments and gradually play to the highest.

This was recorded in three sessions: first the basic track, then the orchestra, then the last note was dubbed in.  That final chord was produced by all four Beatles and George Martin banging on three pianos simultaneously. As the sound diminished, the engineer boosted to faders. The resulting note lasts 42 seconds; the studio air conditioners can be heard toward the end as the faders were pushed to the limit to record it.

The beginning of this song was based on two stories John Lennon read in the Daily Mail newspaper: Guinness heir Tara Browne dying when he smashed his lotus into a parked van, and an article in the UK Daily Express in early 1967 which told of how the Blackburn Roads Surveyor had counted 4000 holes in the roads of Blackburn and commented that the volume of material needed to fill them in was enough to fill the Albert Hall.

And on that note, I’ll leave you to listen to the song, then check out the rest of the trivia on the two links I provided at the beginning!

A Day in the Life
The Beatles

“Dub the mic on the piano quite low this
Just keeping it like maracas, you know
You know those old pianos”

“Ok, we’re on”

“Sugarplum fairy, sugarplum fairy”

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

“Five, six, seven, eight, nine
Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen
Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen
Twenty”

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
Made my way upstairs and had a smoke
And everybody spoke and I went into a dream

“Oh shit”

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

“See the worst thing about doing this
Doing something like this
Is I think that at first people sort of are a bit suspicious
‘You know, come on, what are you up to?’

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
A Day in the Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ In My Life ♫ (Redux)

Sorry folks, but tonight has to be a redux night, for I am so exhausted as to be nearly sick, so I am just going to bed.  But … I last played this one in 2018, so most of you have forgotten, right?  Back then, it was one of my better received music posts, with only one or two negative comments. 


I was not quite 13 years old when The Beatles made their U.S. debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on 23 February 1964.

Frankly, I was not all that impressed.  BUT … my parents hated them on sight, so that was good enough reason for me to become an instant fan!  (Yes, I was a brat even back then!)  Though not a huge fan, they had a number of songs that definitely ranked among my favourites.  Probably my #1 favourite is Blackbird, both for the tune and the meaning behind the lyrics.  But, I just played Blackbird on this blog back in September, and I have a standard to uphold, y’know!  So, tonight I decided on another that was among my faves, In My Life.

Lennon book imageReleased on the 1965 album Rubber Soul, this song is an autobiographical song about John Lennon’s life. He wrote most of the lyrics after being asked why a book he wrote, In His Own Write, revealed more about him than his songs did.

The lyrics about friends refer to Stu Sutcliffe, an early Beatle and great friend of John’s who died in 1962, and another friend named Pete Shotton. Lennon also thought of his Aunt Mimi and wife Cynthia, as well as other friends. One of the most beautiful Beatles songs, John called it “A little piece of art work.”

There is controversy over how involved McCartney was in writing this song. Lennon claimed in later interviews that he wrote the whole thing, while McCartney claimed it was an equal collaboration. In 2018, a Harvard statistician pegged it as a Lennon composition.
This was voted the best song of all time by a panel of songwriters in a 2000 Mojo magazine poll. The panelists included McCartney, Brian Wilson, Lamont Dozier, and Carole King.

In My Life
The Beatles

There are places I’ll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life– I love you more

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
In My Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Penny Lane ♫

This isn’t my favourite Beatles song, but it’s not a bad little song … kind of fun, actually … and the tune is catchy enough to stick in my mind for a day or so.  I have no idea how it got there today, but I woke with this going through my head (only with my own lyrics, of course!), and it has stuck with me all day.  So … what else could I do but share it and exorcise the tune from my own head?

Paul McCartney was sitting at a bus shelter waiting for John Lennon to meet him on Penny Lane, a street near their houses in Liverpool, England. While sitting there Paul jotted down the things he saw, including a barber’s shop with pictures of its clients and a nurse selling poppies for Remembrance Day (November 11th, marking the day World War I officially ended). He later turned these images into the song we now know, which celebrates this time in his life.

Penny Lane evolved to accommodate the many tourists who visit, offering Beatles-themed dining and memorabilia. The barber’s shop mentioned in the song is still there, but most of the other places that show up in the lyric are long gone. The shelter in the middle of the roundabout where the nurse sells the poppies later become a restaurant named Sgt. Pepper’s Bistro, which has since closed. The street sign at the corner of Mossley Hill is the most popular photo op.

The piquant trumpet part was added after the rest of the song was finished. McCartney was watching the BBC when he saw a group called The New Philharmonia perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #2. He got the idea to add trumpet, and asked the group’s trumpet player, Dave Mason, to play on this track. Mason brought nine trumpets to the session, eventually deciding to use a B-flat piccolo trumpet.

There is no guitar on “Penny Lane”; John Lennon played piano and George Harrison played the conga drum.  The first time The Beatles appeared with facial hair was in the promotional film for this song. The clip shows the band on horseback, trotting around Angel Lane in London (not Penny Lane). By this time, the group had stopped touring, so the only way many fans could see them perform was on music videos like this one.  Street signs on Penny Lane in Liverpool began disappearing after this song was released. The town painted “Penny Lane” on buildings to avoid theft.

Penny Lane, released in 1967, was a #1 hit in the U.S., but never made it out of the #2 spot in the UK.

It’s been suggested that Liverpool’s Penny Lane was named after James Penny, an 18th century slave ship owner. During the protests following the killing of George Floyd, four signs on Penny Lane were spray-painted, with the word “racist” painted on the wall above one sign. Joe Anderson, the Mayor of Liverpool, said there was no evidence to suggest that the street is named after James Penny, explaining its moniker instead refers to a penny toll bridge that used to exist on the road.

Penny Lane
The Beatles

In Penny Lane, there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say, “Hello”

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
And little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mac
In the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It’s a clean machine

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer, meanwhile back
Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout
The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she’s in a play
She is anyway

In Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain, very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit, and meanwhile back
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
Penny Lane!

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Penny Lane lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Ebony and Ivory ♫

I am in a mood to end all moods tonight.  Not having slept much for the past three nights, and then being slapped in the face with the horrors that are happening all over this nation that I’m forced to remain in, I really want to bash some heads in.  I even yelled at the kitties!  In this mood, there are only a few songs that will soothe the savage beast within me, and this is my top pick.

piano-keysPaul McCartney wrote this song, saying that the message was “that people of all types could live together.”  He liked the piano analogy, since you can play using just the white keys or just the black keys, but to make great music, you have to combine them.  So true.

McCartney started recording this as a solo effort, but then got the idea to do it as a duet with Stevie Wonder. A demo made its way to Wonder, and he agreed to record it, standing wholeheartedly behind the message in the song. It was issued as a single and appeared on McCartney’s 1982 album Tug Of War.

This was Stevie Wonder’s first #1 single in the UK. His only other was I Just Called To Say I Love You in 1984.

Listen to the words, feel the camaraderie between these two men, feel the love … share the love, spread the love.  Love knows no colour boundaries, and neither should we.

Ebony & Ivory
Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad in everyone
When we learn to live, we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

We all know
That people are the same wherever you go
There is good and bad, mmm, in everyone
We learn to live when we learn to give each other
What we need to survive
Together alive

Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh Lord, why don’t we?

Songwriters: Mccartney Paul James
Ebony & Ivory lyrics © MPL COMMUNICATIONS INC

♫ Norwegian Wood ♫ (Redux)

Day #5 of Beatles Week, and since a couple of people mentioned this one, I thought it only right to give it a slot.

A bit of interesting history accompanies this one …

This was the first pop song to use a sitar – George Harrison played it. Harrison was new to the sitar and took many takes to get it right. He bought the instrument, which he described as “crummy,” and taught himself to play. It was David Crosby of The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills & Nash who had introduced Harrison to the sitar shortly after the folk musician Shawn Phillips had shown him the basic steps. A few months later, Harrison studied the sitar with Indian musician Ravi Shankar, who helped Harrison explore Eastern music and religion.

John Lennon, who wrote the song, explained why it was decided to use the sitar on this song …

“I think it was at the studio. George had just got the sitar and I said ‘Could you play this piece?’ We went through many different sort of versions of the song, it was never right and I was getting very angry about it, it wasn’t coming out like I said. They said, ‘Well just do it how you want to do it’ and I said, ‘Well I just want to do it like this.’ They let me go and I did the guitar very loudly into the mike and sang it at the same time and then George had the sitar and I asked him could he play the piece that I’d written, you know, dee diddley dee diddley dee, that bit, and he was not sure whether he could play it yet because he hadn’t done much on the sitar but he was willing to have a go, as is his wont, and he learned the bit and dubbed it on after. I think we did it in sections.”

Paul McCartney said he came up with the title, inspired by the Norwegian Wood furniture in the Asher household, where he was staying.

But the trivia I thought the most intriguing was what John Lennon said about the writing of the song …

“I was trying to write about an affair without letting my wife know I was having one. I was sort of writing from my experiences – girl’s flats, things like that. I was very careful and paranoid because I didn’t want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household. I’d always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair, but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn’t tell. But I can’t remember any specific woman it had to do with.”

Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
The Beatles

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me
She showed me her room
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn’t a chair

I sat on a rug biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked
In the morning and started to laugh
I told her I didn’t
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul Mccartney
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Something ♫

Day #4 of Beatles’ Week …

This was the only song written by George Harrison released as a single by The Beatles.  Harrison wrote this during a break while they were working on The White Album. It was not recorded in time for the album, so Harrison gave this to Joe Cocker, but Cocker didn’t release it until after The Beatles did.

This seemed to be inspired by Harrison’s wife, Pattie, but he claimed he did not have anyone in mind when he wrote it. In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote:

“George wrote a song called ‘Something.’ He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions. George’s favorite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen. But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.”

Harrison came up with the title and the first line after listening to a James Taylor song called Something In The Way She Moves.

There are over 200 cover versions of this song on record, making it The Beatles’ 2nd most covered song, after Yesterday, which has … wait for it … over 1,600!!!  The question here becomes, is there anyone who hasn’t covered Yesterday?

Frank Sinatra called this “The greatest love song ever written.” He often performed it in the ’70s.  High praise indeed!

The video is from the promotional clip for Something that was shot in late October 1969, not long after Lennon privately announced that he was leaving the band. By this time, the individual Beatles had grown apart and so the film consisted of separate clips of each Beatle walking around his home, accompanied by his wife, edited together. The four segments were edited and compiled into a single film clip by Neil Aspinall.

Something
The Beatles

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me

I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me

Don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around, now it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me

I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Songwriter(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) George Martin