♫ Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday ♫ (Redux)

Tonight, I am re-playing one that I played three years ago, a Stevie Wonder tune.  It’s not that I don’t have any ideas for new songs — I have a list as long as my arm!  And it’s not that I’m too tired or lazy to do a new post — sleep is a long way off yet.  Rather, it is that I’ve been in a rabbit hole for days now, and tonight I thought to myself, “I want me some Stevie Wonder!”  I thought Stevie would bring a bit of a smile to this tired, empty heart.  Yet, rather than a smile, it brought tears.  But nonetheless, it is a beautiful song and I do love me some Stevie, even when he makes me cry. 


It would be difficult to choose a single favourite musician, but if you held my feet to the fire, it would most likely be Stevie Wonder.  Just watching this man perform gives me chills, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard music by him that I did not like.  Not too long ago I did a post with one of my absolute favourites pairing Stevie Wonder with Paul McCartney in Ebony and Ivory — one that I am likely to repeat from time-to-time, for the meaning of the song should never be forgotten.

Blind since birth, Stevie Wonder was considered a child prodigy and signed with Motown at age 11.  He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists.  He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

This song, Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday, was released in 1969.  It reached #7 on the pop singles chart and become Wonder’s ninth Top 10 single of the 1960s. The single fared even better on the UK singles chart where it reached #2 in November 1969, and at that time, it was Wonder’s biggest UK hit.

Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday
Stevie Wonder

What happened to the world we knew
When we would dream and scheme
And while the time away

Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Where did it go that yester glow
When we could feel

The wheel of life turn our way
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
I had a dream so did you life
Was warm and love was true
Two kids who followed all the rules
Yester fools and now
Now it seems those yester dreams
Were just a cruel

And foolish game we used to play
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
When I recall what we had
I feel lost I feel sad with nothing but
The memory of yester love and now
Now it seems those yester dreams
Were just a cruel

And foolish game we had to play
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
Sing with me
Yester-me yester-you yesterday
One more time

Songwriters: Bryan Wells / Ronald Miller / Ronald N. Miller
Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Blackbird ♫ (Redux)

On Wednesday’s ‘good people’ post in conjunction with Black History Month, I shined a light on Daisy Bates, a heroine of the Civil Rights era, the woman who was a big part of helping the Little Rock Nine break down the barriers of segregation in schools in Little Rock, Arkansas.  The very next day, our friend Keith published a post about this very song by The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, who says the struggles of African-Americans, and particularly the Little Rock Nine, inspired him to write Blackbird.  Somehow, it seemed fitting to redux this one at this time … I hope you’ll agree.


Paul McCartney wrote this about the civil rights struggle for African-Americans after reading about race riots in the US. He penned it in his kitchen in Scotland not long after Little Rock Nine, when the federal courts forced the racial desegregation of the Arkansas capital’s school system.Little Rock Nine“I was sitting around with my acoustic guitar and I’d heard about the civil rights troubles that were happening in the ’60s in Alabama, Mississippi, Little Rock in particular,” he told GQ. “I just thought it would be really good if I could write something that if it ever reached any of the people going through those problems, it might give them a little bit of hope. So, I wrote ‘Blackbird.'”

McCartney-meets-little-rock-nine-2

McCartney with two of the Little Rock Nine

Blackbird
Paul McCartney

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free

Black-bird fly
Black-bird fly, into the light of a dark black night

Black-bird fly
Black-bird fly, into the light of a dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise
you were only waiting for this moment to arise
you were only waiting for this moment to arise

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Blackbird lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ 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

♪ 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

♫ The Long And Winding Road♫

No redux tonight!  I finally finished my morning post and responding to comments early enough to have the energy left to properly research a song!

Tonight’s selection is strange, in that it is a Beatles recording, yet while it reached the #1 spot in the U.S., it did not chart in the Beatles home country, the UK!  For me, at least, this is one of those that can get stuck in my head for days at a time, for I mostly love the tune, never knew the full lyrics until tonight!

From their 1970 album Let It Be, this was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The road McCartney is talking about is the B842 which runs down the east coast of Kintyre and on into Campbeltown near his Scottish farmhouse.  Says McCartney …

“I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles. I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.”

Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had Without Love (There is Nothing) set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained:

“I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him When are you going to write me a song then Paul? He said, aye I will then. Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

The Beatles recorded this in January 1969 as a fairly simple ballad. By 1970, The Beatles were breaking up and and Phil Spector was brought in to go through the tapes and produce the album. Spector was known for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, where he added many instruments and layered the tracks to create a very full sound. On this track, he took out most of The Beatles instruments and added a string section and choir (The Mike Sammes Singers). The result was very different from what the group originally had in mind.

Even though he wrote this song, Paul McCartney didn’t go to the sessions where Spector produced it. When McCartney heard the results, he made it clear that he hated what Spector did to his song, and tried to get the original version, which was mixed by engineer Glyn Johns, on the album. The band was already falling apart, and this caused further turmoil within the group, as Harrison and Lennon both supported Spector. Paul has not changed his stance over the years, and still believes Spector butchered it. Lennon and Harrison felt otherwise, and each had Spector produce their next solo efforts. Lennon said of Spector’s work on Let It Be:

“Phil was given the s–ttiest load of badly recorded s–t with a lousy feeling to it, and he made something of it.”

Some of the many artists who covered this song: Tony Bennett, George Benson, Cilla Black, Ray Charles, Cher, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Cissy Houston, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Liberace, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, Bill Medley, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ocean, Stu Phillips, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Kevin Rowland, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams and Nancy Wilson.  Whew … that’s quite a list!

In an interview shortly before he became British Prime Minister, after five years as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He explained:

“It has a wonderful melody and emotion and pretty much sums up the life of the Leader of the Opposition.”

The Long and Winding Road
The Beatles

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here?
Let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Anyway, you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

And still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Long and Winding Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ 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

♫ Come And Get It ♫

Tonight’s music post is brought to you thanks to blogging friend Michael Seidel!  I was drawing a blank and, being tired and somewhat cranky, was about to give up when I popped into Michael’s place where he was playing this song!  Thanks Michael!

Paul McCartney wrote this for the 1969 movie The Magic Christian, starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr.  McCartney recorded the demo of this, and he played all the instruments himself. This was done prior to a Beatles recording session at Abbey Road studios. Paul’s demo sounds exactly like Badfinger’s recording, which he produced. In The Beatles Anthology book, Paul mentions that Badfinger wanted to do the song more in their own style, but he insisted they do it the same as on his demo. He told them that he knew this would be a hit song as long as they played it just as he had.  And it was a hit, reaching #4 in the UK and Canada, and #7 in the U.S.

This was Badfinger’s first hit single. They were the first group to sign with Apple Records, which is The Beatles’ label.  The band’s future wasn’t too rosy, though.  Badfinger had a few other hits in the early ’70s, but in 1974 Warner Brothers Records, which signed them when Apple folded, sued the band and kept them from recording. One member of the group, Pete Ham, killed himself a year later, and another, Tom Evans, committed suicide in 1983.

Come And Get It
Badfinger

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast
If you want it, any time, I can give it

But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last
Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
If you want it, here it is, come and get it
Mm mm mm mm, make your mind up fast

If you want it, any time, I can give it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it may not last

Did I hear you say that there must be a catch?
Will you walk away from a fool and his money?
Sonny!

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast

Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh
Fool and his money
Sonny!

If you want it, here it is, come and get it
But you’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast
You’d better hurry ’cause it’s goin’ fast.

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Paul James Mccartney
Come And Get It – Re-Recording 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

♫ We Are The World ♫ (Redux)

Concentrating on my ‘good people’ post this evening, I hadn’t even given a thought to my music post.  But, after finishing the ‘good people’, and turning to comments from yesterday’s posts, I came across one from friend John Howell that led me to this song.  I’ve posted it before, and will do so again, for it carries a message that we need to be reminded of over and over.  John provided a tidbit that I wasn’t aware of …

“I loved the Michael Jackson comment to all the stars that were in studio for the “We are the World” recording session. He said that egos were to be left at the door and that anyone who had a problem with that would be driven home…by Stevie Wonder.”

I don’t imagine too many egos were on display after that!!!

This song … it is what we need today … and every day.  Please listen and enjoy.


Hello my friends.  With a heavy heart tonight, I was not going to do a music post, but two special people convinced me, without realizing that they had a thing to do with it, to do one … and this one in particular.  I shall explain …

A few nights ago, I was chatting via email with our friend Ellen, and she noted that while sometimes one doesn’t feel that they have a song in their heart, they should … sing anyway!  Tonight, I felt as if I had no song in my heart, and really, I just wanted to go to bed.  But, somewhere in my head, I heard Ellen saying, “C’mon, Filosofa … sing anyway!”

And the second motivator was another dear friend, Dutch (Larry Woller) who posted on his own blog this song … We Are The World … and everything just suddenly clicked into place.

This was a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries.

Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote this song, and Quincy Jones produced it. This talented trio was perfect for the job: Quincy Jones was the hottest producer around, and his Rolodex (what would now be a contact list) was filled with the biggest names in music; Richie had written songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100 each of the previous seven years (“We Are The World” made it eight); Michael Jackson had the biggest album of 1984 with Thriller (produced by Jones) and was the biggest star in the world.

The USA For Africa project began as an idea calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. In late December 1984, looking for artists to participate, Belafonte called Ken Kragen, who managed an impressive roster of talent, including Lionel Richie. Kragen convinced Belafonte that they could raise more money and make a bigger impact with an original song; Belafonte agreed and Richie came on board to help.

Kragen asked Quincy Jones to produce, and Jones enlisted Michael Jackson. Richie got Stevie Wonder involved, and from there, word got out and many members of the music industry signed on to help. The project from conception to recording took about a month.

This all-star charity single was inspired by Band Aid, the British group Bob Geldof put together the year before to record Do They Know It’s Christmas?. Band Aid, which included Bono, Phil Collins, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, and Sting, served as a template, showing how a disparate group of famous artists could come together in one day to record a song.

The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Billy Joel, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jarreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Michael Jackson (again), Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles were also featured on the song and given close-ups in the video.

Harry Belafonte, who had the original idea for the project, was in the chorus but didn’t get a solo, joining Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Bob Geldof, Sheila E., and Waylon Jennings as backing singers.

Quincy Jones was responsible for managing the egos of all the stars. It went very smoothly considering some very famous people did not get to sing a line. Most of the singers knew Jones personally and respected his wishes that they check their egos at the door.

Just goes to show what we can accomplish when people of all sorts come together for a common cause.  I think … though the cause is different … this song has just as much meaning for our world today as it did when it was released in 1985, some 34 years ago, don’t you?

We Are the World
U.S.A. for Africa

There comes a time
When we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
Oh, and it’s time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on
Pretending day-by-day
That someone, somewhere soon make a change
We’re all a part of God’s great big family
And the truth, you know, love is all we need

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, send them your heart
So they know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
And so we all must lend a helping hand

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
Oh, there’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Well, well, well, well let us realize
Oh, that a change can only come
When we stand together as one, yeah, yeah, yeah

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world
We are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let’s start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day, so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There is a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

Oh, let me hear you!

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (said we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, come on now, let me hear you

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, yeah

We are the world (we are the world)
We are the children (we are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
And we’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones who’ll make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me

We are the world, we are the world (are the world)
We are the children, yes sir (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (so let’s start giving)

There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day, just you and me, ooh-hoo!

We are the world (dear God) (are the world)
We are the children (are the children)
We are the ones that make a brighter day so let’s start giving (all right, can you hear what I’m saying?)
There’s a choice we’re making, we’re saving our own lives

Songwriters: Michael Jackson / Lionel Richie
We Are the World lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc