♫ Daydream Believer & I Wanna Be Free ♫

This is a redux of a post from February 2019, a day after the death of Peter Tork of the Monkees.  No, he didn’t die again, but I was looking for a Monkees song to play, as I got a subtle hint from Clive a few days ago and you know I aim to please (within reason, that is)!


I had a Van Morrison song picked out for tonight until I heard the news that Peter Tork of the Monkees had died today after a 10-year battle with cancer.  Our friend Ellen sometimes gives me a bit of gentle ribbing when I fail to make note of certain important dates such as the anniversary of a favoured artist’s death, birthday, or date they last cut their toenails, so I knew I needed to do a tribute to Mr. Tork tonight.

peter-tork (1)

Peter Tork — Then and Now

According to Wikipedia …

The Monkees were a made-for-TV musical group whose comedic high jinks and misadventures were fashioned after the Beatles’ classic films A Hard Day’s Night and Help!

Their show debuted in 1966 and lasted only two seasons. But it did win an Emmy in 1967 for outstanding comedy series. The Monkees became overnight stars, producing a series of No. 1 hits such as “Last Train to Clarksville,” “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer.” Their record sales in 1967 surpassed the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined.

I was never a huge Monkees fan, but they had a few songs that appealed to me.  I had a friend in high school, however, that was so enamoured of Mickey Dolenz that she named her first child Mickey, even though it was a girl. Tonight, I am breaking my tradition of playing only a single song, and playing two.  One, Daydream Believer, was/is their signature song, and another, I Wanna Be Free, is one that I especially like and that seemed a fitting tribute, somehow, to the death of one of their members.  Another band member, Davy Jones, died in February 2012 of a heart attack.

*Note:  Both sets of lyrics follow the videos

And so, in honour of Peter Tork …


Daydream Believer
The Monkees

Oh, I could hide ‘neath the wings
Of the bluebird as she sings
The six-o’clock alarm would never ring
But six rings and I rise
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes
The shaving razor’s cold and it stings

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

You once thought of me
As a white knight on his steed
Now you know how happy I can be
Oh, our good time starts and ends
Without all I want to spend
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up sleepy Jean
Oh, what can it mean to a
Daydream believer and a
Homecoming queen?

Cheer up, sleepy Jean

Songwriters: John Stewart
Daydream Believer lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


I Wanna Be Free
The Monkees

I wanna be free
Like the bluebirds flying by me
Like the waves out on the blue sea
If your love has to tie me
Don’t try me, say good-bye
I wanna be free

Don’t say you love me, say you like me
But when I need you beside me
Stay close enough to guide me
Confide in me, whoa-oh-oh

I wanna hold your hand
Walk along the sand
Laughing in the sun
Always having fun
Doing all those things
Without any strings to tie me down
I wanna be free

Like the warm September wind, babe
Say you’ll always be my friend, babe
We can make it to the end, babe
Again, babe, I’ve gotta say
I wanna be free
I wanna be free
I wanna be free

Songwriters: Bobby Hart / Tommy Boyce
I Wanna Be Free 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

♫ No Matter What ♫ (Redux)

I played this one back in 2018, and again two years later.  I rather like it, so I’m playing it again tonight, for I’m too exhausted to go in search of something new.  Perhaps tomorrow …


This one is a little off the beaten path, so some may not remember it.  It never got above #5 on the UK charts, and #8 in the US.  It did better, however, in South Africa where it hit #1 for a brief time.  It’s one of those that I don’t think about often, but about twice a year, for no discernible reason, it pops into my head and stays for a day or two.  I like the rhythm, but as with most songs, just tonight I discovered that I had been singing the lyrics all wrong!  I’ve been singing “Down by the ol’ mill stream, be a part of it all”, when in fact it is “Knock down the old grey wall, and be a part of it all”.  Sigh.  deaf

The song was recorded by the band Badfinger in April 1970 at Abbey Road Studios under the Beatles’ label, Apple Records.  Some actually thought it was the Beatles when they first heard it, and Peter Ham actually used one of George Harrison’s Gibson guitars on this.

This song is also noted for its false ending, after the final chorus, where, after a short pause, the song repeats the last line twice before its final ending chord.

No Matter What
Badfinger

No matter what you are
I will always be with you
Doesn’t matter what you do girl, oh girl with you
No matter what you do
I will always be around

Won’t you tell me what you found girl, oh girl won’t you
Knock down the old grey wall, and be a part of it all
Nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to do
If you would give me all, as I would give it to you
Nothing would be, nothing would be, nothing would be

No matter where you go
There will always be a place
Can’t you see in my face girl, oh girl don’t you
Knock down the old grey wall, and be a part of it all
Nothing to say, nothing to see, nothing to do
If you would give me all, as I would give it to you
Nothing would be, nothing would be, nothing would be

No matter what you are
I will always be with you
Doesn’t matter what you do girl, oh girl want you
Oh girl, you girl, want you
Oh girl, you girl, want you

Songwriters: Peter William Ham
No Matter What lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Broken Wings ♫ (Redux)

I was hoping to play something new, something I hadn’t played yet, but alas … this one crossed my radar and rather hovered there with its wings vibrating, begging to be played yet again.  What was I to do?  So … I hope you enjoy!  I promise something new before the end of the week!


All it takes sometimes is a single word to put a song into my head … are you guys that way?  Anyway, last night I heard mention of a bird with a broken wing, and that was it … immediately this song jumped into my head and refuses to leave until I share it.

Released in 1985, this song was inspired by a book the lyricist John Lang read called The Broken Wings, by the Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran. The book, which was written in 1912, is a story of a love that is doomed by social convention.

Its theme is echoed in this song: picking up the pieces of your life and moving on. There is a note of heartbreak, however, as the singer is asking the girl to spread her wings and fly away, hoping that love will bring her back.

The line, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” also appears in The Beatles song Blackbird, another of my favourites.

John Lang wrote this song with Mr. Mister frontman Richard Page and guitarist Steve George. According to Page, they were at his home in California when the three of them came up with the song in about 20 minutes and recorded it on Page’s tape machine.  The band, Mr. Mister, is another that I am not very familiar with, couldn’t name another song they have done, but I’ve always liked this one for some reason.

Broken Wings
Mr. Mister

Baby, I don’t understand
Why we can’t just hold on
To each other’s hands
This time will be the last
I fear unless I make it all too clear
I need you so

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings

Baby, I think tonight
We can take what was wrong
And make it right
Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood makes me whole
I need you so

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings

You’ve got to learn to fly, learn to live, love so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in yeah, yeah

Let us in
Let us in

Baby, it’s all I know that you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You got to learn to fly, learn to live and love so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up for us and let us in
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: John Ross Lang / Richard James Page / Steve George
Broken Wings lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

♫ Norwegian Wood ♫ (Redux)

I promised a Beatles song to our friend Clive, and I spent a good 20 minutes pouring over the choices, trying to figure out which one he might like best.  I really wanted to play Nowhere Man, but I had a feeling everyone might like this one better, based on past experience!  And so, this one’s for you, Clive!


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

♫ A Taste Of Honey ♫ (Redux)

It has been a dark day, newswise, and I determined that I would find a song that would make me smile, for my face seemed to be permanently contorted into a scowl by evening.  An aside … I had thought to do Great Balls of Fire here today, as something of a tribute to Jerry Lee Lewis who died yesterday, but … after reading a bio about Mr. Lewis, I couldn’t, in all good conscience, do it.  He was rather a nasty piece of work throughout his life, and … I just couldn’t.  Then, I thought perhaps something by Barbra Streisand, but nothing put a smile on my face until … HERB ALPERT & THE TIJUANA BRASS!  A few centuries ago when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.  They were by no means the first, nor the last to record this song, but theirs is my favourite version.  As I began listening to the song, I heard a crackling sound … it was the corners of my mouth turning upward for the first time all day!

Songwriters Bobby Scott and Ric Marlow wrote this as the theme to a play of the same name by Shelagh Delaney that was made into a movie in 1961. This instrumental version was recorded by piano player Martin Denny and won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Theme.

In 1966, Alpert received Grammys with his version of the song in three different categories: Best Instrumental Arrangement; Best Instrumental Performance, Non-Jazz; and Record of the Year. In addition, Larry Levine (the engineer for this song) received a Grammy with Alpert’s version for Best Engineered Recording – Non-Classical.

This song has been recorded both as an instrumental and as a vocal by so many artists it would make your head spin.  The Beatles recorded it in 1962, and Tony Bennett in 1964.  Acker Bilk recorded an instrumental version in 1963 that reached #16 in the UK. Barbra Streisand also recorded it in 1963.  I had never heard The Beatles version, so tonight I listened to it, thinking I might play it alongside Herb Alpert’s.  Um … no.  I like The Beatles, mind you, but … not their rendition of this song.  I also listened to Streisand’s version, and again, while I love Barbra … no, just no.  And so, tonight you get … Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass …

♫ Paperback Writer ♫

You might wonder why I’m playing this one today when I only played it just over a year ago.  Well … because … well … just because … we don’t all live in a yellow submarine, but if we did, we wouldn’t have to worry when geese flew overhead. (And if that makes a bit of sense to you, then welcome to my world and you are probably in deep trouble!)


Paperback Writer was largely written by Paul McCartney (though the song is credited to McCartney-Lennon), who based the lyrics on a challenge made to him by his Aunt Lil. McCartney recalled …

“The idea’s a bit different. Years ago, my Auntie Lil said to me, ‘Why do you always write songs about love all the time? Can’t you ever write about a horse or the summit conference or something interesting?’ So, I thought, ‘All right, Auntie Lil.’ And recently, we’ve not been writing all our songs about love.”

According to SongFacts …

Paul McCartney wrote this after helping some friends, including John Dunbar, set up the Indica Bookshop (in the basement was the Indica Gallery, where John Lennon eventually met Yoko Ono), in January of 1966. Paul was the first customer of the shop.

This song was a sort of an homage to lots of authors, including John Lennon, who had already written two books: In His Own Write and A Spaniard In The Works. He also was thinking of the author Martin Amis, whom he had just developed a passion for. 

The song is sung from the perspective of an author soliciting a publisher. A “paperback” is cheaper than a traditional hardcover book, and at the time was considered of lower quality and written for mass consumption. The implication is that the writer isn’t all that good.

The first #1 hit for The Beatles that was not about love.

John Lennon and George Harrison sang the French nursery rhyme “Frére Jacques” in the background. The Frére Jacques part has nothing to do with John Lennon – Paul just thought it was clever – but it does translate to “Brother John.”

Check out the charts …

I don’t think I’ve seen a song with so many #1 slots!  Okay, enough babbling … this one’s for you, Sir Roger!

Paperback Writer
The Beatles

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job
So I wanna be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

It’s a dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand
His son is working for the Daily Mail
It’s a steady job
But he wants to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

Paperback writer (paperback writer)

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few
I’ll be writing more in a week or two
I could make it longer if you like the style
I can change it ’round
And I wanna be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
If you must return it you can send it here
But I need a break
And I wanna be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

Paperback writer (paperback writer)
Paperback writer (paperback writer)
Paperback writer (paperback writer)
Paperback writer (paperback writer)
Paperback writer (paperback writer)

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

The Beatles – Paperback Writer Lyrics | Genius Lyricshttps://genius.com › The-beatles-paperback-writer-lyrics
Paperback Writer Lyrics: Paperback writer (writer, writer) / Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? / It took me years to write, will you take a look?

♫ The Long And Winding Road♫ (Redux)

This is a redux from one I played back in 2020 … eons ago! 

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

♫ Eleanor Rigby ♫

I haven’t played this one for a couple of years, and I know it is among the favourites of at least two of my long-time friends here on Filosofa’s Word, so …


Paul McCartney wrote most of this song. He got the name “Eleanor” from actress Eleanor Bron, who appeared in the 1965 Beatles film Help!. “Rigby” came to him when he was in Bristol, England and spotted a store: Rigby and Evens Ltd Wine and Spirit Shippers. He liked the name “Eleanor Rigby” because it sounded natural and matched the rhythm he wrote.

McCartney explained at the time that his songs came mostly from his imagination. Regarding this song, he said …

“It just came. When I started doing the melody I developed the lyric. It all came from the first line. I wonder if there are girls called Eleanor Rigby?”

McCartney wasn’t sure what the song was going to be about until he came up with the line, “Picks up the rice in a church where a wedding has been.” That’s when he came up with the story of an old, lonely woman. The lyrics, “Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door” are a reference to the cold-cream she wears in an effort to look younger.

The song tells the story of two lonely people. First, we meet a churchgoing woman named Eleanor Rigby, who is seen cleaning up rice after a wedding. The second verse introduces the pastor, Father McKenzie, whose sermons “no one will hear.” This could indicate that nobody in coming to his church, or that his sermons aren’t getting through to the congregation on a spiritual level. In the third verse, Eleanor dies in the church and Father McKenzie buries her.

I was sitting at the piano when I thought of it. The first few bars just came to me, and I got this name in my head … “Daisy Hawkins picks up the rice in the church”. I don’t know why. I couldn’t think of much more so I put it away for a day. Then the name “Father McCartney” came to me, and all the lonely people. But I thought that people would think it was supposed to be about my Dad sitting knitting his socks. Dad’s a happy lad. So I went through the telephone book and I got the name “McKenzie”.

Eleanor-RigbyLiverpool Echo newspaper commissioned this statue of Eleanor Rigby. It was sculpted by singer and London native Tommy Steele and unveiled on December 3, 1982. It is dedicated to “all the lonely people.” Items to note in the statue: a four leaf clover (for Good Luck), a page of the Bible (for Spiritual Guidance), soccer cleats (for Fun and Sport), a comic book (for Comedy and Adventure) and a sonnet (for Love). It can be found near the corner of Matthew and Stanley Streets.

Eleanor Rigby
The Beatles

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby
Picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been
Lives in a dream
Waits at the window
Wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door
Who is it for?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Father McKenzie
Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear
No one comes near
Look at him working
Darning his socks in the night when there’s nobody there
What does he care?

All the lonely people
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people
Where do they all belong?

Ah, look at all the lonely people
Ah, look at all the lonely people

Eleanor Rigby
Died in the church and was buried along with her name
Nobody came
Father McKenzie
Wiping the dirt from his hands as he walks from the grave
No one was saved

All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

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

♫ Fool On The Hill ♫ (Redux)

Last night I was, for reasons that shall remain undisclosed, literally kicking myself and calling myself a ‘fool’.  And as I did so, perhaps it was the kicking and head smacking, a number of songs with ‘Fool’ in the title came to mind.  Me, myself, and I pondered a few, such as Elvis Presley’sFools Rush In”, The Doobie Brothers “What a Fool Believes”, and Sammy Davis Jr.’s “What Kind of Fool Am I”.  But, for reasons unknown to me, myself chose this one, the Beatles’ “Fool On The Hill”.


Written and sung by Paul McCartney, it was released in 1967.  I find it interesting that a year later Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 recorded the song and their version fared much better than the one by The Beatles.  While I like Sérgio Mendes’ music, I much prefer The Beatles’ version of this particular song.  Nonetheless, I shall play both and let you guys choose your favourite.

The story, according to Alistair Taylor’s book, Yesterday, goes …

An event which prompted this song happened when Paul was walking his dog, Martha, on Primrose Hill one morning. As he watched the sun rise, he noticed that Martha was missing. Paul turned around to look for his dog, and there a man stood, who appeared on the hill without making a sound. The gentleman was dressed respectably, in a belted raincoat. Paul knew this man had not been there seconds earlier as he had looked in that direction for Martha. Paul and the stranger exchanged a greeting, and this man then spoke of what a beautiful view it was from the top of this hill that overlooked London. Within a few seconds, Paul looked around again, and the man was gone. He had vanished as he had appeared.

A couple of the music critics really did not like this song at all …

  • “Possibilities in this song outweigh its substance—it’s the most unworthy Beatles standard since ‘Michelle.'” — Tim Riley, NPR contributor
  • “… shows signs of becoming a favorite of the Simon & Garfunkel crowd and the transcendental meditators, who deserve it. A callow rendering of the outcast-visionary theme, it may be the worst song the Beatles have ever recorded.” — Robert Christgau, Esquire magazine

The Fool on the Hill
The Beatles

Day after day, alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still
Nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

His head in a cloud
The man with a foolish grin is talking perfectly loud
But nobody wants to hear him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Fool on the Hill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC