Saturday, September 26, 2009


"Everyday" is a song written for Laura Elizabeth Coxon, by Charles Hardin (Buddy Holly) and Norman Petty, recorded as a single by Buddy Holly and the Crickets on May 29, 1957 and released on September 29, 1957. Holly plays acoustic guitar; drummer Jerry Allison slaps his hands on his lap for percussion; Joe B. Mauldin plays a standup acoustic bass; and producer Norman Petty's wife, Vi, plays the celeste (a keyboard instrument with a glockenspiel-like tone, used in such classical pieces as "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from The Nutcracker). The song length is an economical 2 minutes and 5 seconds. The song is ranked #236 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Beatles covered the song as part of their live repertoire from 1957 to 1962.

A cover version, recorded by James Taylor was released in 1985, becoming a huge AC hit, and performing moderately well on the Pop and Country charts. Don McLean also covered the song as did Erasure on their 2002 album Other People's Songs. John Denver and The Trashmen have also recorded it, as did indie rock band Rogue Wave. Rock band Pearl Jam performed a rendition live in Lubbock, Texas (Holly's birthplace). Also performed by Deep Purple live. A cover version was also recorded by hellogoodbye and released on their 2008 EP, Ukulele recordings. Phil Ochs covered a portion of the song as part of his 'Buddy Holly Medley' which appeared on 1974's Gunfight at Carnegie Hall LP.

The song has been featured in the 2003 movie Big Fish, in the 1997 cult film Gummo, in the season 4 episode of TV series Lost, "Cabin Fever", and in the movie Stand By Me. Rogue Wave's cover of "Everyday" also featured in the trailer for Anne Hathaway's 2008 film Rachel Getting Married. The group Fiction Family performed a cover of this song while on their original tour.


"Piggies" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript (1968)

(1) have you seen the Little Piggies crawling in the dirt?
and for all the little piggies life is getting worse -
always having dirt to play in about around in

(2) Have you seen the bigger Piggies in their startched [sic]
white shirts - and for all you can see the Bigger Piggies stirring up
the dirt - they all always have clean shirts - to play about around in

In their styes [sic] with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
what they need's a damn good whacking!


(3) Everywhere there's lots of Piggies Living Piggy Lives
You can see them out to dinner with their Piggy Wives
Holding Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon

(4) Everywhere there's lots of Piggies - playing Piggy Pranks
You can see them on there [sic] trotters - at the Piggy Banks
Paying Piggy thanks - too Thee Pig Brother!

As Released by the Beatles (1968)

Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt?
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts?
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around.
In their lives there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives.
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

One more time.

Friday, September 25, 2009

"Lady Madonna" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1968)

Lady Madonna, children at your feet
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.

Who finds the money when you pay the rent?
Did you think that money was heaven sent?

Friday night arrives without a suitcase
Sunday morning creeping like a nun
Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlace
See how they run.

Lady Madonna, baby at your breast
Wonders how you manage to feed the rest.

See how they run.

Lady Madonna, lying on the bed
Listen to the music playing in your head.

Tuesday afternoon is never-ending
Wednesday morning papers didn't come
Thursday night your stockings needed mending
See how they run.

Lady Madonna, children at your feet
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.

Beatle People: Helen Shapiro

Helen Shapiro (born 28 September 1946, Bethnal Green, London) is an English singer and actress. She is best known for her 1960s UK chart-toppers, "You Don't Know" and "Walkin' Back to Happiness."

Early life

Helen Shapiro was born at Bethnal Green Hospital in the East End district of Bethnal Green, London, England, and brought up in Clapton in the London borough of Hackney, where she attended the Clapton Park Comprehensive School. She is the granddaughter of Russian Jewish immigrants. Her parents were too poor to own a record player but they encouraged music in their home (Helen had to borrow a neighbour's player to hear her first single). Shapiro played banjo as a child and sang with her brother Ron occasionally in his youth club jazz group. She had a deep timbre to her voice, unusual in a girl not yet in her teens: school friends gave her the nickname "Foghorn."


In 1961, at the age of fourteen, she had two number one hits in the UK: "You Don't Know" and "Walkin' Back to Happiness"; and, indeed, her first four single releases all went into the top three of the UK Singles Chart. Her mature voice made her an overnight sensation, as well as the youngest female chart topper in the UK. At a mere 14 years and 316 days old when "You Don't Know" hit the top, she was nevertheless a year older than Frankie Lymon had been when "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" hit the UK number one slot in 1956.

Before she was sixteen years old, Shapiro had been voted Britain's 'Top Female Singer', and when The Beatles had their first national tour (The Helen Shapiro Tour) in 1963, it was as her supporting act. The Beatles even wrote the song "Misery" for her but, inexplicably, EMI decided not to record her singing it.

By the time she was in her late teens, however, her career as a pop singer was on the wane. Undaunted, she branched out as a performer in stage musicals, a jazz singer, (jazz being her first love musically), and more recently a gospel singer. She played the role of Nancy in Lionel Bart's musical, Oliver! in London's West End and has appeared in British television soap operas; in particular Albion Market where she played one of the main characters up to the time it was taken off-air in August 1986.

In August 1987 Shapiro became a committed Christian (Messianic believer). She has issued four Messianic albums since then, as well as appearing in a number of special Gospel Outreach evenings, singing and telling of how she found Jesus (Yeshua) as her Messiah.

Shapiro retired from show business at the end of 2002 to concentrate on her Gospel Outreach evenings. She is married to John Judd, an actor with numerous roles in British television and cinema.

Her autobiography, published in 1993, was entitled Walking Back to Happiness.

Shapiro is also mentioned in the BBC Television, science fiction comedy series Red Dwarf, because of her beehive hairstyle.


Chart singles

* "Don't Treat Me Like A Child" - 1961 - Number 3 UK
* "Walkin' Back to Happiness" - 1961 - Number 1 UK, Number 100 U.S.
* "You Don't Know" - 1961 - Number 1 UK
* "Tell Me What He Said" - 1962 - Number 2 UK
* "Let's Talk About Love" - 1962 - Number 23 UK
* "Little Miss Lonely" - 1962 - Number 8 UK
* "Keep Away From Other Girls" - 1962 - Number 40 UK
* "Queen For Tonight" - 1963 - Number 33 UK
* "Woe Is Me" - 1963 - Number 35 UK
* "Look Who It Is" - 1963 - Number 47 UK
* "No Trespassing" / "Not Responsible" - 1963 - Number 1 Australia
* "Fever" - 1964 - Number 38 UK


* 'Tops' With Me (Columbia) 1962 (SSX 1397/SCX 3428) - Number 2 UK
* Helen's Sixteen (Columbia) 1963 (SSX 1494/SCX 3470)
* Helen In Nashville (Columbia) 1963 (SSX 1567)
* Helen Hit's Out! (Columbia) 1964 (SSX 1661/SCX 3533)
* Hits and a Miss Helen Shapiro (EMI Encore) 1965 (ENC 20912)

All the above albums were released in (stereo) and (mono) apart from Helen In Nashville. These are her main albums from the peak of her popularity in the early 1960s from Abbey Road Studios.

Compilation albums

* The Very Best Of Helen Shapiro (EMI) 1974
* Straighten Up and Fly Right (Oval) 1983
* The Very Best Of Helen Shapiro (EMI) 2007


* Shapiro sang "Look Who It Is" on the UK television programme, Ready Steady Go! to John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison of The Beatles.
* Shapiro appeared in the pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk, at the Oldham Coliseum Theatre in 1983, and during her stay in the area, made a number of guest appearances at Bury Hebrew Congregation, Bury.


John Lennon: 1975

By Pete Hamill / June 5, 1975

What's your life like right now?

Well . . . Life: It's '75 now, isn't it? Well, I've just settled the Beatles settlement. It must've happened it the last month, took three years. [pause] And on this day that you've come here, I seem to have moved back in here. In the last three days. By the time this goes out, I don't know . . . That's a big change. Maybe that's why I'm sleeping funny. As a friend says, I went out for coffee and some papers and I didn't come back [chuckles]. Or vice versa: It's always written that way, y'know. All of us. You know, the guy walked. It's never that simple.

What did happen with you and Yoko? Who broke it up and how did you end up back together again?

Well, it's not a matter of who broke it up. It broke up. And why did we end up back together? [pompous voice] We ended up together again because it was diplomatically viable . . . come on. We got back together because we love each other.

I loved your line: "The separation didn't work out."

That's it. It didn't work out. And the reaction to the breakup was all that madness. I was like a chicken without a head.

What was the final Beatles settlement?

In a nutshell, what was arranged was that everybody gets their own individual monies. Even up till this year - till the settlement was signed - all the monies were going into one pot. All individual records, mine, Ringo's, Paul's - all into one big pot. It had to go through this big machinery and then come out to us, eventually. So now, even the old Beatle royalties, everything goes into four separate accounts instead of one big pot all the time. That's that. The rest of it was ground rules. Everybody said the Beatles've signed this paper, that means they're no longer tied in any way.
That's bullshit. We still own this thing called Apple. Which, you can explain, is a bank. A bank the money goes into. But there's still the entity itself known as the Beatles. The product, the name, the likeness, the Apple thing itself, which still exists, and we still have to communicate on it and make decisions on it and decide who's to run Apple and who's to do what. It's not as cut and dried as the papers said.

Do the old Beatles records still go in a pot?

No one of us can say to EMI, "Here's a new package of Beatle material." We still have to okay everything together, you know, 'cause that's the way we want it anyway.

There's still a good feeling among the guys?

Yeah, yeah. I talked to Ringo and George yesterday. I didn't talk to Paul 'cause he was asleep. George and Paul are talkin' to each other in L.A. now. There's nothin' going down between us. It's all in people's heads.

You went to one of George's concerts; what are your thoughts on his tour?

It wasn't the greatest thing in history. The guy went through some kind of mill. It was probably his turn to get smacked. When we were all together there was periods when the Beatles were in, the Beatles were out, no matter what we were doing. Now it's always the Beatles were great or the Beatles weren't great, whatever opinion people hold. There's a sort of illusion about it. But the actual fact was the Beatles were in for eight months, the Beatles were out for eight months. The public, including the media, are sometimes a bit sheeplike and if the ball starts rolling, well, it's just that somebody's in, somebody's out. George is out for the moment. And I think it didn't matter what he did on tour.

George told Rolling Stone that if you wanted the Beatles, go listen to Wings. It seemed a bit of a putdown.

I didn't see what George said, so I really don't have any comment. [pause] Band on the Run is a great album. Wings is almost as conceptual a group as Plastic Ono Band. Plastic Ono was a conceptual group, meaning whoever was playing was the band. And Wings keeps changing all the time. It's conceptual. I mean, they're backup men for Paul. It doesn't matter who's playing. You can call them Wings, but it's Paul McCartney music. And it's good stuff. It's good Paul music and I don't really see the connection.

What do you think of Richard Perry's work with Ringo?

I think it's great. Perry's great, Ringo's great, I think the combination was great and look how well they did together. There's no complaints if you're Number One.

George said at his press conference that he could play with you again but not with Paul. How do you feel?

I could play with all of them. George is entitled to say that, and he'll probably change his mind by Friday. You know, we're all human. We can all change our minds. So I don't take any of my statements or any of their statements as the last word on whether we will. And if we do, the newspapers will learn about it after the fact. If we're gonna play, we're just gonna play.

In retrospect, what do you think of the whole "Lennon Remembers" episode?

Well, the other guys, their reaction was public. Ringo made some sort of comment that was funny, which I can't remember, something like, "You've gone too far this time, Johnny." Paul said [stuffy voice], "Well, that's his problem." I can't remember what George said. I mean, they don't care, they've been with me for fifteen or twenty years, they know damn well what I'm like. It just so happens it was in the press. I mean, they know what I'm like. I'm not ashamed of it at all. I don't really like hurting people, but Jann Wenner questioned me when I was almost still in therapy and you can't play games. You're opened up. It was like he got me on an acid trip. Things come out. I got both reactions from that article. A lot of people thought it was right on. My only upset was Jann insisted on making a book out of it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Act Naturally"

"Act Naturally" is a song written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, originally recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, whose version reached number 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1963, his first chart-topper. In 2002, Shelly Fabian of ranked the song number 169 on her list of the Top 500 Country Music Songs.

The song has been covered by many other artists, including Loretta Lynn and The Beatles.

The song

Russell, originally from Oklahoma, was based in Fresno, California in the early 1960s. One night, some of his friends from Oklahoma planned to do a recording session in Los Angeles and asked him to join them. In order to do so, Russell had to break a date with his then-girlfriend. "When she asked me why I was going to L.A., I answered, 'They are going to put me in the movies and make a big star out of me.' We both laughed."

Thus inspired, Russell quickly came up with a concept for a love song based around his comment. He wrote it that day, and tried to teach it to the singer he was helping in Los Angeles, but he was unable to learn it. Russell then wanted to record it himself, but his then-producer turned it down, claiming that songs about the movies weren't hit material.

A full two years passed before anyone recorded "Act Naturally." "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get anyone interested in it," Russell said.

Buck Owens and The Buckaroos version

By 1963, Russell was writing with a woman named Voni Morrison, who also worked with a Bakersfield, California-based singer named Buck Owens. After Russell played "Act Naturally" for Morrison, she thought it would be a natural for Owens, and she told Russell that she could get him to record it. Because no one had yet recorded it, and Russell had an agreement with Morrison to share songwriting credits, he gave her partial credit, though her only role in the song was submitting it to Owens.

Owens didn't like "Act Naturally" at first. But Buckaroo band member, Don Rich, heard Russell's demo version and liked it, and eventually, the song grew on Owens. One night, Russell got a phone call from Owens asking if he could record the song, and he said yes. "I later found out that he had already recorded the song that day and just wanted the publishing rights," Russell said. "I was more than pleased to give him the rights in order to get the song recorded."

Owens recorded "Act Naturally" at the Capitol studios in Hollywood on February 12, 1963, and the single was released on March 11. It entered the Billboard country charts on April 13, 1963. On June 15, Owens' version spent the first of four non-consecutive weeks at #1. In all, it spent 28 weeks on the country charts. The song helped to make him a superstar; before the 1960s were over, Owens had placed 19 singles atop the Billboard country charts. The song also helped establish Russell as a songwriter, and in the 1970s he was modestly successful as a singer as well.

The Beatles' version

The Beatles covered the song in 1965 on their album Help! (in the United Kingdom) and as the B-side of the "Yesterday" single in the U.S..

The Beatles' version is sung by Ringo Starr. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it "an ideal showcase for Ringo's amiable vocals." They performed the song during an The Ed Sullivan Show appearance which was taped on August 14, 1965 and broadcast on September 12, 1965.

The Beatles recorded the song on June 17, 1965 in 13 takes. The first 12 takes were evidently used to work out the arrangement; the master was take 13, the only take with vocals. It was mixed the following day. The Beatles almost recorded a song by their engineer Norman Smith, but realized that Starr didn't yet have a vocal on Help!, and so "Act Naturally" was recorded instead, the last cover they recorded until the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in 1969. Smith later had some success as a performer, using the name Hurricane Smith. In 1973 his song "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?" reached 3 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart in the U.S.

Because Capitol Records' version of the Help! album included only the songs that appeared in the movie, plus incidental music from the film, the label held back "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" and issued them initially as a non-LP single. As the B-side of the U.S. single, "Act Naturally" peaked at #47 in October 1965. The two songs made their first American album appearance on Yesterday and Today, released in the U.S. on June 20, 1966.

When the single was reissued on Apple Records in 1971, "Act Naturally" had the "full apple" side and "Yesterday" ended up on the "sliced apple" side. That is because "Act Naturally" was the intended A-side and has always been listed as such in Capitol's files.

The song features Ringo Starr on Lead Vocals, Drums, and Percussion, Paul McCartney on Harmony Vocals and Bass, John Lennon on Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, and George Harrison on Lead Guitar, which is double-tracked, creating a chorus-like effect.

Buck Owens and Ringo Starr's duet version

In 1989, Owens and Starr, the two most famous singers of "Act Naturally," teamed up for a brand-new version, also creating a lighthearted music video for it, with them playing bumbling versions of themselves playing cowboys in a western being filmed. Released on Capitol Records, the duet peaked at #27 and spent 11 weeks on the Billboard country chart in the summer of 1989. It was not the first time a member of the Beatles had appeared on the country charts: Paul McCartney had done so with Wings in 1974-75 with "Sally G."

The recording was nominated for the 1989 Country Music Association "Vocal Event of the Year" and a 1990 Grammy for "Best Country Vocal Collaboration," but lost both times to "There's a Tear in My Beer," recorded by Hank Williams Sr. and Hank Williams Jr.

Single by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
Released: March 11, 1963
Format: 7"
Recorded: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, Calif., February 12, 1963
Genre: Country
Length: 2:19
Label: Capitol
Writer(s): Russell/Morrison
Producer: Ken Nelson

Single by The Beatles
from the album Help! (UK) and Yesterday and Today (U.S.)
A-side: Yesterday
Released: 13 September 1965 (US)
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 17 June 1965
Genre: Country
Length: 2:29
Label: Capitol Records (USA), Parlophone/EMI (UK)
Writer(s): Morrison/Russell
Producer: George Martin


John Lennon's Record Collection: Little Richard - Slippin' and Slidin'

"Pensioners Waltz" Lyrics

by Paul McCartney

Original Manuscript (1968?)

I stepped, two, three,

A D min
Waltz with me

Granny of mine,

A D min
Skip to the beat

Of a lager and lime

Dmin G7
Move with such grace,

Smile with such style

Hughie is green,

D min
but I'm biding awhile,

Thank you sir

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"The Cumberland Gap"

"The Cumberland Gap" is a traditional song that was released by Lonnie Donegan as well as the Vipers Skiffle Group, who had a top 10 hit with it in the UK. The Quarry Men covered the number live from 1957 to 1959.

Cumberland Gap (el. 1600 ft./488 m.) is a pass through the Cumberland Mountains region of the Appalachian Mountains, also known as the Cumberland Water Gap. Famous in American history for its role as the chief passageway through the central Appalachians, it was an important part of the Wilderness Road. Long used by Native Americans, the path was widened by a team of loggers led by Daniel Boone, making it accessible to pioneers, who used it to journey into the western frontiers of Kentucky and Tennessee.


Cumberland Gap is located just north of the spot where the current-day states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia meet. The nearby town of Cumberland Gap, Tennessee takes its name from the pass.

The gap was formed by an ancient creek, flowing southward, which cut through the land being pushed up to form the mountains. As the land rose even more, the creek reversed direction flowing into the Cumberland River to the north. The gap was used by Native Americans and migrating animal herds.


The gap was named for Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, who had many places named for him in the American colonies after the Battle of Culloden. The explorer Thomas Walker gave the name to the Cumberland River in 1750, and the name soon spread to many other features in the region, such as the Cumberland Gap.

In 1775, Daniel Boone, hired by the Transylvania Company, led a company of men to widen the path through the gap to make settlement of Kentucky and Tennessee easier. The trail was widened in the 1790s to accommodate wagon traffic.
Map showing Cumberland Gap in relation to the Wilderness Road route from Virginia to Kentucky

It is estimated that between 200,000 and 300,000 immigrants passed through the gap on their way into Kentucky and the Ohio Valley before 1810. Today 18,000 cars pass beneath the site daily, and 1,200,000 people visit the park on the site annually.

U.S. Route 25E passed overland through the gap before the completion of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel in 1996. The original trail was then restored.

Geological features

The 12-mile (19 km) long Cumberland Gap consists of four geologic features: the Yellow Creek valley, the natural gap in the Cumberland Mountain ridge, the eroded gap in the Pine Mountain, and Middlesboro crater.

Middlesboro crater is a 3-mile (4.8 km) diameter meteorite impact crater in which Middlesboro, Kentucky is located. The crater was identified in 1966 when Robert Dietz discovered shatter cones in sandstone, which led to the further identification of shocked quartz. Shatter cones, a rock shattering pattern naturally formed only during impact events, are found in abundance in the area. In September 2003 the site was designated a Distinguished Geologic Site by the Kentucky Society of Professional Geologists.

Without Middlesboro crater, it would have been difficult for packhorses to navigate this gap and improbable that wagon roads would have been constructed at an early date. Middlesboro is the only place in the world where coal is mined inside an impact crater. Special mining techniques must be used in the complicated strata of this crater. (Milam & Kuehn, 36).


"Julia" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1968)

Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia.

Julia, Julia ocean child calls me
So I sing the song of love, Julia.

Julia seashell eyes windy smile calls me
So I sing the song of love, Julia.

Her hair of floating sky is shimmering
Glimmering in the sun.

Julia, Julia morning moon touch me
So I sing the song of love, Julia.

When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia.

Julia sleeping sand silent cloud touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia.

Hmm hmm hmm, calls me
So I sing a song of love for Julia
Julia, Julia.

Beatles Covers: The Five Stairsteps - Dear Prudence

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Across the Universe"

"Across the Universe" is a song by the British rock band The Beatles. Written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon/McCartney. The song first appeared on the charity album No One's Gonna Change Our World in December 1969, and later, in modified form, on their final album to be released, Let It Be.


One night in 1967, the phrase "words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup" came to Lennon after hearing his then-wife Cynthia, according to Lennon, "going on and on about something". Later, after "she'd gone to sleep—and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream", Lennon went downstairs and it turned into a song. He began to write the rest of the lyrics and when he was done, he went to bed and forgot about them.

In the morning, Lennon found the paper on which he had written the lyrics and took them down to his piano, where he began to play chords, and find pitches to match the words. The flavor of the song was heavily influenced by Lennon's and The Beatles' interest in Transcendental Meditation in late 1967–early 1968, when the song was composed. Based on this he added the mantra Jai guru deva om to the piece, which became the link to the chorus. The Sanskrit phrase is a sentence fragment whose words could have many meanings, but roughly translate to "Victory to God divine","hail to the divine guru", or the phrase commonly invoked by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi "All Glory to Guru Deva" then the mystic syllable om, which is theoretically the cosmic sound of the universe and used by monks during meditation.

The song's lyrical structure is straightforward: three repetitions of a unit consisting of a verse, the line "Jai guru deva om" and the line "Nothing's gonna change my world" repeated four times. The lyrics are highly image-based, with abstract concepts reified with phrases like thoughts "meandering", words "slithering", and undying love "shining". The title phrase "across the universe" appears at intervals to finish lines, although it never cadences, always appearing as a rising figure, melodically unresolved.

In his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, Lennon referred to the song as perhaps the best, most poetic lyric he ever wrote. He also expressed pride in the meter of the main verses, commenting on how unique it was to his compositions and how he could not duplicate it.

The recording and version history

In February 1968, The Beatles convened at the EMI Abbey Road studios to record a single for release during their absence on their forthcoming trip to India. Paul McCartney had written "Lady Madonna" and John, "Across the Universe". Both tracks were recorded along with Lennon's "Hey Bulldog" and the vocal track for George's "The Inner Light" between the 3rd and 11th of February.

Whilst the basic track was successfully recorded on February 4, Lennon wasn't satisfied with the feel of the track. Several innovations were tried, including blowing through comb onto paper and humming to add texture to the track, and the addition of a pedal guitar and tambora. In the end, according to Lennon, McCartney persuaded John to call in the services of Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease, two of the so-called Apple scruffs (the female fans who collected outside the studio) to add harmony vocals. Lennon later cited what he considered the substandard recording of the song as evidence of McCartney's "subconscious sabotage" of his compositions. (citation needed)

The track was mixed to mono and put aside as the group had decided to release "Lady Madonna" and "The Inner Light" as the single. On their return from India the group set about recording the many songs they had written there, and "Across the Universe" remained on the shelf. In the autumn of 1968 The Beatles seriously considered releasing an EP including most of the songs for the Yellow Submarine album including "Across the Universe" and went as far as having the EP mastered. However, the recent trip to India had soured Lennon on transcendental meditation and eastern spiritualism, and the song's mantra-type refrain already seemed outdated. His White Album contributions had an angrier, harder edge, reflective of his renewed personal assertiveness (which had been submerged with his heavy LSD use) and the growing political and social turmoil of 1968.

During the February 1968 recording sessions, Spike Milligan dropped into the studio and on hearing the song suggested the track would be ideal for release on a charity album he was organising for the World Wildlife Fund. At some point in 1968 The Beatles agreed to this proposal, and the track was mixed into stereo for the first time by George Martin. The original mix (mono and stereo) is 3:37. For the 'wildlife' album it was deemed appropriate to add sound effects of birds at the beginning and end of the track. After the effects were added the track was sped up; so that even with 20 seconds of effects the track is only 3:49. The song was first released in this version on the Regal Starline SRS 5013 album No One's Gonna Change Our World, in December 1969.

Though never satisfied with the recording, Lennon was still attached to the song, and the group rehearsed it extensively during the Get Back/Let It Be album sessions of January 1969; footage of John playing the song appeared in the Let It Be movie. Bootleg recordings from the sessions include numerous full group performances of the song, usually with Lennon/McCartney harmonies on the chorus. To ensure the album tied in with the film it was decided the song must be included on what by January 1970 had become the Let It Be album. Also, Lennon's contributions to the sessions were sparse, and this unreleased piece was seen as a way to fill the gap.

In early January 1970 Glyn Johns remixed the February 1968 recording. The new mix eliminated the Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease vocals as well as the sound effects on the World Wildlife Fund version. As neither of the Glyn Johns Get Back albums were officially released, the version most people are familiar with came from Phil Spector, who in late March and early April 1970 remixed the February 1968 recording yet again and added orchestral and choral overdubs. Spector also slowed the track to 3:47, close to its original speed.

An unreleased February 1968 alternate take of the song (recorded before the master), sans heavy production, appeared on Anthology 2 in 1996. This is often referred to as the "psychedelic" recording, due to the strong Indian sitar and tanpura sound, and illustrates the band's original uncertainty over the best treatment for the song.

The February 1968 master was remixed again for inclusion on Let It Be... Naked in 2003, at the correct speed but stripped of most of the instrumentation.

Transmission into deep space

On February 4, 2008, at 00:00 UTC, NASA transmitted "Across The Universe" in the direction of the star Polaris, 431 light years from Earth. The transmission was made using a 70m antenna in the DSN's Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, located outside of Madrid, Spain. It was done with an "X band" transmitter, radiating into the antenna at 18 kW.

This was done to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the song's recording, the 45th anniversary of the Deep Space Network (DSN), and the 50th anniversary of NASA. The idea was hatched by Beatles historian Martin Lewis, who encouraged all Beatles fans to play the track as it was beamed to the distant star. The event marked the first time a piece of music had ever been intentionally transmitted into deep space, and was approved by Paul McCartney, Yoko Ono, and Apple Records. (The first musical interstellar message was "1st Theremin Concert to Aliens", section 2 of the Teen Age Message.)

Complete recording and mixing history

* 4 February 1968: Takes 1-7 Recorded. Overdub onto Take 7. Reduction into Take 8. Overdub onto Take 8. Sound Effects Takes 1-3.
* 8 February 1968: Overdub onto Take 8. Mono mixing from Take 8.
* 2 October 1969: Overdubs onto Take 8. Stereo mixing from Take 8. Version released on the album No One's Gonna Change Our World.
* 5 January 1970: Stereo mixing from Take 8. Version to have been released on the 5 January Get Back album.
* 23 March 1970: Stereo mixing from Take 8.
* 1 April 1970: Reduction into Take 9. Overdub onto Take 9.
* 2 April 1970: Stereo Mixing from take 9. Version released on the Let It Be album.


* John Lennon - Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Wah-Wah Electric Guitar
* Paul McCartney - Piano, Organ, Background Vocals (Past Masters Only)
* George Harrison - Sitar
* Ringo Starr - Marracas
* George Martin - Organ (Past Masters Only)
* Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Peese - Background Vocals (Past Masters Only)

Album: No One's Gonna Change Our World
Released: 12 December 1969
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 4 February 1968
Genre: Psychedelic folk
Length: 3:49
Writer: Lennon/McCartney

Album: Let It Be
Released: 8 May 1970
Recorded: 4 February 1968
Genre: Psychedelic folk
Length: 3:49
Writer: Lennon/McCartney


"Penny Lane" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

Original Manuscript (1967)

In Penny Lane there was a barber
showing photographs
Of every head he's had the pleasure to know
It was easy not to go - he was very slow

Meanwhile back in Penny Lane behind the shelter
in the middle of the roundabout
A 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 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
and meanwhile back at
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies, Penny Lane

Second Manuscript (1967)

1. In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
of every head he's had the pleasure to know
+ all the people that come and go
stop and say hello

2. In Penny Lane there On the corner is a banker with a motor car
the and little children laugh at him behind his back
and for the banker never wears a mac
in the pouring rain, very strange

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

There is a fireman with an hour glass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It's a clean machine (Ah Ah etc.)
Penny Lane is in ears and in my eyes
A Four of fish and finger pies in summer

As Released by the Beatles (1967)

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
The 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 hour-glass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire-engine clean
It's a clean machine.

Aah, aah, aah, aah - aah!

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!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Come Go with Me"

"Come Go with Me" is a song written by C. E. Quick (A.K.A Clarence Quick, an original member of the Del-Vikings). The song was originally recorded by the Del-Vikings in 1956. Released in April of 1957, it became a big-seller on Dot Records, reaching number four on the Billboard charts in the United States. The Del-Vikings' recording was featured in the films "American Graffiti" and "Stand by Me". The song was later covered by the American pop band The Beach Boys and was released on their 1978 album MIU Album. In January, 1982, the single became a top twenty hit, reaching number eighteen in the United States. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranked the doo wop-styled song #441 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song was part of the Quarry Men's live stage act from 1957 to 1959.

The song bears a noticeable resemblance to the 1954 hit "Oop Shoop" by (Shirley Gunter and) The Queens, especially in two crucial hooks: the end of the bridge melody and the backing vocal riff at the end of the choruses.


When Paul McCartney saw John Lennon for the first time in 1957, Lennon was performing this song with his band the Quarry Men. According to McCartney's recollection in the Beatles Anthology, Lennon, who did not recall much of the song's lyrics, inserted lyrics from blues songs (including the line, "Down, down down to the penitentiary.")

The TV show Saved By The Bell also covered this song when Zack Morris and the gang performed this song at The Max, their local hangout.

In summer 2007 the Liverpool Echo released a one-off music magazine, Sound 08. Given away free was a CD containing The Coral covering the track.


"I've Just Seen a Face" Lyrics

by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

As Released by the Beatles (1965)

I've just seen a face
I can't forget the time or place
Where we just met
She's just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see we've met
Mmm, mmm, mmm - mmm.

Had it been another day
I might have looked the other way
And I'd have never been aware
But as it is I'll dream of her tonight
La da da, da n da.

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.

I have never known the like of this
I've been alone and I have missed things
And kept out of sight
But other girls were never quite like this
La da da, da n da.

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.


Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.

I've just seen a face
I can't forget the time or place
Where we just met
She's just the girl for me
And I want all the world to see we've met
Mmm mmm mmm la da da.

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.

Falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.

(Oh) falling, yes I am falling
And she keeps calling me back again.

Pattie Boyd Pictures

Sunday, September 20, 2009

"All Things Must Pass" Lyrics

by George Harrison

Original Manuscript, "All Things Pass" (1969)

A sunrise doesn't last all morning..,
A cloudburst doesn't last all day;
Seems my love is up and has left
you with no warning ... , but it's
not always been that grey .., and all
things must pass, all things must pass away

A sunset doesn't last all evening...,
A wind can blow those clouds away;
After all this, my love is up and
must be leaving..., but it's not
always been this grey.., all things
must pass.., all things must pass away.
all things must pass...none of life's
strings can last ... so I must be on my
way...and face another day.

Darkness only stays a nightime..,
With the morning it will fade away...
The light of day is good at arriving at
the right time - no it's not always going
to be this grey; and all things must pass.

As Released by George Harrison (1970)

A sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up and has left you with no warning
It's not always going to be this grey
All things must pass, all things must pass away

A sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
But it's not always going to be this grey
All things must pass, all things must pass away

All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So I must be on my way and face another day

Now the darkness only stays a nighttime
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
It's not always going to be this grey
All things must pass, all things must pass away
All things must pass, all things must pass away

Beatle People: Gerry & the Pacemakers

Gerry & the Pacemakers were a British rock and roll group during the 1960s. In common with The Beatles, they came from Liverpool and were managed by Brian Epstein. They are most remembered for being the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three single releases. It was a record that was not equaled for 20 years.


Gerry Marsden formed the group in 1959 with his brother, Fred, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivalled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. McMahon (known as Arthur Mack) was replaced on piano by Les Maguire around 1961. They are known to have rehearsed at Cammell Laird shipping yard at Birkenhead.

The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, who later signed them with Columbia Records (a sister label to The Beatles label Parlophone under EMI). They began recording in early 1963 with "How Do You Do It?", a song written by Mitch Murray that Adam Faith had turned down and one that The Beatles chose not to release (they did record the song but chose to release their own song "Please Please Me"). The song was produced by George Martin and became a number one hit in the UK, until being replaced at the top by "From Me to You," The Beatles' third single.

Gerry & the Pacemakers' next two singles, Murray's "I Like It" and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone", both also reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. "You'll Never Walk Alone" had been a favorite of Gerry Marsden's since seeing Carousel growing up (he turned down the Beatles' "Hello Little Girl" for this slot, which then became the first hit for The Fourmost). It soon became the signature tune of Liverpool Football Club. To this day, the song remains a football anthem, there and elsewhere, a phenomenon due to Gerry Marsden, rather than its Broadway composers.

Despite this early success, Gerry & the Pacemakers never had another number one single in the UK. Gerry Marsden began writing most of their own songs, including "It's Gonna Be All Right", "I'm the One", and "Ferry Cross the Mersey", as well as their first and biggest U.S. hit, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", which peaked at #4, and which Gerry Marsden initially gave to Decca recording artist Louise Cordet in 1963. She recorded the song (Decca F11824), but without commercial success. They also starred in an early 1965 film called Ferry Cross the Mersey (sometimes referred to as "Gerry & the Pacemakers' version of A Hard Day's Night"), for which Marsden wrote much of the soundtrack. The title song was revived in 1989 as a charity single for an appeal in response to the Hillsborough football crowd disaster, giving Marsden - in association with other Liverpool stars, including Paul McCartney and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Holly Johnson - another British number one.

In the U.S., they were signed by the small New York independent record label, Laurie in 1963, and Laurie issued four singles during 1963 without success (as listed below). When The Beatles broke through in January, 1964, Laurie's next regular single release of "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" became a big hit and during 1964, Laurie coupled "How Do You Do It?" with "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Laurie 3261) and "I Like It" with "Jambalaya" (Laurie 3271) with some success.

By late 1965, their popularity was rapidly declining on both sides of the Atlantic. They disbanded in October 1966, with much of their latter recorded material never released in the UK.

Drummer Freddie Marsden died on 9 December 2006, age 66.


UK Singles

March 1963 "How Do You Do It?" / "Away From You" #1
May 1963 "I Like It" / "It's Happened To Me" #1
October 1963 "You'll Never Walk Alone" / "It's Alright" #1
January 1964 "I'm The One" / "You've Got What I Like" #2
April 1964 "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" / "Show Me that You Care" #6
September 1964 "It's Gonna Be Alright" / "It's Just Because" #24
December 1964 "Ferry Cross the Mersey" / "You, You, You" #8
March 1965 "I'll Be There" / "Baby You're So Good To Me" #15
November 1965 "Walk Hand in Hand" / "Dreams" #29
February 1966 "La La La" / "Without You" -
September 1966 "Girl on a Swing" / "A Fool to Myself" -
April 1974 "Remember (The Days of Rock and Roll)" / "There's Still Time" -

UK albums

October 1963 / How Do You Like It? #2
March 1965 / Ferry Cross the Mersey † #19

† - Soundtrack, includes other artists

U.S. singles

In the United States, a different series of Gerry & the Pacemakers' singles was issued, as their Laurie Records label created more albums, and at least two singles, which were never issued in Britain. This was a standard practice at the time; it also happened with The Beatles and the Dave Clark 5. Peak chart positions are from the Billboard Hot 100.

April 1963 "How Do You Do It?" / "Away From You" -
June 1963 "I Like It" / "It's Happened To Me" -
December 1963 "You'll Never Walk Alone" / "It's Alright" -
January 1964 "I'm the One" / "You've Got What I Like" #82
May 1964 "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" / "Away From You" #4
July 1964 "How Do You Do It?" (Reissue) / "You'll Never Walk Alone" #9
January 1965 "I Like It" (Reissue) / "Jambalaya" #17
March 1965 "I'll Be There" / "You, You, You" #14
May 1965 "Ferry Cross the Mersey" / "Pretend" #6
June 1965 "It's Gonna Be Alright" / "Skinny Minnie" #23
September 1965 "You'll Never Walk Alone" (Reissue) / "Away From You" #48
October 1965 "Give All Your Love to Me" / "You're the Reason" #68
December 1965 "Walk Hand in Hand" / "Dreams" #117
March 1966 "La La La" / "Without You" #90
June 1966 "Girl on a Swing" / "The Way You Look Tonight" #28
October 1966 "The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine" / "Looking for My Life" -
April 1970 "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" (Reissue) / "Away From You" -

U.S. albums

Peak chart positions are from the Billboard 200.

* Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying (July 1964) #29
* Gerry & the Pacemakers' Second Album (November 1964) #129
* Ferry Cross the Mersey [soundtrack] (February 1965) #13
* I'll Be There! (February 1965) #120
* Gerry & the Pacemakers' Greatest Hits (May 1965) #44
* Girl on a Swing (December 1966)
* The Best of Gerry & the Pacemakers (July 1979)


John Lennon: 1975

By Pete Hamill / June 5, 1975

There is John Lennon: thin bare arms, a rumpled T-shirt; bare feet, delicate fingers curled around a brown-papered cigarette, reaching for a cup of steaming coffee. A pale winter sun streams into the seventh-floor apartment in the Dakota, an expensive apartment house that stands like a pile of nineteenth-century memories on the corner of Seventy-second Street and Central Park West. Earlier, the Irish doorman had expressed surprise when I asked for John, because this is where Yoko Ono had lived alone for a year and a half. The building, with its gargoyles and vaulted stone turrets, has seen a lot, and has housed everyone from Lauren Bacall and Rex Reed to Rosemary's baby. There is certainly room for Dr. Winston O'Boogie.

And now John Lennon is talking in a soft, becalmed voice, the old jagged angers gone for now, while the drilling jangle of the New York streets drifts into the room. He has been back with Yoko for three days, after a wild, painful year and a half away, and there is a gray morning feel of hangover in the clean, bright room. Against a wall, a white piano stands like an invitation to begin again; a tree is framed by one window, a plant by another, both in an attitude of Zen-like simplicity, full of spaces. I think of Harold Pinter's words: "When true silence falls we are still left with echo but are nearer nakedness." There is, of course, always echo when you are with John Lennon, an echo of the loudest, grandest, gaudiest noise made in our time. But John Lennon is more than simply a Beatle, retired or in exile, more than just an echo. At thirty-four, he is moving into full maturity as a man and an artist and seems less afraid than ever before of nakedness.

We talked only briefly about the Beatles. A few years ago, John told everybody how the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ and for a couple of weeks that summer most of the Western world seemed to go into an uproar. Was the world really that innocent so short a time ago? No. It was just that John Lennon was explaining that the world had changed and the newspapers had to catch up; we were not going to have any more aw-shucks heroes. So we could all run in the endless emptiness of the rugby field in A Hard Day's Night, rising and falling, in slow motion or fast, but sooner or later we would have to grow up. The Beatles were custodians of childhood. They could not last.

And yet . . . and yet, it seemed when it was finally over, when they had all gone their separate ways, when Brian Epstein lay dead and Apple was some terrible mess and the lawyers and the agents and the money men had come in to paw the remains, it often seemed that John was the only one whose heart was truly broken. Cynthia Lennon said it best, when all of them were still together: "They seem to need you less than you need them." From some corner of his broken heart, John gave the most bitter interviews, full of hurt and resentment, covered over with the language of violence.

We only know a small part of what really has happened to him in the years since he met Yoko Ono. The details belong to John Lennon alone. But we know how the other Beatles stood in judgment ("like a jury") on Yoko. We know how viciously the press in England sneered at them and attacked them. Yoko saw the artist in him: "John is like a frail wind . . ." But reviewers were already saying that Yoko had ruined his art. People started to write him off. His records were selling but it wasn't like the Beatles, it wasn't even like the other Beatles. John was the one Who Had Gone Too Far.

A year and a half ago, he and Yoko split up and some people cheered. We live in strange times.

And then, as if from nowhere, came Walls and Bridges. John had a big hit single with "Whatever Gets You Thru The Night." And the music was wonderful: full of invention, tenderness, remorse, more personal than anything he had written before; the music clearly showing the effects of his time with Yoko. More than anything else, though, the songs were essays in autobiography, the words and music of a man trying to understand a huge part of his life. "I've been across to the other side / I've shown you everything, I've got nothing to hide . . ."

What follows is the result of two long talks with John Lennon at the end of a difficult year. As an interview, it is far from definitive, but nothing with ever be definitive in John Lennon's life: He is the sort of artist who is always in the process of becoming. I think of this as a kind of interim report from one of the bravest human beings I know. Oh, yes: He looked happy.