Anyone have a clue what these lyrics mean (if anything)?
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 on
I always interpreted that line as “a crowd of people turned away” (the movie was not a critical hit), “but I just had to look…having read the book” (he was in it…read the script). I suppose all I’d have to do is find out whether How I Won the War was a hit or not.
When I first heard the song, I thought the ‘4000 holes’ was a reference to graves, and the Albert Hall reference was to evoke imagery of all the dead - enough to fill the Albert Hall. It seemed to fit in with the rest of the themes in the song. I figured it was an obscure reference to some British tragedy, or maybe a statement about the war or something.
Don’t get too carried away with literal interpretations. “How I Won the War” may have inspired the second verse of Day in the Life, but I doubt Lennon intended the entire thing to be a coded summation of his involvement with the film and its reception by the public. Keep in mind there was also a real war going on at the time …
John Lennon specialised in lyrics that he included in songs because they sounded deep, when in fact they were doggerel. Opinion is divided if Lennon was among those fooled by them. Some say he knew exactly what he was doing.
Paul McCartney, on the other hand, specialises in lyrics that have no such intellectual pretensions. They have a tendancy to the banal, but at least are honest about it.
This is one of the reasons why I always prefer McCartney’s contributions to the Beatles.
I’ve always been curious about this film, it sounds to be of the Catch-22 ilk (one of my top 5). Love to see someone put it out on DVD.
Don’t know if this is the thread to say it in, but dang it I’m gon say it, anyway: the structure of “A Day in the Life” does not work. The way Lennon’s verse and melody fade and McCartney comes in with his dopey little Paul McCartney ditty (*Woke up, fell outta bed… *) is a cop-out, it’s Lennon not having it in him to find a chorus or bridge, so they say, hey. If we stick this fragment of Paul’s in here, it’ll make an artistic statement! “Day in the life,” geddit? No. I don’t. It’s two half-finished songs tacked together in an attempt to be artsy. I’m surprised at you, Beatles.
You won’t hear an argument from me, either - and I am a HUGE Beatles fan. I would say that Sgt. Pepper is not one of their strongest albums - personally I put Revolver, Rubber Soul, Abbey Road, The Beatles (The White Album) and Help (at least) in front of it.
I think what Sgt. Pepper did was get the public - at the time - to accept the concept of the Album as a full-length statement and to really embrace psychedelia as crossing over into the mainstream. The fact that it bounces around was - at the time, near as I can tell - seen as part of that, not as laziness or randomness. Other conceptual CD’s that have come along since do a better job of consciously using cuts, interstitials, etc. make the work of art seem whole. YMMV.