30 Day Song Challenge – Day 01

Posted: June 11, 2011 in Meme, Music, Personal

30 Day Song Challenge

Day 01 – Your Favorite Song

Beatles – A Day In The Life
Although my favourite song changes on an almost weekly basis, this song stands out as one of the few that return to my number one place. I like this song, as, although it talks about a single day in the news, and a single day in someone’s life, it is timeless. The events mentioned could be in any newspaper, the middle sequence could be almost anyone’s life. Although they mention specifics, it is still rather vague. The fact that John could write a song of this magnitude after simply reading the morning paper, tells me that he was a truly great songwriter.

Originally written by John Lennon, this song was based on 2 stories John read in the Daily Mail newspaper. The first was about a person who drove their car into the back of a parked truck (He blew his mind out in a car), and the other was about a person who had counted 4,000 holes in the roads on Blackburn, and said that the amount of materials to repair them all would surely fill the Albert Hall.

The middle section was originally destined to be its own song, however Paul had only written one verse, and was stuck in the creative process. He offered it to John, who was stuck for a middle, and worked it into the existing track.

The orchestra sections are interesting, as they were played by a full 41-piece orchestra. The musicians were told to attend the session dressed formally. When they got there, they were presented with a range of false noses, party hats, gorilla-paw gloves etc. 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. There was no sheet music for this, and no other direction. Paul wanted something completely random for this. The only ‘rule’ they had was where to begin, where to end, and how long to get there. This made a random sounding sound, as different instruments have different length scales / necks, making the time taken to be different for everyone…

The final note played on the piano lasts for 42 seconds. This note was played by John, Paul, George, Ringo & George Martin banging the note on three separate pianos simultaneously. The sound engineer was told to record every last bit of the sound, causing him to crank up the inputs to do this. Towards the end of the note, the hum of the Air-Conditioning can be heard, as well as Ringo moving his piano stool slightly.

Beatles – A Day In the Life

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grave
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

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 second splat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke,
and Somebody spoke and I went into a dream

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

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