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A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life

The Beatles
Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band

Song Meaning and Background to A Day In The Life by The Beatles

One of the final authentic Lennon-McCartney collaborations, "A Day in the Life" had Paul McCartney's "Woke up/Fell out of bed" middle and John Lennon's "opening and closing" passages.

They hired 40 musicians, outfitted them in tuxedos and goofy hats, and gave them 15 bars to play from the lowest note on their instruments to the highest one in order to create the climax.

McCartney remarked, "Listen to those trumpets; they're freaking out".

Most of John Lennon's part of the song were influenced by news stories from the day, such as one about Tara Browne, an heir to the Guinness brewery. McCartney reflects on his younger years, which included taking the bus, smoking, and attending school, in the song's middle section. The song concludes with one of the most renowned chords in musical history, played on numerous keyboards, and lasting for more than forty seconds after the second crescendo.

'I'd want to turn you on', a rumoured drug reference, is what caused the BBC to first forbid the song from airing.

According to Lennon, McCartney also contributed the pivotal line "I'd love to turn you on." In a 1970 interview, Lennon talked about this collaboration he said:

Paul and I were definitely working together, especially on "A Day in the Life" ... The way we wrote a lot of the time: you'd write the good bit, the part that was easy, like "I read the news today" or whatever it was, then when you got stuck or whenever it got hard, instead of carrying on, you just drop it; then we would meet each other, and I would sing half, and he would be inspired to write the next bit and vice versa. He was a bit shy about it because I think he thought it's already a good song ... So we were doing it in his room with the piano. He said "Should we do this?" "Yeah, let's do that."

Guitar Chords and Lyrics to A Day In The Life by The Beatles


|G Bm | Em Em7 | C | C |

[Verse 1]

G           Bm             Em    Em7

 I read the news today, oh boy

C        C/B           Asus2

 About a lucky man who made the grade

G               Bm              Em   Em7

 And though the news was rather sad

C             F          Em   Em7

 Well, I just had to laugh

C          F       Em   C

 I saw the photograph

[Verse 2]

G            Bm            Em   Em7

 He blew his mind out in a car

C          C/B             Asus2

 He didn't notice that the lights had changed

G           Bm               Em      Em7

 A crowd of people stood and stared

C                F

 They'd seen his face before


Nobody was really sure

   Em7                      C

If he was from the House of Lords

[Verse 3]

G        Bm             Em   Em7

 I saw a film today, oh boy

C            C/B           Asus2

 The English Army had just won the war

G           Bm            Em   Em7

 A crowd of people turned away

C           F

 But I just had to look

Em      Em7      C

 Having read the book

            | Em/F# Em/G | Em/A  Em/B | Em/C# Em/D | Em | ...

I'd love to turn    you    on                  (orchestral glissando)

[Middle 8]


Woke up, fell out of bed


Dragged a comb across my head

         E                  B7sus4

Found my way downstairs and drank a cup

    E            B7sus4

And looking up I noticed I was late


Found my coat and grabbed my hat


Made the bus in seconds flat

         E                B7sus4

Found my way upstairs and had a smoke

E                    B7sus4

Somebody spoke and I went into a dream.




| C | G | D | A | E | C | G | D | A | E D C D |


[Verse 4]

G          Bm            Em  Em7

I read the news today oh boy

C             C/B                 Asus2

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

G              Bm                Em    Em7

And though the holes were rather small

C           F

They had to count them all

Em                              Em7                      C

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

            | Em/F# Em/G | Em/A  Em/B | Em/C Em/D | Em | ...

I'd love to turn    you    on 

Release Date





George Martin


Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)

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