Song of the Day #458: ‘Lovely Rita’ – The Beatles

pepper2One of my other favorite tracks on Sgt. Pepper is Paul’s charmingly kinky ‘Lovely Rita.’ The Beatles had a knack for populating their songs and albums with colorful characters like this. On Sgt. Pepper alone, they gave us Rita, Lucy, Mr. Kite and of course Ringo’s alter ego Billy Shears.

Throw in Eleanor Rigby, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, Prudence, Bungalow Bill, Maxwell, Sadie, JoJo, Sweet Loretta, Doctor Robert, Lady Madonna and the Walrus. It’s no wonder a movie like Across the Universe was able to not only feature Beatles songs but name every major and minor character after a Beatles song as well.

And it’s no wonder Cirque du Soleil was able to craft an entire performance around this stuff. Sgt. Pepper was tapping into the Cirque du Soleil vibe nearly 20 years before Cirque du Soleil existed. I’m reminded of the hilarious scene in Knocked Up where Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd eat mushrooms before watching a Cirque performance. People have been doing that to Sgt. Pepper for decades.

Lovely Rita meter maid
Lovely Rita meter maid

Lovely Rita meter maid
Nothing can come between us
When it gets dark I tow your heart away

Standing by a parking meter
When I caught a glimpse of Rita
Filling in a ticket in her little white book
In a cap she looked much older
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a military man

Lovely Rita meter maid
May I inquire discreetly
When are you free to take some tea with me?

Took her out and tried to win her
Had a laugh and over dinner
Told her I would really like to see her again
Got the bill and Rita paid it
Took her home and nearly made it
Sitting on the sofa with a sister or two

Oh, lovely Rita meter maid
Where would I be without you?
Give us a wink and make me think of you

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #458: ‘Lovely Rita’ – The Beatles

  1. Amy says:

    I’ve never gotten why someone would take drugs to experience something that would let you have an otherworldly experience without the drugs. The debate can go on (and has gone on and on) about whether the artists had to be high to create these works, but I sure don’t see why the audience needs to be high to appreciate them.

    For me, this song is just blah. Dana’s family always refers to their Rita as “Lovely Rita” in honor of this song, and that’s been the main reason it’s even on my radar at all. But I don’t begrudge them. When they’ve created “A Day in the Life,” “Lady Madonna,” (when will you feature that one?!) “Penny Lane,” “In My Life,” and so on, they’re allowed entertaining “throwaways” like this one,.

  2. Clay says:

    I don’t put it on a level with the ones you mentioned, but “throwaway?!” For shame!

  3. Dana says:

    I agree with Clay. This may not be top 10 or even top 20 Beatles material, but it ain’t blah! A perfectly fun ditty by Sir Paul.

    As for the drugs, I agree that one doesn’t need to be on them to appreciate songs created by the artists while they were on them. But, as much as I oppose drug use, it would seem that many of our greatest artists have created some of their greatest and most interesting works while under the influence. Drugs obviously allow the mind to wander into areas of imagination that our sober minds tend to block. Of course, the downside is the whole addictive and ultimately debilitating nature of drug use. Thankfully, we never lost a Beatle to drugs, but we have lost some other wonderful actors and artists and I wonder if the fans would have been okay with a bit less imaginative work as the trade off to having those people around longer.

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