‘Hello, Goodbye’ is the sort of fluff that Paul McCartney could write in 15 minutes, and that’s kind of what he did. When Alistair Taylor, one of Brian Epstein’s assistants, asked McCartney about his songwriting process, Paul sat down at a harmonium and asked Taylor to do a call-and-response. Taylor would say the opposite of whatever word McCartney offered up, and Paul built the song around that framework.
Today’s track, from 1967’s Magical Mystery Tour, is a fine example of just how great the band’s output is no matter how deep into their catalog you go. ‘Your Mother Should Know’ is a dancehall ditty written by Paul McCartney in a style his parents enjoyed.
In 1967, as many as 700 million people worldwide watched Our World, the first ever live international satellite broadcast. The show featured segments by 14 different countries, presenting scenes of their choice (Japan showed the construction of the Tokyo subway system, while Canada showed a rancher herding cattle).
The United Kingdom won the night by offering up The Beatles, at the height of their popularity, debuting a new song. John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need Is Love’ for the occasion, deliberately penning a tune so simple that anybody in the world could easily sing along.
John Lennon’s ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ is also rooted in nostalgia, though not as overtly as McCartney’s ‘Penny Lane.’ Strawberry Field is the name of a Salvation Army house near Lennon’s childhood home, but the song isn’t really an exploration of that period of his life.
What it is is one of the band’s very best songs.
Today’s track comes courtesy of Paul McCartney. ‘Penny Lane’ is his remembrance of a street in Liverpool, where he and John grew up. I don’t know if the fireman, banker, barber and nurse were actual people Paul encountered as a lad or inventions for this song, but he certainly paints a lovely picture.