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Fool on the Hill

Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66

Baroque Pop

The song ” Fool on a Hill” was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney. The Beatles recorded it in 1967 and released it on their album Magical Mystery Tour. The song was included in the soundtrack to their 1967 film Magical Mystery Tour. While it is always a dicey business (and perhaps a fruitless one at that) to discuss a writer’s inspirations, the solitary figure on the hill whom others do not understand or listen to but who sees the world could refer to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. There is an interesting use of going from D major to D minor when it gets to “but the fool.” It has been noted that this is similar in structure to Cole Porter’s use of minor and major in his song “Night and Day.” Be that as it may, the song became a more popular international hit through the version done by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66. They gave it a bossa nova rhythm and some strings. Their cover went to #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, and #13 in Australia.

Sérgio Santos Mendes was born in Niteró, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and is a bandleader, pianist, composer, and songwriter. The original members of Brasil ’66 were Mendes (piano), vocalists Lani Hall and Bibi Vogel (later replaced by Janis Hansen), Bob Matthews (bass), José Soares (percussion) and João Palma (drums). John Pisano played guitar. Of course, there were numerous changes in personnel and other things over the years.

Here are the lyrics to “Fool on the Hill” by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 :

“Day after day
Alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin
Is keeping perfectly still

But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Well on his way
His head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices
Talking perfectly loud

But nobody ever hears him
Or the sounds he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round”

Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 also did a great cover of “Night and Day,” which is on their 1967 album Equinox. It was their second album for A&M records. The A stood for Herb Alpert, and singer Lani Hall married him.

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “Fool on the Hill” by Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66.

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Jane Minogue

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