The Beatles Penny Lane

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The Beatles Penny Lane

"Penny Lane" by The Beatles

Psychedelic Rock

The song “Penny Lane” by The Beatles is a wonderful example of Sixties British Invasion music. This nostalgic song is credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon.  Penny Lane is the name of a street in Liverpool, England, with a bus terminus, and many buses had “Penny Lane” displayed on them. McCartney said, “I’d get a bus to his [Lennon’s] house and I’d have to change at Penny lane, or the same with him to me, so we often hung out at that terminus.” The record was released in February, 1967, as one side of a double A-sided single with “Strawberry Field Forever.” Later in 1967, “Penny Lane” was included on their U.S. version of their  Magical Mystery Tour album (but not on the U.K. EP).

And, in 1967, “Penny Lane” rose to “#1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 as well as in Canada, Australia, and West Germany. It went to #2 on the U.K. Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart. It went to #4 in Belgium.  Rolling Stone magazine has “Penny Lane” on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

On the track were Paul McCartney (lead, harmony and backing vocals, three pianos, bass);  John Lennon (harmony and backing vocals, two pianos, congas, handclaps); producer and orchestrator George Martin (piano); and David Mason (piccolo trumpet). Mason’s solo was inspired, evidently, by McCartney hearing Mason perform on a BBC TV broadcast of the J.S. Bach’s second Brandenburg Concerto. The piccolo trumpet is built about one octave higher than a standard trumpet, and it’s use in a pop song provides a unique texture.

Here are the lyrics to “Penny Lane” by The Beatles:

“In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mack in the pouring rain
Very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit and meanwhile back in

Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It’s a clean machine

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer meanwhile back

Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she’s in a play
She is anyway

Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain
Very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit and meanwhile back

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
Penny Lane”

If you are interested in listening to and reading about another song by The Beatles, please click here for “And I Love Her.”

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+ commercial 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 “Penny Lane” by The Beatles.

2 Comments

  1. […] For another song by The Beatles: “Penny Lane.” […]

  2. […] other songs by The Beatles that were on the Magical Mystery Tour album: “Penny Lane” and “Hello […]

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