March 18 2021

Penny Lane peaks #1 March 18,1967

Penny Lane is a street in Liverpool, England. Penny Lane was a meeting spot near Lennon’s home. Lennon would meet McCartney at Penny Lane where the two would catch a bus to head into the center of the city.

On this day, March 18, 1967 the Beatles scored there 13th #1 single in the US with “Penny Lane.”

“Penny Lane,” was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. It is a song reminiscing about the past. The two Beatles must have spent a lot of time watching and listening to the people and the sights and sounds along the path. I imagine that if the bus had arrived on time, the two who had nothing better to do then wait would miss the regulars who frequented the area.  

Here is the best interpretation of the song I could come up with

There was a barber there who kept photographs of famous people he had met.

“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”

The banker was somewhat of a womanizer who apparently had lots of illegitimate children.

“And the banker never wears a mac

In the pouring rain – very strange.”

In this line, the “mac” means a condom. Perhaps the banker should have worn one.

“Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout

The pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray”

The nurse was supplementing her income by selling narcotics and medical morphine that she had most likely stolen.

Anyway perhaps the two Beatles were really watching the scene unfold, or even making it up as they went. I am often a people watcher. Sometimes I make up fascinating stories of who they are and what they are doing.

“Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes

There beneath the blue suburban skies

Penny Lane”

The song “Penny Lane,” is one of the Beatles best and it deserved the number one spot this day in 1967.


January 29 2021

For No One

I am a collector of sorts. A collector of sad songs and broken dreams. Recently on Twitter, I asked for some feedback from others as to what they thought was the saddest song ever. My goto has always been “Teddy Bear,” by Red Sovine, “Roses for Mama,” a song also recorded by Red Sovine and sometimes C.W. McCall. Other sad songs for me have been Towne’s Van Zandt’s, “Tecumseh Valley,” and Blaze Foley’s, “Clay Pigeons.” John Prine did a great cover version of the “Clay Pigeons” as well.

Another sad song that my mind often goes to Willie Nelson wrote and sings the song lyrics:

I’m writing a song all about you, A true song as real as my tears, But you’ve no need to fear it, Cause no one will hear it, Cause sad songs and waltzes aren’t selling this year.”

Sad Songs and Waltzes- Willie Nelson.

Wrecking Ball Radio turned me on to another sad song due to my Twitter post. “For No One.”

@CosmicJt23 Tweeted:

“For No One”- Beatles song, but covered by Emmylou Harris. Paul’s version is great but it’s more upbeat so you don’t notice how sad it is, but Emmylou’s version blows me away.

He was right. “For No One” was written by Paul McCartney and gives songwriting credits to John Lennon. McCartney began writing the song in a swiss chalet while on holiday with his girlfriend Jane Asher in March of 1966. The song was written about Asher who was a successful London actress. There is speculation that the song was written after an Argument involving Asher and McCartney. The pair didn’t split until 1968 two years after the song was written so the argument must not have been a deal breaker.

Paul McCartney’s original title for the tune was to be “Why Did It Die.” Alan Civil who played the French Horn on the track thought it was an orchestral piece called “For No One.” I suppose the name stuck

Emmylou Harris covered the song on her 1975 Album, Pieces of the Sky, released in 1975. Her version does seem to go much deeper with the song than the Beatles version. Emmylou’s version sounds so much more haunting and chilling than the Beatles sound.

The day breaks your mind aches

You find that all her words of kindness linger on

She no longer needs you

She wakes up she makes up

She takes her time and doesn’t feel she has to hurry

She no longer needs you.

And in her eyes you see nothing

No sign of love behind the tears

Cried for no one

A love that should have lasted years

You want her you need her

And yet you don’t believe her when she said her love is dead

You think she needs you

She goes out you stay home

She says that long ago she knew someone but now he’s gone

She doesn’t need him.

And in her eyes you see nothing

No sign of love behind the tears

Cried for no one

A love that should have lasted years

Your day breaks your mind aches

There will be time when all the things she said

Will fill your head

You won’t forget her…

Songwriters: Paul Mccartney, John Lennon

I would like to thank my Twitter friend WreckingBallRadio for the recommendation of this sad song for my collection.

Emmy’s version of “For No One” is getting lots of streams by me this week.

If you like sad songs too, The last line in the song says everything. There will be a time when all the things she said will fill your head. You won’t forget her..