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Good Morning, Good Morning

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"Good Morning, Good Morning"
Song by The Beatles
Album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 8, 16 February-13, 28, 29 March 1967
Genre Psychedelic Rock
Length 2:41

2:35 (mono version)

Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing


'Good Morning, Good Morning' was fairly straight rock 'n' roll except for some strange beats on it and Sounds Incorporated (the group) playing their saxes and all that ... I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background. If I'm a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That's when I heard the words, 'Good Morning, Good Morning.' It was a corn flakes advertisement. I was never proud of it. I just knocked it off to do a song.

—John Lennon, 1967

When he was at home, he'd spend a lot of time lying in bed with a notepad. When he got up, he'd sit at the piano or he'd go from one room to the other listening to music, gawping at television and reading newspapers. He was basically dropping out from everything.

—Cynthia Lennon

It was about his boring life at the time. There's a reference in the lyrics to 'Nothing to do,' and 'Meet the wife.' There was an afternoon TV soap called Meet the Wife that John watched, he was that bored!

—Paul McCartney

Monday 13 March: Tape operator Richard Lush remembers what happened next. 'They spent a long time doing the [brass] overdub, about three hours or maybe longer, but John Lennon thought it sounded too straight. So we ended up flanging, limiting and compressing it, anything to make it sound unlike brass playing. It was typical John Lennon — he just wanted it to sound weird.'

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p. 102, 1988

Tuesday 28 March: John's lead vocal on 'Good Morning Good Morning' appeared here for the first time, finally filling the original four-track tape. This was then bumped down to two tracks in a reduction mix, onto which a lead guitar solo — played by Paul, not George — and backing vocals, by John and Paul, were overdubbed. The lead vocal was treated to ADT in remixing.

—Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Recording Sessions, p. 105, 1988

John had the idea of putting animal noises on it, and of putting these sounds in sequence. The idea was that we always had an animal that could swallow up the animal that came immediately before it. It was a bit like the old Burl Ives hit, which John would have known as a boy, The Spider and the Fly. [Actually called I Knew An Old Lady] [...] I suddenly realised as I was pulling it together that the chicken noise we had dubbed on sounded really like the little bit before the reprise of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,' when the boys are tuning their guitars. So when I edited it together I turned the cluck-cluck of the chicken into the sound of a guitar string coming under tension as it is tuned, trying to mimic that twang as near as I could. The chicken became the guitar.

—George Martin, Summer of Love 1994 & 2006

We write about our past. 'Good Morning, Good Morning,' I was never proud of it. I just knocked it off to do a song. But it was writing about my past so it does get the kids because it was me at school, my whole bit.

—John Lennon, 1968

The basic tune was quite simple, but John wanted a very hard driving sound to punch it along. This is where the horns came in, three weeks after 'Good Morning, Good Morning' had been mixed down to allow for overdubbing. [...] John's rhythms, so natural to his ear, were the very devil for the six players to deliver in perfect time. They had to count like mad to know exactly when to do the 'stabs.' It was very easy for them to miss cues, and very hard indeed to hit them as one, bang on. [...] About three hours was spent doing the overdub on the evening of 13th March, but John thought it sounded too straight. We ended up flanging, limiting and compressing it, anything to make it sound less like brass playing.

—George Martin, Summer of Love 1994 & 2006

A bit of gobbledygook, but nice words.

—John Lennon, 1972

'Good Morning' --John's. That was our first major use of sound effects, I think. We had horses and chickens and dogs and all sorts running through it.

—Paul McCartney, 1984


Interesting Web Resources

Have a listen:

Listen to the Kellogg's Cornflakes ad that inspired Lennon
(Tune appears near the end, at :37):

Listen to Burl Ives singing I Knew An Old Lady
(referenced by George Martin, above)

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