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Penny Lane

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“Penny Lane”
“Penny Lane” cover
Single by The Beatles
from the album Magical Mystery Tour
A-side "Strawberry Fields Forever"
Released 13 February 1967 (UK)
17 February 1967 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded Abbey Road Studios: 29 December 1966 -
17 January 1967
Genre Pop / Rock
Length 3:03
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Eleanor Rigby" / "Yellow Submarine"
"Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane"
"All You Need Is Love"
I like some of the things the Animals try to do, like the song Eric Burdon wrote about places in Newcastle on the flip of one of their hits. I still want to write a song about the places in Liverpool where I was brought up. Places like The Docker's Umbrella which is a long tunnel through which the dockers go to work on Merseyside, and Penny Lane near my old home.

—Paul McCartney, 1966

We really got into the groove of imagining Penny Lane — the bank was there, and that was where the tram sheds were and people waiting and the inspector stood there, the fire engines were down there. It was just reliving childhood.

—John Lennon, 1968

They were always asking me about classical instruments of the orchestra. I introduced them to a bassoon, bass clarinet, or whatever, but I had never introduced them to a Bach trumpet. But Paul, one evening, watched on television, a Bach Brandenberg Concerto and he came to me the following day, and said, 'Great sound I heard last night, a tremendously high trumpet.' 'Yes,' I said, 'it's a Bach trumpet.' 'Can we use it,' he asked. 'Yes, of course we can,' I replied. It never occurred to me, but it occurred to him. So, we got the guy from the London Symphony Orchestra, David Mason, to play Piccolo trumpet and that was that.

—George Martin, 1994

Penny Lane is not only a street but it's a district... a suburban district where, until age four, I lived with my mother and father. So I was the only Beatle that lived in Penny Lane.

—John Lennon, 1980

Penny Lane is a bus roundabout in Liverpool, and there is a barber's shop showing photographs of every head he's had the pleasure to know. Well, no, that's not true, they're just photographs of hairstyles, but all the people who come and go, stop and say hello. There is a bank on the corner, so we made up the part about the banker in his motor car. It's part fact, part nostalgia, for a place, which is a great place, with its blue suburban skies, as we remember it, and it's still there. We put in a joke or two, 'Fish and finger pie.' The women would never dare say that, except to themselves. Most people wouldn't hear it, but 'finger pie' is just a nice little joke for the Liverpool lads who like a bit of smut.

—Paul McCartney, 1967

John and I would always meet at Penny Lane. That was where someone would stand and sell you poppies each year on British Legion poppy day... When I came to write it, John came over and helped me with the third verse, as often was the case. We were writing childhood memories — recently faded memories from eight or ten years before, so it was recent nostalgia, pleasant memories for both of us. All the places were still there, and because we remembered it so clearly we could have gone on.

—Paul McCartney, 1994

Original 1967 Music Video

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