Day Tripper - The Beatles
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Day Tripper (1965)
Recorded in October 1965, "Day Tripper" was inspired by Bobby Parkers’s 1961 R&B hit "Watch Your Step.”
"That’s mine, including the lick, the guitar break, and the whole bit. It was based on an old folk song I wrote. It was very hard going, that, and it sounds it. It wasn't a serious message song. It was a drug song. In a way, it was a day tripper - I just liked the word. Day-trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually, on a ferryboat or something. The pun "day tripper would refer to someone who works only part-time at being cool or hip.”
"It seemed like bits and pieces were being put together. I can’t undersand how they got the final version.”
In contrast to the Beatles' usual practice of a song's principal composer singing lead, McCartney provides the lead vocal for the verses and Lennon the harmony although Lennon sings lead in the chorus, with McCartney on harmony. In less than a verse, the guitar lick is embedded in your memory and the longer it stays there, the stronger it gets. As the end of the song approaches, Ringo takes over with fills, and he defines the final seconds of the track. His drumming is weaved right into every corner of the song- and the pent-up energy is released at just the right moments.
The direction of the song is towards self-justification and self-redemption as the “day tripper” emerges as a woman, a provo-cateur who refuses to surrender to the speaker’s desires. Eventually winning her sex, the narrator remains perplexed by her lack of interest in a committed relationship: Tried to please her, he complains, but she only played one night stands.
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