Good Morning, Good Morning - The Beatles

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"Good Morning, Good Morning" - The Beatles (1967)

Lennon said he got the inspriation for “Good Morning, Good Morning”in the wee hours of the morning when a voice on the television called out “Good Morning, Good Morning” in a cornflakes commercial.

In 1970 he remarked:

“We write about our past. I was never proud of it. I was writing about my past so it does get the kids because it was me at school, my whole bit.”

A few years laterhe referred to it as:

“A bit of gobbledygook, but nice words.”

In 1980, he added:

“It’s a throwaway - a piece of garbage.”

Clearly, Lennon felt no qualms about using unpleasant music to complement a bleak message.

says Beatle scholar Ian MacDonald:

“No one in pop cursed more entertainingly than Lennon, and only a corpse would fail to chuckle at the splenetic gusto with which he lays about him here. A disgusted canter through the muck, mayhem, and mundanity of the human farmyard, the song belies the airy-fairy reputation Sgt. Pepper has acquired in hindsight, being one of the earthiest things The Beatles ever made.”

“Good Morning, Good Morning”opens with a galloping rhythm and there are sections in the song where Ringo’s bass drumming rolls at a super-fast rate. On this track, Paul and Ringo began using a one beat technique that they kept in their repertoire through Abbey Road.

Engineer Geoff Emerick writes:

“This song serves as a good example of how simple manipulation can improve a track sonically. During the mix, I enjoyed whacking the faders all the way up for Ringo’s huge tom hit during the stop time- so much so that the limiters nearly overloaded, but definitely gets the listeners attention. Add in the flanged bass, miked in an unorthodox way, and it’s all icing on the cake; take those effects off and the recording doesn’t have the same magic.”

“Good Morning, Good Morning”has a surprisingly sparse texture. Only a very weakly strummed guitar and bass accompany the physical presence created by Lennon’s voice. However this is enough to promote a unique blend of feelings that are both cheerful and sinister but yet still sound like a classic pop or rock song.

The song can be interpreted of being about everyday human existence which is loud, vague, and lacking any firm ground of understanding. It may be rather bleak, but it’s the average worldview that we encounter in our ordinarily busy lives. The lyrics end with ‘you’being saved by the possibility of a romantic liaison, but this resolution seems half-hearted after the diagnosis of death in the opening lines.

Beatle scholar Ken Womack believed the speaker was concealing his interior vacancy behind a breezy facade of urban-cool: “I’ve got nothing to say, but it’s okay,” which he repeats to himself like a mantra. For him, there is literally no hope in sight, only a lifetime of interminable sameness.

 

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